New endowed scholarship supports student internships, honors legacy of Cabell Brand

The Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation is proud to announce the establishment of an endowed scholarship to honor the late Cabell Brand, a Salem businessman and philanthropist.

Brand, who died in 2015 at age 91, was a longtime supporter of higher education through The Cabell Brand Center, which initiated the scholarship at Virginia Western with a $60,000 gift. Students who receive the Cabell Brand Gap Scholarship will receive financial assistance as they complete academic internships at nonprofit or public entities that support the Center’s mission of addressing poverty, peace and the environment.

“Cabell called on us all to serve our communities as engaged and socially responsible citizens,” said Steve Sunderman, President of the nonprofit Cabell Brand Center. “By funding this scholarship, we are honoring his relentless passion for learning and public service.”

A native of Salem, Brand was a leading businessman and philanthropist in the Roanoke region. After graduating from Virginia Military Institute and serving in World War II, he took over his family’s shoe company and built it into a massive business known as Stuart McGuire before selling it to the Home Shopping Network. Brand founded Total Action Against Poverty, now known as Total Action for Progress, and helped create one of the first Head Start preschool programs in the country, among many other achievements. Brand was the author of the 2008 book, “If Not Me, Then Who?,” in which he provides guidance on how individuals may contribute to poverty, peace and environmental issues in America.

The Cabell Brand Gap Scholarship represents the Educational Foundation’s first effort to specifically support students as they complete academic – and often unpaid – internships.

“Nearly 80 percent of our students work to help support themselves,” said Dr. Angela M. Garcia Falconetti, Executive Director of the Educational Foundation and the College’s Vice President of Institutional Advancement. “While they would like to take advantage of important career internships, they simply can’t afford to go without an income. This scholarship is intended to bridge that financial gap and spur their interest in a career of public service.”

Dr. Robert H. Sandel, the College’s President, said the scholarship would address a need in the business community. “Employers are looking for graduates who have real-world experience,” he said. “I believe Cabell would be happy to know that his legacy will be honored in this important and enduring manner.”

For more information on the Cabell Brand Gap Scholarship, contact Rhonda Perdue, Coordinator of Career Services, at rperdue@virginiawestern.edu or (540) 857- 6325. The deadline to apply for a Summer 2016 Brand scholarship is March 16.

Posted on February 11, 2016 in Educational Foundation | Permalink

Virginia Western 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award Call for Nominations

The Virginia Western Educational Foundation and the Virginia Western Alumni Association are calling for nominations for the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award. The annual recipient or recipients will receive the award at a special Scholarship Awards Ceremony April 6, and a plaque will be placed on the Virginia Western Distinguished Alumni Wall outside Whitman Theater.

For many, the road to lifetime achievement started at Virginia Western Community College. The Virginia Western Alumni Association established the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2006 to recognize those alumni who have achieved outstanding success and made a lasting impact on their community. The prestigious award is intended to showcase the diversity of Virginia Western graduates and their range of influence on our region.

The 2015 Distinguished Alumni honoree was Deborah A. Yancey (’97 and ’98), Dean of Business, Technology and Trades at Virginia Western Community College.

Prior honorees include:  

2014 - Chief Craig S. Harris ’00 and J. David Wine ’73

2013 - Cheryl Cunningham ’86

2012 - Anne Hogan ’76

2011 - Carolyn Webster ’81

2010 - Russell H. Ellis ’80

2009 - Shirl D. Lamanca ’75 and Dennis R. Cronk ’72

2008 - Donna L. Mitchell ’81

2007 - Dr. Kent A. Murphy and Charlotte C. Tyson ’84

2006 - John B. Williamson III ’75

Anne Hogan (’76), serves as chairwoman of the Alumni Association. The Association fosters a mutually beneficial relationship and interaction between the College, its alumni, and the community; connecting with the college community to recognize and foster the diverse talents and successes of Virginia Western graduates.

Distinguished Alumni Eligibility requirements:

To be eligible for nomination, the candidate must:

  • Be a graduate of or have completed a minimum of two semesters at Virginia Western Community College.
  • Have attained extraordinary distinction and success in his or her profession or life.
  • Be a person of such integrity and stature that the College will take pride in his or her recognition.
  • Have attained regional, statewide or national prominence and significant involvement in civic, cultural or charitable affairs.

How to nominate:

Anyone may nominate a Virginia Western Community College alumna/us or former student for this award by completing a nomination form. This form can be submitted online or downloaded from the College’s website at www.virginiawestern.edu/alumni. Two letters of reference are also required.


Nominations must be received by Feb. 26, 2016.

For more information, contact Amanda Mansfield, Donor Relations Coordinator, Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation, at amansfield@virginiawestern.edu or (540) 857-6962.


Posted on January 29, 2016 in Educational Foundation | Permalink

Steger to serve as Chairman of Virginia Western Educational Foundation

Dr. Charles W. Steger, President Emeritus of Virginia Tech, has been named Chairman of the Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation Board of Directors for 2016.

Steger joins other local leaders serving as officers of the Educational Foundation: Neil D. Wilkin Jr., Vice Chairman; Dr. Bertram Spetzler, Secretary; William J. Farrell II, Treasurer; and J. Kenneth Randolph, Immediate Past-President. Dr. Robert H. Sandel, president of Virginia Western, and Gerald Burgess, Local Advisory Board Chairman, round out the Board leadership.

The Board of Directors guides the Educational Foundation’s mission of supporting student scholarships, faculty development and capital projects at Virginia Western. Board members have been the driving force behind Virginia Western’s Community College Access Program (CCAP), a successful public-private partnership that provides up to two years of tuition to eligible students.

“Our board members, led by Dr. Steger, are committed to building Virginia Western into a leader of regional economic development,”  said Dr. Angela M. Garcia Falconetti, Executive Director of the Educational Foundation and Vice President of Institutional Advancement at Virginia Western. “Their support is critical as the College approaches its 50th anniversary and makes plans for further expansion.”

Existing at-large members of the Educational Foundation Board are: Nancy Agee, Glen C. Combs, Nick Conte, Steve Cronemeyer, Warner Dalhouse, David Dantzler, Tammy Moss Finley, Byron Randolph Foley, W. Heywood Fralin, J. Spencer Frantz, Edwin C. Hall, Leon P. Harris, Jeffrey A. Marks, Drew Parker, Tom M. Robertson Jr., Garnett E. Smith, Nicholas F. Taubman, J. David Wine and Barton J. Wilner.

Posted on December 15, 2015 in Educational Foundation | Permalink

Latest edition of ‘Impact’ magazine highlights Virginia Western donors and new scholarships

The Winter 2016 edition of "Impact," a magazine and annual report published by the Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation, is now available here online.

If you would like a print copy or more information, contact Carole Tarrant, Coordinator of Development, at ctarrant@virginiawestern.edu or (540) 857-6281.


Posted on November 23, 2015 in Educational Foundation | Permalink

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