Blue Ridge Community College received an anonymous donation of $2 million for student financial aid.
The donation was accepted by Blue Ridge’s Educational Foundation on Wednesday, and the funds will be used to support area students pursuing more than 200 degrees, diplomas and certificates at one of the college’s three campuses in Henderson and Counties. Transylvania, according to a BRCC press release.
“On behalf of the entire Blue Ridge community, I want to express our sincerest gratitude for the generosity shown by our students,” said Dr. Laura B. Leatherwood, president of Blue Ridge Community College. “A donation to a student’s education is also an investment in our community as a whole. As we continue to provide clear and affordable pathways to career success, this act of kindness will provide countless career opportunities and strengthen our workforce for many years to come.
Blue Ridge Community College says it is “committed to helping learners of all ages overcome financial barriers to their educational goals.” Alumni, community partners, corporations, private foundations, and individuals partner with the college’s Educational Foundation each year to fund scholarships. These investments allow students to learn new skills and achieve their professional goals while preparing to succeed in a rapidly growing local economy.
In the 2020-2021 academic year, the Foundation awarded nearly 300 scholarships totaling $469,000 through the college’s tuition-free Brighter Futures program. The Foundation’s total impact on the college was $1.146 million, including student aid and support for programs and initiatives, the statement said.
“This type of generous gift has a transformative effect on a student’s life and family,” said Lisa Adkins, vice president for advancement at Blue Ridge Community College. “Going to college is a life-changing event, and a scholarship empowers a student to make a change, reach their potential, and ultimately choose their future.”
The unnamed $2 million donation was the largest received so far in 2022 and since Liselotte R. Wehrheim bequeathed $1.75 million to the Foundation in 2020, according to BRCC.