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Educational Foundation announces two new board members

Virginia Western Educational Foundation announces
two new members join Board of Directors

Joseph M. Hoff and Mark R. Pace have joined the Board of Directors of the Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation.

Hoff is President and Chief Executive Officer of Friendship Health & Living and a member of the Educational Foundation’s Finance and Foundation Grants Committee. Pace is President of E.C. Pace Company Inc. and a member of the Development Committee.

The volunteer Board of Directors guides the Educational Foundation’s mission of supporting student scholarships, faculty development and endowment initiatives at Virginia Western. Board members have been the driving force behind Virginia Western’s Community College Access Program (CCAP), a successful public-private partnership that provides up to three years of tuition to eligible students.

Educational Foundation requests nominations for distinguished alumni

For many individuals, the road to lifetime achievement started at Virginia Western Community College.  The Virginia Western Alumni Association established the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2006 to recognize those alumni who have achieved outstanding success and made a lasting impact on their community. The award highlights the diversity of Virginia Western graduates and their impact on the community.

The 2018 Distinguished Alumni honoree was Elizabeth Testerman, a highly regarded mentor, Human Resources leader at AEP, and advocate for women in STEM. 

Anne Hogan (’76), a previous honoree, serves as chairwoman of the Virginia Western Alumni Association.

Eligibility requirements:

To be eligible for nomination, the candidate must:

  • Be a graduate of or have completed a minimum of two semesters at Virginia Western Community College.
  • Have attained extraordinary distinction and success in his or her profession or life.
  • Be a person of such integrity and stature that the College will take pride in his or her recognition.
  • Have attained regional, statewide or national prominence and significant involvement in civic, cultural or charitable affairs.

How to nominate:

Anyone may nominate a Virginia Western Community College alumna/us or former student for this award by completing a nomination form.  This form can be submitted online or downloaded from the College’s website at virginiawestern.edu/alumni:

Distinguished Alumni Nomination Form 2019 – PDF

Distinguished Alumni Form 2019 – Online

Two letters of reference are also required.

Deadline: Nominations must be received by Feb. 28, 2019.

For more information, contact Amanda Mansfield, Philanthropy Director, Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation, at amansfield@virginiawestern.edu or (540) 857-6962.

Virginia Western dedicates Maury and Sheila Strauss Family Student Life Center

ROANOKE – Virginia Western Community College dedicated the Maury and Sheila Strauss Family Student Life Center on Friday in recognition of the philanthropic leadership of the Strauss Family. Maury Strauss, a Roanoke business leader and founder of the Strauss Development Corp., donated $1 million to the Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation to support innovative initiatives to support students and the region’s economic development.

“We are honored to celebrate the dedicated student opportunity bolstered by the vision of the Strauss’ philanthropy,” said Dr. Robert H. Sandel, President of Virginia Western. “Their support will make a true difference in our students’ lives and will help drive a strong future not only for Virginia Western but for our local community as well.”

The $1 million gift from the Strauss Family launches the public phase of the Virginia Western Educational Foundation’s unrestricted endowment campaign. The initiative is called the Virginia Western Forward Endowment Fund, a vision of Dr. Charles W. Steger Jr., in honor of the Foundation’s late Board of Directors Chairman and President of Virginia Tech.

“Charles believed fully in the role of the community college to change lives and to serve as a catalyst for regional economic growth,” said Neil D. Wilkin Jr., Chairman of the Foundation Board of Directors and President & CEO of Optical Cable Corporation. “This permanent endowment will enable Virginia Western to do just that – to flexibly pioneer opportunities in academic instruction and career training, financial aid in the form of scholarships, equipment, workforce development and more.”

While relatively rare nationally among community colleges, unrestricted endowments are known for being impactful. The Foundation’s goal is to raise $15 million and with the Strauss donation, it has identified gifts in excess of $4 million already.

“The Strauss Family’s $1 million naming gift drives our endowment plans forward,” said W. Heywood Fralin, member of the Foundation Board of Directors and Chairman of Medical Facilities of America. “I encourage those here and in our communities to follow their example in paving the way to a brighter future by engaging in their own philanthropy and by reaching out to others to help us move Virginia Western Forward.”