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.

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