Posted on Thursday, April 17, 2014


Hunter Applewhite, Dominion Foundation

“Some things you just don’t tinker with.” – Hunter Applewhite, president of the Dominion Foundation

Dominion Foundation’s partnership with Virginia’s Community Colleges to provide student scholarships in honor of the annual class of philanthropy leaders from across the commonwealth is one of those things. “The original no-brainer,” he said.

“A bankable asset.”

“The gift that keeps on giving.”

Take your pick of slogans, but the point is clear: supporting student scholarships together with philanthropy is worth doing.

Virginia Business Higher Education Chair W. Heywood Fralin put it in perspective in his keynote remarks:

“Many believe, including myself, that the community college will be the centerpiece of economic development in each region of the commonwealth for the next several decades.” Since state funding alone won’t be enough, he said, “In today’s world, the local community college should be considered a top priority for philanthropic dollars. Where it happens, regions will thrive.”


Caitlin Carpenter, student scholarship recipient, with Chancellor Glenn DuBois (left) and philanthropist W. Heywood Fralin (right).

Fralin also represents the Horace G. Fralin Charitable Trust, which was last year’s philanthropy award winner from Virginia Western, where he continues to serve on the educational foundation board. In the fall of 2012, that trust committed the largest single scholarship donation in the Virginia Community College System with a gift of $5 million over five years. Student Caitlin Carpenter was the recipient of the Horace G. Fralin Charitable Trust Commonwealth Legacy Scholarship, given by Virginia Western, last fall. She told the group how thankful she was to receive the support of the Commonwealth Legacy Scholarship that helped make it possible to achieve her educational goals.

Twenty-four separate philanthropy leaders were honored at this week’s event.  (Pictured above, center front) Among them was Martha J. Rhoton, an ardent community college supporter and former employee who received the award for Mountain Empire Community College, where she established a scholarship in honor of her parents. Ms. Rhoton is shown above left to right with Chancellor Glenn DuBois, her personal assistant Donna McClellan; Donna Stanley, vice president for institutional advancement at MECC; and friends Mary Jane and Jim Harless.



The complete list of recipients includes:

Blue Ridge Community College – Augusta Health / Sentara RMH Medical Center
Central Virginia Community College – The Sonny Merryman Family
Dabney S. Lancaster Community College – The Alleghany Foundation
Danville Community College – LifePoint / Danville Regional Medical Center
Eastern Shore Community College – Jeff Holland
Germanna Community College – Spotsylvania County
J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College – Metropolitan Health Foundation
John Tyler Community College – The Cameron Foundation
Lord Fairfax Community College – William Holtzman
Mountain Empire Community College – Martha J. Rhoton
New River Community College – Paul and Gary Duncan
Northern Virginia Community College – Volkswagen Group of America
Patrick Henry Community College – Gary and Susan Collins
Paul D. Camp Community College – Smithfield Foods
Piedmont Virginia Community College – Julie Heyward
Rappahannock Community College – The Children of Charles and Elizabeth Ryland
Southside Virginia Community College – Halifax Regional Health System
Southwest Virginia Community College – CONSOL Energy Inc.
Thomas Nelson Community College – Sentara Healthcare
Tidewater Community College – Robert C. Nusbaum and Linda S. Laibstain
Virginia Highlands Community College – The late C. B. Hale
Virginia Western Community College – Roanoke City School Board
Wytheville Community College – Daniel Copeland
Virginia Foundation for Community College Education – Valley Proteins, Inc.'

Susan Hayden

Susan Hayden worked for Virginia's Community Colleges for 25 years in the Institutional Advancement office before retiring in December 2015. She currently is on special assignment regarding the 50th anniversary of Virginia's Community Colleges.

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