Dear Friends of the Fund:
We have just completed our 48th year! I wanted to take a moment to share our progress, as well as our plans for 2014-2015. The 48th Annual Meeting of the Board of Directors was held at Shoemakers in the Craddock Terry Hotel, in Lynchburg, on June 24, 2014. Following the Annual Meeting, the VCF hosted its Lynchburg Area Appreciation Luncheon at Shoemakers American Grill. Many friends, board members and supporters of the fund were able to attend. If you haven’t been to the Craddock Terry or Shoemakers, I highly recommend it. We are very thankful to those who could join us and also to our sponsors, Mr. Rick Loving, the Retail Merchants Association and MH West & Co. Rick Loving has been one of our luncheon sponsors for the last 8 years, while Debbie Montgomery, Executive Director of the Retail Merchants Association has been a sponsor for 11 years. The longevity of their support has made a lasting impact on our presence in the Lynchburg Area. MH West is a new “Friend to the Fund” and we look forward to a long relationship with them.
Overall, in 2013-14 we succeeded in our mission of “making a private, college education affordable for Virginia’s students”. The VCF raised $736,658.07 or an average of $147,331 per school. This is one of the highest returns on investment of any private college funds in the U.S. We are thankful for all of our many supporters. Please see the contributors tab for a list of our donors. We appreciate your support and more importantly so do the students who desire a college education!
As we go forward into 2014-2015 we will do so without some familiar faces. In March we lost board member Dr. Benjamin J. Lambert, III. Benny contributed to the VCF for over 20 years and for many of those years served as a board member. Benny was a local optometrist and former legislator in the Virginia House of Delegates. We also lost board member and long time benefactor Mr. Guy E. Beatty. Guy grew up in Southside Virginia but made his mark in real estate and development in the Northern Virginia market. Guy also funded the Virginia College Fund annually through both personal and corporate gifts. He was the major funder of the Will Pearson Scholarship Fund and was the first person to have his name added to the Virginia College Fund Legacy Society. We miss these two gentlemen, visionaries and supporters and will be forever grateful for their service and support. Our greatest loss, however, was losing one of our member schools. Virginia Intermont College, founded in 1884 as a two year women's college, shut its doors on May 4th and officially left the VCF on June the 24th. We are saddened by this loss, but will move forward stronger and more resilient!
Our 49th year is looking very promising! We received our first cornerstone gift for our endowment from Mr. & Mrs. Bruce Christian. We will be looking for several more cornerstone gifts to perpetuate the VCF and take us into the future. We have strong leadership on our Board of Directors, in the colleges we represent, and our wonderful supporters like you! One clear initiative is to increase our presence in Northern Virginia where twenty percent of our enrollment comes from. Finally, if we don’t say it enough, Thank You, for your support of the Virginia College Fund! Our students include 72% Virginia residents of which 71% receive some financial aid, 49% who are low to moderate income, 28% who are first generation and over 23% who come from a minority background. These, more than most, need your support to achieve their dream of a college education.
I hope to see you soon and to thank you in person for your continued support. Have a wonderful summer and know that the Virginia College Fund is very thankful for you and the organizations you represent!
James K. Dill, President