John and Theresa Schaefer were recently presented the 2020 Excellence in Giving and Service Award by the Mitchell Community College Foundation and Endowment for Excellence.

Special to Iredell Free News

Mitchell Community College and its Foundation and Endowment for Excellence presented its 2020 Excellence in Giving and Service Award to John and Theresa Schaefer. The award was presented at the Foundation’s December board of directors meeting, along with the announcement that the couple has made a $1 million planned gift commitment to the Foundation.

“The commitment is the largest documented planned gift in the Foundation’s history,” said Mitchell President Dr. Tim Brewer. “It certainly reflects the Schaefers’ remarkable investment in and commitment to our students at Mitchell Community College.”

Mr. and Mrs. Schaefer retired to the Lake Norman area, where they’ve lived for nearly 20 years. Mrs. Schaefer retired after a 31-year career spent in employee benefit planning and administration. Mr. Schaefer also retired after a 31-year career, during which he worked as a senior executive in the Monsanto Corporation. He is a 1966 graduate of Marquette University, which honored him with its 2013 Distinguished Alumnus Award. ”

“Fortunately for us, John and Terry have shared their intentional and generous philanthropy with Mitchell’s Foundation,” Brewer said.

The couple had provided previous gifts that “enabled the college to begin innovative initiatives like Jump Start, which provides scholarships for students in our continuing education program and helps young people gain employment and enter the workforce successfully,” Brewer added.

Mr. Schaefer serves as a member of the Foundation’s board of directors. He joined the board in 2018, having previously served as an advisor to its Endowment for Excellence.

“We are honored by this recognition and appreciate Mitchell Community College’s commitment to helping people achieve their maximum potential,” Mr. Schaefer said after the award announcement.

James D. Hogan, the college’s Vice President for Advancement, praised the Schaefers’ planned gift commitment.

“John and Terry will have a generational impact with their planned gift. They are leaders for our community in demonstrating how donors can create lasting, sustaining support through estate gifts and the like,” he said.

The Schaefers are now members of the Grant & Mitchell Society, which honors donors who have documented a planned gift to the Foundation. The Grant & Mitchell Society is named in honor of Margaret Mitchell and Eliza Mitchell Grant, sisters whose leadership at the college in the late 19th century forever transformed the institution and led to the college being renamed in their honor.

Founded in 1996, the Mitchell Community College Foundation has provided millions of dollars in sustaining support to Mitchell Community College. The Foundation is able to offer immediate impact through its Maverick Fund, One Mitchell Scholarship, Friends of the Arts and Experiential Learning funds. Its Endowment for Excellence offers sustaining resources to fund strategic priorities, program development, and other critical needs. Learn more at

About Mitchell Community College

Mitchell Community College serves 9,000 students annually through a variety of curriculum, continuing education and workforce development programs. With campuses in Statesville and Mooresville, Mitchell CC offers quality, affordable education options to residents of Iredell County and the surrounding area. For more information, visit or call (704) 878-3200 (Statesville Campus) or (704) 663-1923 (Mooresville Campus).

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