Virginia Western Receives $5 Million Grant For Scholarships - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

Virginia Western Receives $5 Million Grant For Scholarships

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It's the type of announcement any college or university dreams to make, but on Tuesday that honor belonged to Virginia Western Community College.

The school announced that the Horace G. Fralin Charitable Trust will donate $5 million over five years, doubling the number of scholarships Virginia Western will offer.

"All of this money will go towards scholarships and I think that's the valuable part of it," said school president Dr. Robert Sandel. "It's validation by the Fralins that Virginia Western is doing the job it needs to be doing."

At least 75 percent of the donation will go toward scholarships in STEM-H programs, which stands for science, technology, engineering, math, and healthcare.

That's music to Marty Sullivan's ears. She's a dental hygiene professor at Virginia Western.

"Wouldn't it be exciting to be able to give a student a full ride?" Sullivan asked. "We have so many students that struggle at the community college level and (this donation) is amazing."

The donation is easily the largest donation in the history of Virginia Western.

It's also the largest scholarship-specific donation in Virginia community college history.

Fralin Trust co-trustee Haywood Fralin said they chose Virginia Westerns because it is where the trust can get the biggest bang for its buck.

"Virginia Western is the school that affects most of the students in our area," Fralin said. "If we want to promote the economic development of the Roanoke Valley, we have to educate the citizens."

At least some of the new scholarships are expected to be in place for the 2013-2014 school year.