The largest comprehensive fund-raising campaign in the 53-year history of Dabney S. Lancaster Community College passed the $4 million mark, it was announced Wednesday at a celebration gathering on the DSLCC Clifton Forge campus. The original goal of “Imagine, Invest, Inspire – The Campaign for DSLCC”, launched last September by the DSLCC Educational Foundation, was $3.5 million.
Immediately following the announcement about the success of the campaign, which ended June 30, guests in attendance contributed another $280, officially taking the campaign total to $4.1 million.
DSLCC President Dr. John Rainone noted that “Imagine, Invest, Inspire” received over 625 gifts and pledges from approximately 400 donors, including alumni, civic groups, corporations and small business, private foundations, government bodies and individuals. In addition, gifts were received from 157 new donors, which represented 40 percent of all total donors. “These new friends believe in the College, believe in what we’re doing and now join an illustrious group of long-standing supporters,” he said. Contributions were received from 100 percent of the local board, the Educational Foundation Board and the Campaign Steering Committee.
Also, said Dr. Rainone, “I am extremely proud to have over 70 percent participation from our faculty and staff, triple the national average for community college campaigns.”
“We launched Imagine, Invest, Inspire to support our student and help build futures; further our vision of excellence; advance DSLCC higher on the list of the nation’s top community colleges, and educate and train a workforce capable of growing and strengthening economic infrastructure,” said Dr. Rainone.
The campaign’s success, said Dr. Rainone, has already allowed DSLCC to:
- Award over $135,000 in scholarships to over 100 students, a 7 percent increase over the previous year;
- Launch the Dabney Promise program – with an expected $100,000 in need-based scholarships – which will provide opportunities to students in the DSLCC service area with access to higher education;
- Award $1,000 scholarships to 15 students who recently received their GEDs;
- Provide Career Coaches in five area high schools, under the Rural Virginia Horseshoe Initiative, to help students with higher education pathways;
- Launch two new successful programs, Electrical and instrumentation Technology and Sustainable Agriculture and Horticulture;
- Purchase new equipment for several programs, including forestry, EMS, welding, nursing and instrumentation;
- Secure funding to work with an agency on a comprehensive marketing plan.
“This is such an exciting day for all of us,” said Dr. Rainone. “Our foundation is now stronger, our vision is now bolder, and our potential is now greater. Thank you for helping us.”
Rachael Thompson, Educational Foundation Director, welcomed the guests and thanked all of the many donors, “… who are helping us to realize all the wonderful promise that Dabney can afford our regional community. With your avid support, we have been able to award more than 1,100 student scholarships, worth more than $1.63 million throughout the course of our history, to students right here in our region – making educational attainment a reality, building our regional workforce, and, ultimately, helping advance the local economy. The Imagine, Invest, Inspire Campaign has and will continue to build upon this success – thanks to your generosity.”
Thompson also thanked them for “[helping] us advance our mission, nearly 40 years strong, of Building Futures, Building Lives, Building Hope through educational attainment.”
Elaine Nelson, Educational Foundation Board President, expressed her thanks to the Campaign Steering Committee, as well as the donors, stating, “…your philanthropy has enabled the Foundation to contribute more than a quarter million dollars ($250,000) in College support, establishing new programs of study in in-demand fields, providing cutting-edge equipment and technology to Dabney students so that they are ahead of the curve when they enter the workforce, and launching student success initiatives to drive higher retention and graduation rates, helping our students to earn workforce credentials and degrees and contribute to our local workforce. This success story is because of you – our donors – and we are indebted to you and your generosity.”
A moment of silence was observed during the presentation to acknowledge victims of the recent flooding in West Virginia.
Thompson served as overall campaign manager; Jodi Burgess was campaign coordinator. Members of the Campaign Steering Committee were: Jack and Mitzi Hammond, honorary chairs; Ward Robens and Dave Newkirk, co-chairs; Tina Dressler and Chris Shiraki, faculty/staff co-chairs; Donna Vaughn and Michelle Crook, Botetourt County; Matt Paxton and Bob Claytor, Rockbridge county/ Lexington/Buena Vista; Teresa Hammond and Brandon Caldwell, Alleghany County/Covington; Nick Moga and Ramona Garcia, Bath County.
For more information about the DSLCC Educational Foundation, scholarships, or to make a donation, please contact Thompson at (540) 863-2837 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.