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higher education seven scholarships. The Rookers were among recipients of the 2010 Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy given by the Virginia Community College System. Last year, the college nominated Paul Duncan of Christiansburg and his son, Gary Duncan of Salem, owners of Duncan Automotive Network, for the Chancellor’s Award. Paul Duncan has endowed five scholarships to promote automotive studies, and last year the Duncans


MARCH 2015

gave the foundation 100-plus acres of land near the college’s Dublin campus. The foundation’s $11.1 million endowment ranks eighth among Virginia’s 23 community colleges. For 2014, the foundation awarded $250,000 in scholarships and managed another $250,000 in private scholarships to students, says Angie Covey, the organization’s executive director. In addition, the foundation helps support a program where the

college computer club members refurbish donated computers and give them to students who do not have computer access. The foundation received 235 applications last fall and was able to give 50 students computers and offer free upgrades and repairs to another six. The latest effort by the foundation has been to raise $75,000 to match a grant from Giles County to support the college’s first Community College Access Program (CCAP). County High School students who graduate in 2015 can attend NRCC free for two years. The students must maintain a 2.5 grade-point average and participate in a community service program. “Students also must pay for their own textbooks; we want them to have some skin in the game,” says Covey. The matching funds came from some 30 businesses, with Celanese being the largest donor. The foundation also supports events, such as the 2014 ComicCon at the library, and this year will bring in the Barter Players and music shows that include bluegrass queen Rhonda Vincent. “I love this college,” says Covey, who has been at NRCC in various positions for 22 years. She is an NRCC grad who later attended Tech as an undergraduate and as a graduate student, as many NRCC students do. The relationship with Tech also works in reverse. Since the college opened a site at New River Valley Mall in 2007, Tech and Radford University students increasingly are taking advantage of the lower community college tuition to take core courses there, says Linda Claussen, NRCC’s director of Distance Education and Off-Campus Services. She came to NRCC in summer 1977 as a Tech graduate student to help start an on-campus child-care center. The child-care facility operates on the Dublin site as part of the college’s Early Childhood Program serving 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds, with children of students and staff given priority placement. The mall site, in space previ-

Profile for Virginia Business

Roanoke Business- March 2015  

Roanoke Business- March 2015  

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