Virginia Western Community College student Greg Whiting, of Buchanan, was one of 44 Virginia community college students honored on Nov. 13 at a ceremony highlighting their scholastic achievement and success. The scholarship recipients represent the 23 colleges of Virginia’s Community Colleges.
Whiting graduated from James River High School in 2012 and is attending Virginia Western to study for an eventual degree in industrial design, or marine biology. He works part-time, and lives with his parents and younger brother. He received the Advance Auto Parts Commonwealth Legacy Scholarship.
“If I could see them face-to-face, I would definitely say thank you because it is a humongous help to offer up such generous donations in order to help me get through school,” he said.
Students from across the commonwealth who demonstrated academic excellence and a commitment to developing leadership skills comprise this year’s group of 24 Commonwealth Legacy Scholars. Each scholarship is named for a philanthropy leader who has supported Virginia’s Community Colleges.
Twenty additional scholars are also honored this year – 10 recipients of the prestigious Valley Proteins Fellowship, sponsored by Valley Proteins Inc. that provides a full year of tuition and fees plus access to leadership opportunities. Virginia Western student Lindsey Narmour, of Ferrum, was named as a 2012 Valley Proteins Fellow. She is pursuing a childhood education literacy program at the Roanoke Rescue Mission as the project for her fellowship.
“I’m really passionate about literacy, and I feel there’s really a home for an outreach program in the Roanoke Valley,” she said.
At Virginia Western, Lindsey is pursuing an Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts and plans to transfer to a four-year college to study English. Her long-term goal is to teach at the collegiate level. She’s also interested in journalism and dreams of working in broadcast radio.
“We are very proud of our Virginia Western students, and thankful to donors like Advance Auto Parts who make it possible for us to continue to provide a quality and affordable education,” said Virginia Western President Dr. Robert Sandel.
Ten additional named scholarships include two for a new scholarship program: The Godwin Society Scholarship, designed to honor former members of the State Board for Community Colleges. Both Central Virginia and New River Community Colleges awarded scholarships in the honor of former State Board members Nathanial Marshall and Gary Hancock.
Glenn DuBois, chancellor of the Virginia Community College System, in commending the 44 scholars, said “I believe that all young people should be encouraged to go to college. Our workforce, our economy, and our quality of life depend on it.”
Former Secretary of Education James W. Dyke, currently a member of the board of the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education, was a keynote speaker at the luncheon.
More than 250 students across the commonwealth have received these funds in the past four years.