Fralin receives national recognition for dedication to Virginia Western

Virginia Western Community College’s Educational Foundation announces that W. Heywood Fralin, Chairman of Medical Facilities America and co-trustee of the Horace G. Fralin Charitable Trust, has received a prestigious national Benefactor Award from the Council for Resource Development (CRD). The award was presented in recognition of the Horace G. Fralin Charitable Trust for the endowed investment of $5 million for Virginia Western STEM-H scholarships; for Fralin’s continued commitment to Virginia Western as member of the Virginia Western Educational Foundation Board; and advocacy for community college education as critical to economic development. Fralin was honored at the CRD Benefactor Awards Banquet Oct. 30, held in conjunction with the CRD Annual National Conference in Washington.

“Not only has Mr. Fralin shown true dedication to Virginia Western’s students but he also embodies the true meaning of philanthropy, ‘for the love of humanity,’ ” said Dr. Angela M. Falconetti, Virginia Western Vice President of Institutional Advancement, who nominated Fralin for the award. “Mr. Fralin is dedicated to ensuring a community college education builds the bridge between opportunity and economy for the Roanoke Region.”

One of the highest honors the organization can bestow, the CRD Benefactor Award recognizes individuals, foundations, or businesses/corporations for outstanding contributions to community colleges. The CRD Benefactor Award exemplifies the ideals of philanthropy, leadership and volunteerism in the service of community, technical and junior colleges.

“The endowed gift by the Horace G. Fralin Charitable Trust has enabled Virginia Western to indelibly impact the economic development of the Roanoke Valley and improve the quality of life for our students, now and well into the future,” said Dr. Robert H. Sandel, President of Virginia Western Community College. “The College is honored and proud to work with our benefactor and colleague in shaping a successful strategy for community success.”

The $5 million gift, pledged in 2012, is the largest single donation dedicated to scholarships in the history of the Virginia Community College System, and is one of the largest for community college scholarships in the country. To commemorate this historic support, Virginia Western’s Local Advisory Board and Educational Foundation Board of Directors agreed to name Virginia Western’s $26 million STEM-H facility, dedicated in 2013, in honor of Horace G. and Anne H. Fralin.

“Mr. Fralin’s subsequent interest, commitment and service to Virginia Western has only increased,” said Mr. J. Kenneth Randolph, President of the Virginia Western Educational Foundation Board of Directors. “Mr. Fralin has since joined the Foundation’s board, and his energetic volunteerism has resulted in board recruitment of nationally and regionally recognized business leaders, greatly enhancing and expanding the College’s reach and impact in the communities we serve.”

Fralin’s keen dedication to the Commonwealth and statewide higher education issues at large is apparent in his continuing contributions and service to Virginia Western, the VCCS and State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.

Addressing the audience of fundraisers, college presidents and engaged benefactors, Fralin said: “It’s absolutely no secret that our federal and state governments have cut budgets, making it difficult for students who are wanting and ready to go to college. Thank you for turning to philanthropy to fill that gap and make those dreams possible and thank you for making America a better place.”

CRD’s mission is to empower community colleges to succeed in securing funds that strengthen communities and ensures student success, providing members with networking, educational opportunities, and resources. Membership is open to anyone interested in the welfare of two-year colleges, and includes development officers, grant writers, foundation directors, alumni directors, college presidents, administrators and staff. Its national office is located in Silver Spring, Md.

For more information about the award, Virginia Western’s scholarship process or to learn how to establish a scholarship, contact Carole Tarrant, Coordinator of Development, at (540) 857-6281 or ctarrant@virginiawestern.edu.

Posted on November 6, 2015 in Campus News | Permalink

Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission approves $210,000 in scholarship assistance to Virginia Western

The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission has approved a $210,000 grant to the Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation to support scholarships for Franklin County students in the 2016-17 academic year. The funds will support students participating in Virginia Western’s Community College Access Program (CCAP), which provides up to two years of full-time tuition at no cost to students who meet program requirements.

In addition, Tobacco Commission scholarships will assist students seeking credential training in high-growth employment occupations such as welding and industrial machining.

The 2016-17 grant marks the fifth consecutive year of Tobacco Commission support for Virginia Western students from Franklin County. “The Tobacco Commission has focused on the need to give the young people and dislocated workers of the tobacco region assistance in preparing for a brighter future. We are fortunate to have quality community colleges to work with in this effort," said State Sen. Frank Ruff, Vice Chairman of the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission and Chairman of its Education Committee.

The Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission is a 28-member body created by the 1999 General Assembly. Its mission is the promotion of economic growth and development in tobacco-dependent communities, using proceeds of the national tobacco settlement. To date, the Commission has awarded 1,913 grants totaling more than $1 billion across the tobacco region of the Commonwealth, and has provided $309 million in indemnification payments to tobacco growers and quota holders.

For information on the Commission’s history, mission, funding programs and recent grant awards, visit www.tic.virginia.gov or call, toll-free, 1-877-807-1086.

The Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation, a nonprofit affiliated with Virginia Western Community College, raises support for CCAP through a public/private funding partnership. Since 2009, more than 1,500 Roanoke Valley students have participated in the program.

Current public high school seniors interested in CCAP for the 2016-17 academic year should contact their guidance counselor and plan to bring their parents or guardians to an informational session Dec. 1 at 6 p.m. in the Franklin County High School auditorium. The CCAP application period opens Jan. 6, 2016, and closes Feb. 29, 2016. To stay up to date on CCAP news, see www.virginiawestern.edu/ccap.
For more information about CCAP, contact program coordinator Carolyn Payne at (540) 857-7544 or cpayne@virginiawestern.edu.

Posted on October 26, 2015 in Educational Foundation | Permalink

Virginia Western names Barrett first Endowed Teaching Chair


The Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation has awarded its first Endowed Teaching Chair to Cristin Barrett, an assistant professor of mathematics at Virginia Western Community College.

Barrett is the first recipient of the Donald G. Smith Endowed Teaching Chair, an honor named for Don Smith, the retired head of Roanoke Electric Steel and a Director Emeriti of the Educational Foundation. Steel Dynamics Inc., formerly Roanoke Electric Steel, established the Chair in 2006 with a $100,000 gift to honor Smith’s longtime leadership. Smith was president of Roanoke Steel from 1985 to 2004 and worked for the company 49 years.

“I am deeply honored regarding this endowment for Virginia Western by Steel Dynamics,” Smith said. “Virginia Western continues to play a major role in our region and beyond in developing our future leaders. I am excited to learn that Professor Barrett will be the first recipient.”

The Endowed Teaching Chair is intended to honor an outstanding instructor of business administration-related coursework at Virginia Western. The honored teacher may use the funds to enhance the quality of his or her curriculum, facilities or instruction in any way he or she deems necessary. Barrett plans to lead a community lecture series in 2016 in which local business leaders discuss real-world applications of college-level math.

“So often, I’ve heard my students ask, ‘Why do I have to know this?’ ” Barrett said. “I hope our guest speakers make the connection between the math they learned in the classroom and the success they achieved in their careers.”

Barrett, a Troutville resident, grew up in Tazewell, Va., and received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics and her master’s degree in mathematics education, both from Virginia Tech. In 2004, she began teaching math at Hidden Valley High School in Roanoke. While there, she also taught as an adjunct math instructor for Virginia Western. In 2007, Barrett was hired as a full-time faculty member of the College. She has taught developmental mathematics, statistics, pre-calculus and calculus and also has served as program head of developmental mathematics.

The selection of Cristin Barrett “could not have been more appropriate, as every aspect of our steel operation -- from sales pricing, chemistry calculations, product design, tolerances and weights to invoicing and accounting -- incorporates components of math,” said T. Joe Crawford, vice president and general manager of Steel Dynamics. “There is no other discipline that has more of an impact on the operation of our business.”

Posted on October 20, 2015 in Educational Foundation | Permalink

Virginia Western to host free opening reception on Sept. 10 for unique student art exhibit

Virginia Western Community College invites the public to a free opening reception with refreshments for a unique student art exhibit that will highlight the connection between the sciences and art.
LENS: Magnifying Biology Through Art will demonstrate how creativity interplays with scientific discovery.

WHAT:         LENS: Magnifying Biology Through Art opening reception

WHEN:         5-7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015

WHERE:        Humanities Building Atrium, Virginia Western Community College (map and parking)

DETAILS:      Virginia Western and Botetourt County Schools biology and art students have conceptualized an organism's role and its impact in a larger environment through visual art. The ongoing exhibit will be open and free to the public in the Humanities Building Art Gallery (H212) from Sept. 7 – Oct. 3.

Posted on September 1, 2015 in Campus News | Permalink

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