23 January, 2017
Anniston business Acker Electric Co. Inc. has donated $30,000 to the Gadsden State Community College’s Cardinal Foundation for a scholarship fund to benefit current and potential students in the Electrical Engineering Technology Program.
The scholarship fund is named in memory of Gerald Acker, who passed away in July. The Anniston businessman’s family requested donations to the fund in lieu of flowers.
Gerald Acker founded Acker Electric Company almost 60 years ago.
“He believed in serving the community, serving customers and serving employees,” said his son, Aaron Acker. “And, he believed in Gadsden State.”
Gerald Acker has a long history with the College beginning after World War II when he attended Alabama Technical College. ATC is the oldest technical college in the southeast and is now known as Gadsden State’s East Broad Campus. He also worked closely with Gadsden State’s Ayers Campus in support of its Electrical Engineering Technology Program.
“He believed in technical education and training and benefitted from it, both in himself and in the employees who were improved by it,” Aaron Acker said.
He wants his father’s legacy to live on by providing educational opportunities that will improve the lives of others. That’s the reason the family decided to donate $30,000 in addition to the memorials.
“He taught me – and everyone around him – so much and led by example every single day,” he said. “My father wanted to help other people be better people, not just be better electricians. He invested in people. He wanted to help others have better lives and to be better people. If there is one thing about him I hope to emulate, that would be it. And, I could not thank him enough for teaching that to me.”
The Cardinal Foundation will begin taking applications this spring for students interested in attending during the summer semester.
“Acker Electric Co.’s donation to Gadsden State could not have come at a better time when there is an economic forecast where the employment of electricians is projected to grow 14 percent by 2024,” said Brian Snell, president of the Cardinal Foundation. “This is much faster than the average for all occupations with a projected rate of pay of $36,000. Educating and developing skilled electricians is so important to our economy.”
Snell said the Cardinal Foundation Board of Directors is appreciative of the Acker family’s donation.
“The Acker family is not only a generous donor but loyal friends to Gadsden State and its mission,” he said.
To learn more about the Cardinal Foundation, go to www.gadsdenstate.edu/foundation/home.
Acker Electric Company Inc. is a full-service electrical contractor in Calhoun County with work ranging from new construction, building improvements and maintenance projects as well as service work.