Mesa Foundation

Jan Ellis

Jan EllisMesa lost a dear friend and colleague with the death of Jan Ellis. Jan served as a faculty member for over 33 years, beginning her career as an adjunct in 1980. Jan taught in many areas of Dance, including Dance Repertoire, Jazz Dance & Performance, Lighting Design for Dance, Sound Design for Dance, and Choreography. She served as the Department Chair for Physical Education, Dance and Athletics from 2012 – 2015. She took the lead in coordinating the SDCCD revision of the Physical Education, Health, and Dance curriculum as well as writing the initial Program Review for the Dance Department.

Jan also was involved in many areas of the Dance Community, including leading intensive Dance and Movement Workshops for Educators every summer and heading the Mesa College Dance Company which offered bi-annual main stage performance opportunities. Jan also directed and produced concerts each semester which included guest choreographers to work with the students.

Jan was a shining light in everyone’s lives who knew her. Thousands of students have had transformative experiences learning their craft under her tutelage. Last year, the Mesa Dance Company performed a tribute to Jan that was moving and wonderfully represented Jan. Her former students, and even her daughters, performed to Jan’s delight. 

Jan was key in designing the new Exercise Science Center, advocating for the many features we have today. Jan has left an indelible legacy at Mesa College, we will be able to see her in so many things that she touched during her incredible career. Of course her most important legacy is the gift of her time, love, and passion for her students, her colleagues, and her family, we hold them in our hearts.

A scholarship in her memory has been created and it will make a difference in a  dance student’s life. Make your donation by clicking the “Donate” button below - you will receive a receipt upon submitting your donation. San Diego Mesa College Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization, and all gifts are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law.



Exciting news! Beginning Fall, 2016, the Mesa Promise Scholarship will be available to 75 recent high school graduates and/or transferring San Diego Continuing Education students to attend San Diego Mesa College! This scholarship ensures that finances are not keeping a deserving student from attending college.  The Mesa Promise fulfills the unmet needs for fees and/or books. 

To qualify, applicants must:

  • Be a resident of the San Diego Unified School District for a minimum of 3 years
  • Graduate from a San Diego Unified District High School, or successfully complete a designated program through Continuing Education
  • Enroll at Mesa College in Fall Semester immediately following graduation
  • Complete the FAFSA or Dream Act application, and accept all aid that is offered
  • Have a minimum GPA of 2.0, and be in overall good standing

Participants must:

  • Successfully complete a minimum of 12 units each semester
  • Complete 8 hours of community service each semester
  • Complete all Student Success orientations.

Yes, this program will be expensive, but not as expensive as not having an education.  Mesa is known for the success of its students.

If you are interested in supporting this incredible opportunity, please click on the link below!

Why Don Barrie supports the foundation

Join Don, and many other faculty and staff in supporting Mesa students through Payroll deduction.  It is easy to do from PeopleSoft MyPortal - My Pay-Voluntary Deductions - Mesa Foundation!  Your gift can match your passion.  

San Diego Mesa College Foundation 

San Diego Mesa College Foundation supports student success by providing scholarships, emergency assistance, food cards, purchasing equipment, and funding innovation.   We encourage you to support the Foundation, and change a life!

Mission Statement

The San Diego Mesa College Foundation is dedicated to empowering students to reach their educational goals by increasing resources, raising funds, and creating friends and partnerships to support the mission of San Diego Mesa College.

our former foster youth students NEED YOUR HELP!

Many do not have a sustainable, reliable source of food, and come to classes each day fighting hunger.  Hunger is debilitating. Please help us purchase food cards so these students may eat while at Mesa, then use the services Mesa offers to be successful in college.

Please note:  Just before confirming your donation, there is a small line for "add special instructions to the seller."  Please list the program or scholarship you are supporting in that box.  Thank you!

Mesa students are a good investment!