• The Miller family donates $284,943 to the DMACC Foundation to be used to create a Water Environmental Technology (WET) Program lab and classrooms on the Ankeny Campus.
  • Construction of the new lab in Bldg. 9 is expected to be completed by the start of the fall 2024 semester.
  • The DMACC WET Program's Annual Shrimp and Bingo Fundraiser raised nearly $21,400 for WET Scholarships this year.

The DMACC Foundation​ has received a major donation from the Miller family, including Tom Miller, Dick Miller, Deb Miller and John Miller, that will change the DMACC Water Environmental Tec​hnology (WET) Program.

The Miller family, which is known for its longtime service in Iowa's water industry, have donated $284,943 to create a WET lab and classrooms in an area being renovated in Building 9 at the DMACC Ankeny Campus. Construction of the new lab is expected to be completed by the start of fall 2024 semester classes. Tom Miller is the current President and Chief Executive Officer at Electric Pump Inc., succeeding his dad, Dick Miller, who served in those roles for years.

The Miller donation received wholesale enthusiasm from the DMACC community.

"DMACC's strength and success is directly related to the support we receive from great Iowans like the Miller Family," said DMACC President Rob Denson. "We are honored to have their friendship and participation in our great work, with students and businesses."

Tara Connolly, Executive Director of the DMACC Foundation, said the donation would have a great impact.

"It is a privilege to work with donors such as the Miller Family to create learning environments that train Iowa's future workforce," Connolly said. "Their gift will have a tremendous impact in Iowa's water and wastewater industry."

Craig Hennager, DMACC WET Program Chair and Lead Instructor, shared his excitement and gratitude as well.

"The Miller family and Electric Pump (EP) have been longtime supporters of the DMACC WET program by providing EP employees as teaching resources here on campus and in their facilities," Hennager said. “Their dedication and commitment, not only to us but to the industry, is tremendous."

The donation was announced during the DMACC Wet Program's Annual Shrimp and Bingo fundraiser held Aug. 26th at the DMACC FFA Enrichment Center on the College's Ankeny Campus. This marks the first time since 2019 that the fundraiser was held; its hiatus was due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Representatives from the water and wastewater treatment industry, along with DMACC President Rob Denson, DMACC employees and students in the DMACC WET Program attended the fundraiser. They enjoyed a meal of shrimp, andouille sausage, corn, potatoes, red beans and rice, corn bread and desserts while more than $4,500 worth of prizes were distributed to the winners of bingo games held throughout the evening.

"Representatives from throughout the water and wastewater industry statewide enjoy socializing and participating in the shrimp and bingo fundraiser every year," Hennager said. "It's like an industry-wide family reunion! We all can come together for a great cause and a great time."

The Shrimp and Bingo fundraising event started in 2012 with 80 people in attendance. More than 200 people attended the most recent event, which raised $51,387.46 for scholarships —​ including a $30,000 commitment from the Iowa Environmental Association (IAWEA). Since the inception of the event, hundreds of WET scholarships have been awarded to students.

"Every student receives $400 each for the fall and spring terms, and $200 for the summer term. There is no qualification other than being enrolled full-time in the program and in good academic standing," Hennager said.

The DMACC WET program is a two-year (five semesters) nationally accredited program that gives students the opportunity to earn four grade 1 credentials in Wastewater Treatment, Water Treatment, Water Distribution Systems and Wastewater Collections Systems. Additionally, DMACC offers four independent 16-week certificates in Wastewater, Water, Distribution and Collections.

“What makes the DMACC program unique is that it is one of the only accredited municipal water treat programs in the nation taking advantage all of the new technology available and offering the program with a blend of virtual, online and face-to-face instruction," Hennager said

Hennager said the heart of the program is the five required internships.The program requires on-site, workplace training in addition to advanced courses in water and wastewater technology for those seeking an entry-level position or career advancement in the industry.

There are 41 students in the DMACC WET program this semester.

The annual Shrimp and Bingo fundraiser is a collaboration between DMACC and several industry groups, including the Iowa Association of Municipal Utilities (IAMU), Iowa Association of Water Agencies (IAWA), Iowa Water Environment Association (IAWEA), Iowa Section of American Water Works Association (IA-AWWA) and the Iowa Rural Water Association (IRWA).

Planning is already underway for the next Shrimp and Bingo event to be held Sat., Aug. 24th, 2024.​

To learn more about the DMACC WET Program visit wet.dmacc.edu.


Media contacts: Craig Hennager, (515) 965-7015, or Tara Connolly, (515) 964-6447​