Las Positas College receives largest gift ever

Officials with the Las Positas College Foundation on Saturday received the largest gift for the college in the college’s history.

The foundation received $6.85 million at the organization’s 14th annual “Best of the Best” event, which raises money for the college.

College founding member Barbara Mertes and her husband David, who have died, had made arrangements to give the money.

The gift was announced before 150 people at the Barbara Mertes Center for the Arts on the Las Positas College campus in Livermore.

When college spokeswoman Guisselle Nunez was asked what the second largest gift in college history was, she said the donation can’t be compared with any other gift:

“I’m sure you cannot equate it with anything.”

No one has probably given more than a few hundred thousand dollars before, she said.

The money will be used for four scholarships.

The Barbara Fracisco Mertes Memorial Scholarship Endowment will support graduating Las Positas College students who want to pursue a bachelor’s degree in the performing arts.

The Barbara and David Mertes Memorial Scholarship Endowment will support graduating Las Positas College students who pursue any major at a four-year university.

The Charles and Margaret Fracisco Memorial Scholarship is for one man and one woman who are Las Positas College basketball team members and are transferring to a four-year college or university.

The Barbara and David Mertes Memorial Scholarship Endowment (ValleyCare) will support Chabot-Las Positas Community College District students pursuing an associate of arts degree in an allied health field.

Nunez said of the Mertes’:

“They really want to move those students to the next level.”

David Mertes was a founding member of the Las Positas College Foundation and served on its board for 11 years. He and his wife spent their lives working in education.

Nunez said the gift continues the legacy of passion the Mertes had for improving the lives of others through education.