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Annual Awards Ceremony for Wednesday cancelled due to expected inclement weather

Due to expected inclement weather, the Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation has cancelled the Annual Awards Ceremony, scheduled for March 21, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. We send our congratulations to our scholarship recipients and their families, and our deepest appreciation to the individuals, corporations and foundations that make college possible and build a strong and vibrant region. There is not an alternate date for 2018; we look forward to celebrating again in 2019.

Delta Dental provides support to RAMP

Delta Dental of Virginia has contributed $30,000 to the Regional Acceleration and Mentoring Program (RAMP) to support innovation and entrepreneurship in the Roanoke and New River valleys.

The funding will help pay for expenses and programs at the RAMP’s headquarters  at 709 S. Jefferson St. in downtown Roanoke.

“Delta Dental is Virginia’s largest dental benefits company, and we are constantly investing in ways to remain on the forefront of technology when it comes to serving our customers,” said Frank Lucia, president and CEO of Delta Dental of Virginia. “Being headquartered in Roanoke, we are committed to supporting innovation in our growing technology and health sciences industries. We believe this investment will support our emerging startup culture and attract and retain talent in the region.”

RAMP’s mission is to help high-potential startups expand and create jobs in the science, technology, engineering, mathematics and health (STEM-H) fields throughout the Roanoke-Blacksburg region. Partners in the initiative include the City of Roanoke, which renovated RAMP’s home in the historic Gill Memorial Hospital building; the Roanoke-Blacksburg Technology Council (RBTC), which recruits RAMP participants and provides them mentorship and networking opportunities; and Virginia Western Community College, which provides on-site business education training.

“We are deeply appreciative for Delta Dental’s pledge to innovation and entrepreneurship,” added Robert McAden, president and CEO of the RBTC. “Supporters like Delta Dental understand that our success is about planting the seeds. If we want the region to grow, we need to foster entrepreneurship. Growing business is important, because those businesses eventually become customers. We need a thriving startup culture to grow.”

As part of the contribution, one of the rooms in the RAMP building will be named after Delta Dental of Virginia.

RAMP participants, called cohort companies, are selected every year for the opportunity to benefit from a mentoring program, networking opportunities, business education and access to capital. Applications are being accepted for the next cohort. The companies will be announced at RBTC’s TechNite awards gala on May 3.

Warner Memorial Scholarship makes difference for nursing student

The Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation is proud to announce the first recipient of the Michael E. Warner Memorial Scholarship, which was established in honor of a longtime member of its Board of Directors.

The scholarship was initiated by Roanoke businessman Geoffrey M. Ottaway, who sought to honor his friendship with Warner after he passed away in 2013. In subsequent years, the Warner family and the Educational Foundation hosted a golf tournament at Hunting Hills Country Club that benefited the scholarship fund.

Erika Buck of Roanoke was named the first recipient of the Warner scholarship, which covers all costs for tuition, books and other related fees for a full-time student with a minimum 3.0 GPA enrolled in and pursuing a degree in Nursing or certificate in Practical Nursing at Virginia Western. Buck is pursuing an Associate of Applied Science Nursing (RN) degree and maintains a 3.89 GPA.

A nontraditional student, Buck worked as a phlebotomist full time while attended the College to complete her nursing program prerequisites. Her goal is to go on to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing and ultimately specialize as a critical care nurse.

“Thanks to this scholarship, I’m one step closer to achieving my goal,” Buck said. “I’m excited to finish and become a nurse.”

Warner’s widow, Carolyn, said the scholarship honors the healthcare workers who assisted her husband when he became ill. “I was so taken with the nurses who took care of my husband,” she said. “I think Mike would be happy, too, knowing that this scholarship was now available.”