Businessman and Kilgore College alumnus Mike Clements has given $630,000 to the Kilgore College Foundation to create 40 student scholarships, college officials announced Wednesday.
The new scholarships are available through the KC Foundation, providing financial assistance to students in need.
Clements, owner of Energy Weldfab in White Oak, has a long partnership with the college that began in 1974 when he met his now-late wife, Amy, while attending classes at Kilgore.
“I’m blessed to be in a situation where I am able to give back to change students’ lives, one student at a time,” Clements said.
Energy Weldfab’s success has been a tool that has allowed Clements to support and give generously to charities and organizations that serve local communities, according to college officials.
“We are beyond grateful to Mike for this gift,” said Brenda Kays, Kilgore College president. “His generous and selfless gifts allow countless students the opportunity to attend college who otherwise might not have been able to. The legacy he is creating increases access to college for generations of students to come.”
In the early 2000s, Clements and his wife collaborated with Kilgore College programs to begin what college officials called a tremendous relationship between his family and the college.
“Mike and his late wife, Amy, are proof of the success we hope the Kilgore College experience will engender in all of our students and the example set by this magnificent gift will hopefully inspire others to give back,” said Ken Raney, president of the KC Foundation. “We are proud of you and we are grateful.”
In 2018, Clements donated $45,000 to endow three Kilgore College culinary arts student scholarships in memory of his wife.
At the time, Clements said the college’s Culinary Arts Program held a special place in his heart because his daughter-in-law, Kate Clements of Longview, was a student in the program.
The Clementses also donated $25,000 in 2016 to spearhead the construction of the college’s softball complex, The Ballpark at KC Commons.