Friendship Health & Living was recently awarded the 13th Annual Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy. Virginia Western Community College nominated Friendship for its continued support of the college and its students.

More than two dozen individuals, families, and businesses from around Virginia have earned the 2018 Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy. The awards were presented at a luncheon ceremony in Richmond on Tuesday, April 17, 2018.

Hosted by the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education (VFCCE), the 13th annual event honors leading philanthropists from each of Virginia’s 23 community colleges as well as the statewide foundation. This year’s class of distinguished philanthropy leaders has contributed a combined total of $6 million dollars to Virginia’s Community Colleges.

An influential partner in education for nearly 20 years, Friendship Health & Living has worked hand in hand with Virginia Western Community College to build opportunity and construct sustainable pathways for regional student success. Friendship has clearly demonstrated its support and advocacy through its generous and ongoing programmatic, operational and in-kind donations to the Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation.

Friendship Health & Living (then Friendship Retirement Community) has invested more than $300,000 in the futures of Virginia Western students, and the advancement of healthcare in the region. By providing prominent identity for the Friendship Retirement Community RN Nursing Lab and the Friendship Retirement Community RN Simulation Lab in the Horace G. and Ann H. Fralin Center for Science and Health professions, as well as the Friendship Retirement Community Registered Nursing Scholarship, Friendship maintains a strong leadership presence at Virginia Western.

The Friendship Foundation has also been a strong proponent of Virginia Western’s Community College Access Program (CCAP), and has backed its advocacy with a CCAP2 Campaign pledge of $20,000 in 2017.

“We are honored by Virginia Western Community College for this nomination as they continue educating the nurses and workforce of tomorrow,” said Joe Hoff, President and CEO for Friendship. “It will be these students that will continue to provide the world-class service and care for which Friendship is known.”

“Friendship’s leadership in making college possible for area students, particularly those in the health professions, serves as a shining example of what can be accomplished when impact and opportunity go hand in hand,” said Dr. Robert H. Sandel, President of Virginia Western.

Keynote speaker Paul Koonce, executive vice president & president and chief executive officer with the Power Generation Group, Dominion Energy, called the community college system “one of Virginia’s greatest inventions.” He also borrowed a passage from a 1903 Teddy Roosevelt speech to underscore the invaluable connection between higher education and opportunity.

“‘Far and away, the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing. Our purpose (as donors) is to make sure that prize – meaningful work – the best prize that life offers, remains within reach of every Virginian.'”