Douglas Hired as Director of Foundation Development and Alumni Relations

Redlands Community College prides itself on providing affordable education to students in all walks of life, with many financial opportunities through its Foundation. Tara Douglas, a Redlands alumna and El Reno native, filled the role of Director of Foundation Development and Alumni Relations to continue supporting these lasting efforts. 

Douglas’ background includes leading in both public services and nonprofit sectors, cultivating community partnerships and supporting these relationships to build community engagement and accomplish initiatives. Her prior experiences play into her daily roles of organizing the scholarship program, managing the Foundation’s assets and property lease agreements, and building both internal and community relationships through fundraising and supporting the college. 

“My role allows me to meet different people at different places in their lives and be a touchpoint between the greater community and the Redlands family to build mutually beneficial partnerships,” said Douglas. “Through this, I get to be at the ground floor of exciting things for both the college and the students whose lives change because of these funds.”

Established in 1977, the Redlands Community College Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that raises and invests funds to provide scholarships, grants and financial support for Redlands and its students. Thousands of dollars are awarded through more than 50 general and program-specific scholarships to students each year. 

“Having Tara as the head of the Foundation brings new life to our mission and vision of serving Redlands’ students and making higher education possible for each and every student,” said JP Fitzgerald, president of the Foundation board. “Organizing these life-changing scholarships for students is just a small way to serve El Reno and watch Redlands Community College continue to grow and thrive.”
The Foundation’s board of directors manages the organization’s assets, property and business interests, and serves as the primary fundraisers and supporters for the college and foundation, with oversight by Douglas as director.
“Serving alongside the Foundation board is encouraging, working together to support the school in these big ways,” said Douglas. “They graciously welcomed me and are actively part of our campus through their roles.”

For several years, the Foundation’s primary focus was managing and awarding numerous scholarships established in the names of family members, former faculty and staff, and community members to honor their commitment to the mission of Redlands Community College and its students. Douglas and the board are excited about the future of the Foundation and its ability to support students through these different scholarship opportunities, including a unique scholarship established with the generosity of the Frank and Judy Austin Family. The Austin Family Endowed Scholarship allows chosen students to earn an associate degree from Redlands. After graduating from Redlands, recipients can choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree at a public, in-state university for an additional two years through the scholarship, helping with tuition, fees, course materials and housing. 

The Austin Family Endowed Scholarship program was established in 2021 as a way to continue the generous legacy of the Austin family and to provide opportunities for Redlands students in remembrance of the positive impact the college had on the Austins’ son. The over 1,200-acre farmland that belonged to the Austin family was also donated to the Foundation to continue the growth of agriculture studies and to ensure that farmers are able to continue cultivating and preserving the land. 

“The Foundation serves Redlands and our students in such a unique way, and it is encouraging to see all the ways our campus benefits from the Foundation,” said Redlands President Jack Bryant. “We are so appreciative of the support we’ve received over the years from area businesses, alumni and families seeking to honor family members through scholarship programs. These donation efforts of our community and the compassionate history of families such as the Austins allow so many opportunities for our past, present and future students.” 

In addition to the scholarship program, the Foundation raised funds to help launch the college’s eSports program, and each year the organization sponsors an outstanding Redlands student selected to attend the George and Donna Nigh Leadership Scholarship Academy.

The Foundation’s scholarship application opens November 1 and closes March 1. For more information, visit