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Student receives first Cabell Brand Center scholarship

The Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation is proud to announce the first recipient of a new scholarship that supports students completing academic internships.

Megan Perdue of Glade Hill is the first student to receive the Cabell Brand Center Gap Scholarship, which is named for the late Cabell Brand, a Salem businessman, philanthropist and longtime supporter of Virginia Western.

Perdue, a Franklin County High School graduate, will complete her internship this summer at the Booker T. Washington National Monument in Hardy. After graduating from Virginia Western in May, Perdue will transfer to William & Mary and complete her bachelor’s degree in history. Perdue also is a Valley Proteins Fellow, participating in a prestigious scholarship program administered by the Virginia Community College System.

The Cabell Brand Center initiated the endowed scholarship in 2016 with a $60,000 gift to the Educational Foundation. Recipients receive financial assistance as they complete academic internships at nonprofit or public entities that support the Center’s mission of addressing poverty, peace and the environment.

Perdue previously volunteered for five years at the Booker T. Washington National Monument, an experience she said inspired her ambition to one day teach history. As an intern she will help with everyday operations of the park, with water quality testing in the park’s creek, the park’s annual Juneteenth Event, and help with living history interpretation. She also will assist with the Junior Ranger Programs and with the development operation of the park’s first ever ECO-Camp.

“It is such an honor for the Cabell Brand Center to continue Cabell’s philanthropy by helping young people pursue their dreams and change the world for the better,” said Steve Sunderman, President of the nonprofit Cabell Brand Center.

The mission of the Cabell Brand Center is to inspire social responsibility and global citizenship through knowledge and active engagement.  It executes this mission by hosting informative public events, collaborative projects for both local and global action, supporting students who aspire to make a difference with their career or service activities through our scholarship program, and generating scientific publications to contribute to the advancement of science and the public good. To learn more, visit www.cabellbrandcenter.org.

A native of Salem, Cabell Brand was a leading businessman and philanthropist in the Roanoke region. After graduating from Virginia Military Institute and serving in World War II, he took over his family’s shoe company and built it into a massive business known as Stuart McGuire before selling it to the Home Shopping Network. Brand founded Total Action Against Poverty, now known as Total Action for Progress, and helped create one of the first Head Start preschool programs in the country, among many other achievements. Brand was the author of the 2008 book, “If Not Me, Then Who?,” in which he provides guidance on how individuals may contribute to poverty, peace and environmental issues in America.

The Cabell Brand Gap Scholarship represents the Educational Foundation’s first effort to specifically support students as they complete academic – and often unpaid – internships. The scholarship is intended to provide financial assistance and spur students’ interest in a career of public service.

For more information on the Cabell Brand Gap Scholarship, contact the Hall Associates Career Center, (540) 857-7298 or careercenter@virginiawestern.edu.  Applications are accepted year-round for fall, spring and summer internships.

Macfarlanes honored for support of VWCC

The Honorable J. Granger and Mrs. Anne Macfarlane of Roanoke, have received the 12th Annual Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy. The Macfarlanes were nominated for the award by Virginia Western Community College. The award was given at a luncheon ceremony at the Country Club of Virginia on Tuesday, April 18.

Hosted by the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education, this 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 more than $10 million dollars to Virginia’s Community Colleges.

Mr. Macfarlane currently serves Virginia Western Community College as member of the Local Advisory Board and Finance Committee of the Local Advisory Board. MacFarlane has been the President and Owner of Eastern Motor Inns, Inc. since 1971. He serves as Managing Director of the Virginia Eastern Company, L.L.C. in Roanoke and has been a Director of RADVA Corp. since 1977. Macfarlane served as a Member of the Virginia Senate from 1984 to 1991.

“We are fortunate at Virginia Western to benefit from having someone on our Local Advisory Board with the valuable insight and perspective Granger holds on so many important issues,” said Dr. Robert H. Sandel, President of Virginia Western. “He is a class act, and a wonderful ambassador for Virginia Western.”

In addition to his leadership and guidance, Mr. Macfarlane and Mrs. Macfarlane have supported the Virginia Western Educational Foundation with an annual scholarship to provide students of the hotel, restaurant, management degree program with financial assistance for tuition and textbooks. They have also established an endowment to benefit the students of Virginia Western Community College’s Community College Access Program (CCAP).

Chancellor Glenn DuBois expressed his gratitude in his address to the crowd on Tuesday. “You are difference-makers. You are opportunity-creators. We thank you, not just for the dollars donated, but for the standard of leadership you represent. Your example motivates and challenges us all to do more to ensure that opportunity is there for those who come next.”

Keynote speaker John O. “Dubby” Wynne, chairman of GO Virginia and Reinvent Hampton Roads, said he was honored to be a part of the event and he emphasized the generous donations he and others have made are having a positive impact on the communities Virginia’s Community Colleges serve. “In many instances, your gifts are the difference between average or good and excellent in student performance,” he observed.

Wynne also issued an appeal to members of the audience to increase their level of support to help train and educate Virginia’s workforce for economic growth.

VWCC presents Community College Impact Award to the family of Joan F. Brenner

The Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation presented the 2017 Community College Impact Award to the Estate of Joan F. Brenner, in recognition of her Legacy Society gift of $50,000 in support of student scholarships. The award was presented March 22 at the Educational Foundation’s Annual Awards Ceremony.

One of the highest honors the College can bestow, the Community College Impact Award serves to recognize significant philanthropic and community support by individuals, corporations or organizations that will provide perpetuating benefits for Virginia Western, its students and the region at large.

A lifelong Roanoke resident and graduate of Jefferson High School, Joan Falkenstein Brenner passed away at the age of 73 on May 30, 2016, after a courageous battle with declining health. Mrs. Brenner was the widow of Bruce Brenner, her husband of 50 years and owner of the family business, Cycle Systems Inc. Her estate is represented by her three sons: Scott Brenner of Scottsdale, Ariz., Jay Brenner of Virginia Beach and Neal Brenner of Roanoke.

Mrs. Brenner’s Legacy Society gift reflects a lifetime of commitment and generosity to her community and her family.

“My mother felt it was extremely important that all of us find ways to contribute to the Roanoke community to ensure its long-term growth,” said her son, Scott Brenner. “This is especially the case for Virginia Western Community College, where both she and my dad saw the importance of an educational institution that offered a variety of services beyond the classroom.”

A lifelong member of Beth Israel Synagogue and Temple Emanuel, Mrs. Brenner demonstrated an indefatigable commitment to the Roanoke Jewish community and the tenets of Judaism. Whether welcoming new members, preparing meals, or serving the Beth Israel Sisterhood, she provided leadership and support whenever and however necessary.

Her strong sense of civic responsibility wasn’t limited to her own religious community. She volunteered for Planned Parenthood, the American Heart Association, served on the boards of Carilion Children’s Hospital and the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, and charitably supported Virginia Western Community College, The Taubman Art Museum, and CHIPS of Roanoke, among others.  A world traveler, Joan was a multidimensional woman who fulfilled an active curiosity with diverse hobbies and interests, including gourmet cooking, opera, avid participation in book and investment clubs, and walks on the Roanoke Greenway.

Virginia Western’s Legacy Society pays tribute to those who have named the Foundation as a beneficiary of a planned gift.

“Joan was an inspirational human being,” said Dr. Robert H. Sandel, President of Virginia Western Community College. “Her dedication to Virginia Western and her benevolent foresight in planning for the educational enrichment of our students is a remarkable and indelible gift to the community.  So many lives will be forever changed by her legacy.”

For more information about the Foundation’s annual Community Impact Award or Virginia Western’s Legacy Society, contact Donor Relations Coordinator Amanda Mansfield at amansfield@virginiawestern.edu or 540-857-6962.