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Home > About > Where We Are > Newsroom > Community College Philanthropists Honored with 2016 Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy



MEDIA CONTACT: Jeffrey Kraus
Asst. Vice Chancellor for Public Relations
(804) 592-6767
Community College Philanthropists Honored with 2016 Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy

Richmond – More than two dozen individuals, families, and businesses from around Virginia have earned the 2016 Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy. The awards were presented at a luncheon ceremony at the Country Club of Virginia on Tuesday, April 19, 2016.

Hosted by the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education (VFCCE), the 11th annual event honors leading philanthropists from each of Virginia’s 23 community colleges as well as the statewide foundation. This year’s class of distinguished philanthropy leaders has contributed a combined total of more than $11 million dollars to Virginia’s Community Colleges.

In addition to helping community college students realize their dreams of continuing their education, keynote speaker Mike Petters, VFCCE board member and president and CEO of Huntington Ingalls Industries, said donors also play a critical role in Virginia’s workforce development efforts.

“By supporting the foundation, you support access, affordability, and student success at every one of Virginia’s Community Colleges across the state from Big Stone Gap in southwestern Virginia to Melfa on the Eastern Shore – and 21 community colleges in between.”

Graciela Billingsley, this year’s Eva T. Hardy Commonwealth Scholarship Recipient, took to the podium to thank her benefactor. 

“This scholarship – you – have truly impacted my life because in continuing my higher education at Northern Virginia Community College, I will be able to continue to learn important course work that will be the foundation to my future.”

Recipients of the 2016 Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy:

Blue Ridge Community College, Robert E. and Frances W. Plecker Family

Central Virginia Community College, Andrew H. and Anne O. Easley Trust

Dabney S. Lancaster Community College, Highlands Community Bank

Danville Community College, Gene Haas Foundation

Eastern Shore Community College, The Late Donald Trufant

Germanna Community College, Adam and Rhonda Fried

J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, Steve Esbach

John Tyler Community College,  John Randolph Foundation

Lord Fairfax Community College, Luray Caverns Corporation

Mountain Empire Community College, Kline Foundation Board of Directors                               

New River Community College, Giles County

Northern Virginia Community College,  Jack Kent Cooke Foundation

Patrick Henry Community College, Thomas P. Dalton Family

Paul D. Camp Community College, Hampton Roads Community Foundation and Dr. Deborah DiCroce

Piedmont Virginia Community College, The Perry Foundation

Rappahannock Community College,  John and Susan Moore

Southside Virginia Community College, Virginia, Maryland & Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives

Southwest Virginia Community College, The Gaynelle Lockhart Albert Family

Thomas Nelson Community College, Rotary Club of Newport News

Tidewater Community College, Barnes & Noble College

Virginia Highlands Community College, Eastman Credit Union

Virginia Western Community College, Optical Cable Corporation and Neil D. Wilkin, Jr.

Wytheville Community College, Robert “Tom” and Patty DuPuis

Virginia Foundation for Community College Education, Eva T. Hardy

About the Keynote Speaker: Mike Petters is president and CEO of Huntington Ingalls Industries, America’s largest military shipbuilding company and a provider of manufacturing, engineering and management services to the nuclear energy, oil and gas markets. Petters previously served as president of Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding and as president of Northrop Grumman’s Newport News sector. He joined Newport News Shipbuilding in 1987 in the Los Angeles-class submarine construction division.

About Virginia’s Community Colleges: Since 1966, Virginia’s Community Colleges have given everyone the opportunity to learn and develop the right skills so lives and communities are strengthened. By making higher education and workforce training available in every part of Virginia, we elevate all of Virginia. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve approximately 400,000 students each year. For more information, please visit To share a story about how community colleges change lives, visit

About the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education: Working hand in hand with Virginia’s 23 community colleges, the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education seeks to guarantee financial assistance to all students who dream of attending college. The foundation is building an endowment that is already generating interest to provide full scholarships to selected community college students; helping more Virginia foster youth pursue and complete higher education through the Great Expectations program; and leading a partnership to improve rural Virginia’s education pipeline through the Rural Virginia Horseshoe Initiative. For more information, please visit