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.