Roanoke — Friendship Retirement Community recently announced its support of Virginia Western Community College with a $150,000 gift to name the RN Nursing Lab and RN Simulation Lab in the Center for Science and Health Professions. The center, currently under construction, is scheduled to open for student access in the Fall Semester 2013, and house classroom and lab space for the School of Science, Math and Health Professions.

Virginia Western and the nursing program there are the perfect partner for Friendship Retirement Community,” said Russ Barksdale, Friendship Retirement Community President and CEO. “The highest quality students educated in the new center for science and health professions today will be the nurses we’re hiring tomorrow

The naming rights of the two nursing labs are the first to be granted by the Virginia Western Educational Foundation for the $26 million center. The Educational Foundation works with community organizations and businesses interested in investing in the College and the Roanoke Valley by supporting students through a variety of tuition-assistance programs. The Friendship Retirement Community donation will be administered at the discretion of the Virginia Western Educational Foundation Board of Directors, and the final decision on expenditure of the funds has not yet been made.

“An investment like that by Friendship Retirement will create additional learning opportunities for students from the entire service region,” said Dr. Robert Sandel, President of Virginia Western Community College.