A band saw, a drill press and $2.3 million. College celebrates largest donation ever as ‘transformative’

Maria L La Ganga:

The lucky school is Cerritos College, one of California’s 115 educational workhorses, a two-year campus where nearly two-thirds of the student body lives at or below the poverty line, 82% receive financial aid and 70% attend part time, largely so they can hold down jobs.

The program? Woodworking, vocational education at its most beautiful and sweet smelling.

The donor is the late John B. Smith Jr. of Paso Robles, Calif. Chances are you’ve never heard of him. College officials hadn’t until recently. But just consider this generous alum’s example.

No disrespect to the Ivy League or other elite institutions, but if you want your legacy to really matter, said Cerritos College President Jose Fierro, a community college bequest is the way to go.

Open the Books:

1. Ivy League payments and entitlements cost taxpayers $41.59 billion over a six-year period (FY2010-FY2015). This is equivalent to $120,000 in government monies, subsidies, & special tax treatment per undergraduate student, or $6.93 billion per year.