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Fall 2012


More than 655 students from Kindergarten through 12th grade participated in 63 different classes this summer in BRCC’s flagship summer youth program, Learning Can Be Fun. Learning Can Be Fun offers a hands-on approach to many topics, including art, outdoor adventures, fishing, ecology, sports, theater, creative writing, veterinary technology, and robotics, just to name a few. The BRCC Educational Foundation thanks McDonald’s APB Management and the Rudy Tucker family for supporting the Learning Can Be Fun program by providing scholarships to students. 23 students received financial need-based scholarships to attend Learning Can Be Fun this summer.

McDonald’s APB Management

BRCC Educational Foundation Board Chair Debra S. Callison Vice-Chair Thomas C. Mendez Secretary John A. Downey Treasurer Robert S. Baldygo John S. Barret Tony E. Biller Alphonso P. Boxley III Gregory W. Campbell Stephen W. Claffey

Laura Lee Conklin Denise E. (D.D.) Dawson Lawrence H. Hoover Jr. Nancy Hulings Carl G. Lind

Martha Livick Mary N. Mannix John L. Matherly Mary McDermott Stacey D. Strawn

Steven E. Stroop Don (Robin) Sullenberger III Alan J. Sweet Travis J. Tysinger Cynthia Weidner Cathleen P. Welsh

Community Link is an official publication of the Blue Ridge Community College Educational Foundation. It is distributed to friends in the Shenandoah Valley, as well as BRCC faculty and staff, and is published quarterly by the Development Office, Blue Ridge Community College, Weyers Cave, VA 24486. If you have any questions or comments regarding this publication, please contact Angie Glenn, Development Services Coordinator, at (540) 453-2307 or

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Now and Then

By Terry B. Showalter We all know what this college has done for the community. Our presidents have worked diligently, present president included, to make higher education a possibility for anyone who is desirous of learning and has the will to work hard. The proof of their success is that Blue Ridge students who satisfactorily complete their programs here are welcomed with advanced placement at just about every college and university in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Unfortunately, today many families are having to cope with higher prices for almost everything and incomes that are covering just the necessities with little room for extras, regardless of worth.

and were accepted to be in the first graduating class. Our major was music and I’m certain that Julliard and Music and Art were on a par for high school music education. One huge difference—Julliard required a hefty tuition and Music and Art was free to city resident students. All went well but the time arrived when college was the next step. Millie, that was her name, Millie’s father was an executive with the Moran Tug Boat Company. Whenever we saw an ocean liner trying to dock in the Hudson River, and we saw the big M on the smokestack of the helpful little tug, we knew that was her Dad’s company.

I want to share with you what I have experienced and learned over my many years.

By contrast, my wonderful Dad was a salesman on commission for the Stewart Warner Company selling radios. This was 1940— the Great Depression was still a significant element in family planning. My point, finally, is that Millie went to Barnard College, a private school with a high tuition. Barnard was and is the women’s college of Columbia University. It was imperative that I be admitted to Hunter College, the women’s college of New York City. If I were not accepted at Hunter, it would have been back to the costume jewelry department at Wanamaker’s, where I worked during school breaks. Thankfully, I was admitted and if I remember correctly, I paid $4.00 a semester for book rental—that’s all.

My birth was recorded in New York City in the early days of the Roaring 20’s. I grew up in the Bronx during the Great Depression and graduated from college while our country was still very much involved in World War II. Here I am—a professor emeritus at BRCC in Virginia! Will wonders never cease?

Millie and I graduated in 1944 with our degrees and went into the ‘real world’ learning how to be productive adults while World War II was still constantly in the headlines. I am confident that my Hunter diploma represents as fine an education as a Barnard diploma.

Education, I feel, is the gateway to a life of service and singular satisfaction. That does not mean you must earn a degree, but it certainly helps. The diversity of subjects and areas of concentrations are endless and the diversity of the student body is amazing!

We need this community college—our children need it and so do the parents. There are so many ways to be a partner in this wonderful adventure. Besides donating money, which is absolutely acceptable, there is the transfer of investments. These may include stocks, bonds, real estate, fine art, jewelry, automobiles, boats, buses and many types of electronics and more. You may include BRCC as a beneficiary in your will and finally the purchase of a life insurance policy naming the school as the beneficiary.

I had a chum when I was kid—we were both only children, same age, same weight (no more specifics there), same grade in school and both taking piano lessons but from different teachers. When we were ready for high school, Mayor Fiorello La Guardia was ready to introduce and launch his pet project—the High School of Music and Art. My chum and I both auditioned

Please do think long and hard, not too long, deciding what you can do and/or contribute to affirm and assure the future of this remarkable and still developing institution.

Lego Mindstorm Bootcamp Exposes Kids to Technology


The BRCC Educational Foundation solicited proposals for Innovative Instructional Technology Grants in January in order to fund new BRCC technology initiatives that were currently unfunded by other resources. More than $8,000 was awarded to successful BRCC grant writers. One award funded Lego Mindstorm summer camps in partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County (BGCHR). BRCC faculty members and grant writers Dorothy Connelly and Marlena Jarboe launched the first weeklong Lego Bootcamp in Harrisonburg this summer. Sixteen participants, ranging from 6 years old to 12 years old, had the opportunity to build Lego Mindstorm robots that could navigate terrain, communicate, and even show emotions through facial expressions. Connelly and Jarboe plan to teach BRCC students how to build and program the robots and supervise the program at BGCHR centers. Eventually, BRCC students will work directly with BGCHR students on a monthly basis as a community service project.

Meet Our New Foundation Board Members Stephen W. Claffey is the general store manager of the Waynesboro K-Mart. Steve has worked for Kmart/Sears Holding Company for over 36 years in a variety of locations. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia with a B.A. in Economics. He is a member and past president of the Staunton Augusta Rotary Club and incoming president of the Staunton Augusta Salvation Army Advisory Board. Steve and his wife Pat live in Staunton and are the proud parents of two children and one grandchild. Nancy Hulings and her husband, Tim, reside in Elkton. They are members of the Blue Ridge Vision Society, the BRCC Educational Foundation’s planned giving society. Nancy is a former member of the BRCC Women’s Resource Center advisory committee. From 2005-2007, the Hulings participated with the Peace Corps in Romania. Martha Livick has been an employee of BRCC for almost 20 years, currently working in the Houff Library. While working at BRCC and raising three children, she completed a B.S. in Management and Organizational Development at EMU. Martha is an avid promoter of the benefits of BRCC in the community. Martha and her husband, Mal, Jr., live near Grottoes. They have three grown children, all graduates of BRCC, and two grandsons. Stacey Strawn is owner of Blue Moon Galleries in Waynesboro. Stacey earned a B.A. from James Madison University and a M.A. from George Washington University. A passionate defender of small business, she was recently profiled in the Wall Street Journal. She has served on a number of boards in the community, including the Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge, the Augusta Regional Free Clinic and the Artisans Center of Virginia. Stacey lives in Augusta County with her husband and business partner, Steve, and her daughter Zoe. Steven E. Stroop is a CPA and partner with the accounting firm of Elmore Hupp & Company PLC. Steve received a B.S. in Accounting from Madison College (now JMU). Stroop is a member of the Shenandoah Valley Kiwanis Club, and has served on the board of the Staunton-Augusta YMCA and the Staunton Chamber of Commerce. He lives in Staunton with his wife, Billie Rosenberger. Cathleen P. Welsh is a shareholder at the law firm of Lenhart Obenshain in Harrisonburg, concentrating her practice in employment law for the last twenty years. Cathy received a B.A. from the College of William and Mary and a J.D. from the University of Virginia. Welsh currently serves on the Board of the Rockingham Educational Foundation, Inc.; the Board of United Way of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County; and the Vision 2020 Leadership Board. She and her husband, John, live in Rockingham County with their two children, Ally and Matthew.

W BRCC Alumni Quick Quotes


We recently asked BRCC Alumni to tell us how BRCC made a difference in their life, and we received some wonderful responses! What follows is just a sampling—watch future issues of Community Link for some great BRCC alumni success stories that showcase how your investment in BRCC changes lives. BRCC has made a tremendous difference in my life. It provided me an invaluable stepping stone to my continued education. With my success at BRCC, I was able to attain a degree at four year university. Five years after graduating from BRCC, I’m one year away from graduating from law school. BRCC provided me with the skills I needed as a student, but more importantly BRCC gave me the confidence to dream. Lisa Ohta, BRCC ‘07 I walked Mr. Jefferson’s lawn just a few days ago to receive my Bachelors in Interdisciplinary Studies, and this fall I will begin taking classes for my Masters in Speech and Language Pathology. If it were not for the flexibility and top notch academic preparation I received at BRCC, there is no way I’d be where I am today. Tiffanny Morris, BRCC ‘06 As a little girl, I dreamed of becoming a veterinarian. Unfortunately life and life’s surprises cut that dream short. When BRCC offered the distance education program for veterinary technicians, I was thrilled. I couldn’t be a vet, but I could be the best vet tech I could be. Dr. Porter and Dr. Clever were instrumental in shaping what would become my career path. I can never say enough to pay back what BRCC gave to me—a sense of purpose and a life with meaning. Barbara Gee, BRCC ‘03 BRCC played a vital role in my education. I feel that during my time at BRCC I had excellent professors that were genuinely interested in my success. If I could’ve received a four-year degree from BRCC it would have been my school of choice! Jennifer Hogge, BRCC ‘07 BRCC made a difference in my life. If it were not for BRCC’s low tuition rate, flexibility and encouragement, I would not be where I am today. I owe my success to BRCC! Penny Reardon, BRCC ‘94

Online Giving Option Available Did you know that you can make an investment in BRCC online? If you value what BRCC provides to our community, and want to help make a difference for students today, it’s as simple as going to the BRCC Educational Foundation’s homepage at, and clicking on the “Donate Now” button!

Save the Date!

Address Service Requested

April 12, 2013, 6:00 p.m., Robert E. Plecker Workforce Center

18th Annual Spring Fling Auction

October 23-26, 2012, multiple events, BRCC Weyers Cave Campus

2012 Virginia Hunger Symposium

September 27, 2012, 2 p.m., BRCC Grounds

BRCC’s 45th Anniversary Celebration

September 21, 2012, 12:00 p.m., Robert E. Plecker Workforce Center

President’s Luncheon

Blue Ridge Community College Educational Foundation, Inc. P. O. Box 80 Weyers Cave, VA 24486 (540) 453-2211

Non Profit Org. U. S. Postage and Fees Paid BRCC

Community Link Fall 2012  
Community Link Fall 2012  

Blue Ridge Community College Educational Foundation, Inc. Newsletter