Bates receives $10,000 donation for student scholarships

Posted: March 02, 2016

In a historic donation, the Kirkland-based Biella Foundation has gifted $340,000 to the state’s 34 community and technical colleges. Each college, including Bates Technical College, will receive $10,000 in the form of scholarships that can be granted to any student in any program.

“We’re hoping that a gift like this can inspire other foundations,” Joni Wolfe, spokesperson for the Biella Foundation, said. “Community colleges provide a quality education and a springboard to a four-year school or a fulfilling career.”

The founder of the Biella Foundation, a successful Seattle real-estate developer named Mart Bert, had a simple philanthropic philosophy: help those in need.  To that end, the Biella Foundation has supported organizations that help families in distress with a special emphasis on education. Additionally, they have provided financial aid to victims of disasters, the homeless, veterans, seniors and people with disabilities. Proceeds from Bert’s career completely fund the Biella Foundation.

Bates Technical College Foundation is grateful for the Biella Foundation’s significant gift,” said Kimberly Pleger, the college’s director of college relations and foundation. “We know firsthand that a scholarship can make a significant impact on a student and their ability to complete their education. Scholarships like these help reduce students’ financial burden so they can focus solely on being successful in their studies,” she said.

For more information about the Bates Technical College Foundation, call 253.680.7160, or visit

About Bates Technical College

Founded in 1940, Bates Technical College offers certificate and degree opportunities in nearly 50 career education programs, and serves approximately 3,000 career training students and 10,000 more community members annually in extended learning, distance learning, high school, and other programs. For more information, go to, or call 253.680.7000.

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