Our Story

It started with some books—and a vision.

We Believe

"Nothing should stand in the way of a person working hard to get an education.

Mission & Vision

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.

The vision of the San Diego Mesa Foundation is to transform lives by supporting the educational dreams of our students and the communities we serve.

By investing in Mesa College and Mesa students, we can effect positive change in our community and transform lives.


Learn more about our purpose.

Our Purpose

Our History

In 1976, Dr. Ruth Kearn had a vision. She began selling used books outside the campus library to fund scholarships. From there, The San Diego Mesa College Foundation was formed to help connect people who were passionate about education with the opportunity to invest in Mesa College and Mesa College Students.

In 1987, the Board of Trustees of the San Diego Community College District set up a “Scholarship Challenge Grant,” awarding a matching gift of for scholarships. Dr. Allen Brooks, the president of Mesa College, used this as an opportunity to create a scholarship endowment. From there, the number of scholarships grew and the Foundation now offers over 100 scholarships, awarding nearly $160,000 each year.

Along the way, The Foundation began receiving donations of museum-quality African artwork, which was displayed in Mesa’s Learning Resource Center. Thanks to generous donors, the artwork collection grew to become the largest publically-displayed African art collection in San Diego. In 2017, it expanded to include pieces from all over the world. Now called the World Cultures Artwork Collection, it has reached over 1,200 pieces!

Today, the Foundation has grown to serve over 1,000 students a year, providing innovative learning opportunities, enrichment through the arts, support for basic needs, and scholarships.


Learn More About Our Work.

See what we do

Mesa College Values

  • Equity
  • Integrity
  • Diversity
  • Sustainability
  • Excellence
  • Accountability
  • Scholarship
  • Access
  • Respect
  • Freedom of Expression