Virginia Western Educational Foundation announces first recipients of new scholarships honoring late faculty

Virginia Western Community College > News from Virginia Western > Campus News > Virginia Western Educational Foundation announces first recipients of new scholarships honoring late faculty

Two Virginia Western Community College Student students are benefiting this fall from new scholarships set up in memory of beloved faculty at the college.

Colleen Morrison of Roanoke is the first recipient of the Business, Technology & Trades Annual Scholarship in honor of Deborah A. Yancey, which was named for the late dean of Business, Technology and Trades at Virginia Western. Morrison is an English/digital journalism teacher at Cave Spring High School who is seeking an associate’s degree specializing in Database and Program Development.

Laurel Shelton of Vinton is the first recipient of the Richard J. Gaynor Memorial Scholarship, which was named for the late professor of mental health technology at the College. Shelton is enrolled in the health sciences program and hopes to become a pediatric nurse practitioner.

“It is wonderful to know that the legacy of such impactful instructor-leaders will continue to better the lives of deserving students,” said Amanda Mansfield, Philanthropy Director at the Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation, a nonprofit organization affiliated with the College that raises money for and administers these scholarships.  “It is a most fitting tribute to the values both cherished most.”

Yancey’s scholarship was established by her College co-workers after her passing in 2017.  It provides $500 per semester in tuition assistance to a student enrolled in at least 6 credits in a Business, Technology & Trades program of study. Recipients must possess a minimum 2.0 GPA, and priority is given to those demonstrating financial need.

Yancey, who was presented Virginia Western’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2017, started at the College in 1996 as a student and part-time tutor. From there, she completed three associate’s degrees from Virginia Western, achieved her bachelor’s at Radford University and master’s from Averett University. She became a Virginia Western adjunct in 2003 and continued to teach until 2014, when she became dean of BTT.

Gaynor’s endowed scholarship was established after his passing in 2015 by family members, with support from colleagues and friends.  It provides $515 per semester in assistance for tuition, books and other related expenses to a student enrolled in at least 12 credits with a minimum 2.5 GPA.

Gaynor joined the faculty at Virginia Western in September 1977. During his time at the College, he served as the assistant dean for the Social Sciences division and as the program head for the Human Services program. He taught a variety of classes for that program, and was named Virginia Western’s Faculty Marshal for 2011, retiring that same year.

The Yancey and Gaynor scholarship are among 125 individual scholarship funds managed by the Virginia Western Educational Foundation. Applications for spring 2019 scholarships will be accepted from Sept. 14 to Oct. 19, 2018. To learn more and apply, visit

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