Orchid growers Andy and Mary Matsui have donated a 215-acre plot of land to Hartnell College in Salinas, Calif.
The Monterey Herald reports that the land has an estimated market value of $20 million and is the largest the community college has ever received,
“Some years ago, my parents designated a landholding to benefit the Matsui Foundation,” says Teresa Matsui, chief executive officer of Matsui Nursery. “The intent was to use the proceeds from the land to fund additional scholarships.”
But the family eventually realized that, instead of paying for more scholarships, the land itself could have a significant effect on the mission of Hartnell, so they decided to donate it.
“Hartnell is just an amazing institution that provides incredible educational resources not only for junior college students, but K-12 students in the community and also for adults who are looking at a vocational certificate,” Teresa Matsui says. “There are so many needs that Hartnell is meeting we thought Hartnell was the right place to make this donation.”
The land is now being used to grow strawberries and sits in the city’s future growth area. .
The only restriction the Matsuis placed on their gift is that the lease agreement for the existing tenants, which expires in October 2019, be respected.
“We don’t have to make the decision right away” on what to do with the land, says Hartnell President Willard Lewallen. “We have some time. There’s a lot to think about in terms of this kind of a gift. The good news is that we don’t have to rush.”
Video from KSBW-TV: