For more than 15 years the Hamilton Southeastern Schools District operated the Dollars for Scholars program through Scholarship America. In the late 1990’s many community leaders including Susan Dilley and Mike Peterson encouraged the district to consider enhancing the impact. Together with Superintendent Dr. Concetta Raimondi this group formed the Hamilton Southeastern Foundation (HSEF) in July 2001. The mission of the foundation was to not only continue the Dollars for Scholars program, but also to expand into other scholarships and teacher grants.
In 2000-2001 the district had a total of 8,771 students. Today the work of the Hamilton Southeastern Schools Foundation (HSSF) serves over 21,000 students and more than 900 teachers and faculty. The Foundation is an active member of the Indiana Association of Education Foundations (INAPEF) and the National School Foundation Association (NSFA).
- 2001 Assistant District Business Manager, Matt Ruess secures 501c(3) status.
- 2002 The first dinner event is held with Senator Richard Lugar as speaker.
- 2003 Lisa Allen is hired as the first Executive Director.
- 2003 Peyton Manning speaks at the second annual Dinner Event.
- 2003 The Foundation begins awarding teacher grants.
- 2003 Dollar for Scholars officially absorbed by the Foundation.
- 2005 Hamilton Southeastern Schools Foundation Endowment is established.
- 2008 Geist Half Marathon launches and dedicates proceeds to the Foundation.
- 2009 A new name is revealed: the Hamilton Southeastern Schools Foundation (HSSF).
- 2010 HSSF invests in a multi-year fitnessgram initiative.
- 2012 The Foundation passes the $1 million milestone.
- 2012 HSSF completes a new strategic plan – revises logo, mission and vision.
- 2013 Dollars for Seniors is rebranded independent of Scholarship America.
- 2013-14 HSSF invests in HSE21 by awarding $20,000 for teacher development.
- 2014 The Hamilton Southeastern Schools Foundation Advisory Board is formed.
- 2014 HSSF aids the district in securing over $180,000 STEM funding.
- 2014 Freedom Kolb is hired as Executive Director.
- 2014 HSSF launches new web site.
- 2015 Foundation expands staff and adds Development Director.
- 2016 Grow Club (monthly giving) and Time Capsule initiatives are launched.
- 2017 Dollars for Seniors telethon program ends.
- 2017 HSSF led the grant writing effort that led to Lilly Endowment grant for $2.1 million.
- 2018 Justin Hirnisey is hired as Executive Director. Kristen Wolf joins staff as Program & Communications Manager.
- 2019 New alumni initiative – Tigers Royals Alumni Network – is launched. Lori Lambert joins staff as Foundation Administrator.