Posted on Monday, April 17, 2017

FOUNDATION SPOTLIGHT: Philanthropy Luncheon

Each April, Virginia’s Community Colleges honor leading philanthropists from each of our 23 community colleges and the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education (VFCCE) at a special luncheon in Richmond. Created in 2006, The Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy recognizes outstanding contributions made to the growth and development of Virginia’s Community Colleges and their respective foundations. Recipients of this award believe in the importance of education and are committed to improving the lives of the people in their community.

Chancellor DuBois expressed his gratitude in his address to the crowd. “You are difference-makers. You are opportunity-creators. We thank you, not just for the dollars donated, but for the standard of leadership you represent. Your example motivates and challenges us all to do more to ensure that opportunity is there for those who come next.”

Instead of a plaque to hang on the wall, each of the 2017 Leaders in Philanthropy was honored with a one-year scholarship in their name that will cover tuition or one student at their college, thanks to Wells Fargo, our longtime partner who makes the scholarships possible. The scholarships will be awarded in the academic year that begins in the fall.

As an example of the excellence in this year’s class of Leadership in Philanthropy recipients, let us introduce you to Dr. Dorothy Cosby Cooke, the recipient from Rappahannock Community College. According to RCC president, Elizabeth (Sissy) Crowther:

Dr. Cooke has been committed to the success of Rappahannock Community College (RCC) students for many decades, first as the Director of Student Services and then as a tireless volunteer, who created a scholarship endowment that will allow hundreds of future students to access higher education at RCC. Dr. Cooke may have retired as an employee of RCC, but she has never retired from helping the college fulfill its mission. She is an incredible spokesperson in our community. Her advocacy and hard work resulted in the establishment of an endowment and an extraordinary legacy gift to that fund from her neighbor Eldridge Cook. Dr. Cooke and Mr. Eldridge Cook are role models to a younger generation of students from our rural region of the commonwealth.”

Below is a list of all of the 2017 Leadership in Philanthropy recipients. To read about each one, click here.

Blue Ridge: Zane D. Showker Family

Central Virginia: BWX Technologies, Inc.

Dabney S. Lancaster: Bill and Lang Wilson

Danville: Danville Regional Foundation

Eastern Shore: William H. Bannon

Germanna: Connie Kincheloe

J. Sargeant Reynolds: The Perry Family & VAMAC, Inc.

John Tyler: Altria Group 

Lord Fairfax: PATH Foundation

Mountain Empire: Joe Fuller

New River: Tracy and Sarah Wilkins

Northern Virginia: Edward and Marilynn Bersoff

Patrick Henry: Eastman Chemical Company

Paul D. Camp: Herbert W. DeGroft                       

Piedmont: David Whitcomb

Rappahannock: Dorothy Cosby Cooke

Southside Virginia: Fluor                     

Southwest Virginia: James R. “Jim” Lindsey Family

Thomas Nelson: Jay and Marguerite Brown

Tidewater: Hampton Roads Community Foundation              

Virginia Highlands: Jones and Associates Realty

Virginia Western: J. Granger and Anne Macfarlane

Wytheville: Anne B. Vaughan

VFCCE: Michael and Wendy Smith

Congratulations and thank you to the recipients whose support allows VCCS colleges to do more, serve more and be more for the families and businesses that count on us the most.'

Laura Osberger

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