Tony Simmons

The St. Joe Community Foundation on Monday presented a pair of donations totaling $80,000 to the Florida State University Foundation for programs based at FSU Panama City. 

From left are: FSU PC Assistant Dean Elizabeth Crowe; Collegiate High School Director Debbi Whitaker;
St. Joe Community Foundation Executive Director April Wilkes; OLLI Learning Coordinator Margaret Gamble;
and FSU Foundation Director of Development for FSU PC Katie May.

The Foundation donated $50,000 for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at FSU PC/30A, and $30,000 for The Collegiate School at FSU PC.

“We really put a lot of emphasis on education in the community,” said April Wilkes, executive director of the St. Joe Community Foundation. “OLLI provides opportunities for lifelong learning for senior adults, and the Collegiate School needs a little start-up support. Education is our major pillar. We provide more than 50 percent of our funding to education. It’s integral to the growth of the community.”

OLLI at FSU PC/30A, based at the Ohana Institute in Walton County, offers educational non-credit courses as well as entertainment through classes, field trips, socials, special events and travel. For details, visit

“OLLI at FSU PC/30A is deeply appreciative of the financial support provided by the St. Joe Foundation,” said Margaret Walters Gamble, learning coordinator. “With this generous funding, we will continue to provide scholarly and exciting classes and events targeted to adults who embrace lifelong learning. Through in-person, online and experiential learning opportunities, our goal is to provide the means for adults to lead an active and intellectually stimulating ‘second half.’”  

The Collegiate School (TCS) is a laboratory charter school under the FSU PC umbrella that offers a tuition-free, rigorous college preparatory curriculum and career preparation. For details, visit

“TCS is so grateful to the St. Joe Community Foundation for its contribution to the continuing education of students in our area,” said TCS Director Debbi Whitaker. “Thanks to the Foundation’s generosity, TCS is looking forward to providing even more resources and opportunities for students from across the county. It is in the hands-on and experiential opportunities that our students truly accelerate their engagement in learning.”

The St. Joe Community Foundation, created in 1999, is a separate entity from the St. Joe Co. Its mission is to enrich the quality of life of the people who live, work and play in Northwest Florida by providing grants to 501(C)3 entities in the areas of education, environmental stewardship, healthier communities and programs that honor the cultural arts. Learn more at

Established in 1960, the FSU Foundation’s mission is to enhance the academic vision and priorities of FSU through its organized fundraising activities and funds management. Discover details at For information on giving opportunities at FSU Panama City, call Katie May, director of Development, at (850) 770-2108 or email