The Rappahannock Community College Educational Foundation, Inc. (RCC EFI) hosted its annual scholarship program in October to honor 2017-18 scholarship recipients and donors. The event was held at Warsaw’s Cobham Park Baptist Church, a venue large enough to accommodate the expanding number of awardees, their family members, and the scholarship donors.
College President Dr. Elizabeth H. Crowther welcomed the guests and drew attention to the printed program that listed all of the 270 students who received awards for the 2017-18 academic year.
“We have gained incredible momentum in making an RCC education affordable,” said Crowther. “We have increased scholarship awards from $275,000 to $597,000 in ten years. This is an extraordinary show of support from our community businesses, civic organizations, and residents.”
President Crowther directly addressed the scholarship awardees, noting that “the local community is cheering you on as you complete your education at RCC and reach your goals.”
RCC EFI Board President and scholarship donor, Dr. Robert Gates, followed President Crowther by thanking the donors in joining him in their support of RCC students.
Scholarship recipients and donors individually stood as academic dean Dr. Matt Brent announced the awardee names and RCC EFI Executive Director Sarah Pope announced the donor names. The program ended as scholarship awardees and their family members connected with the scholarship donors for handshakes, hugs, and photographs.
Scholarship donor Deb Shelby followed the crowd into the fellowship hall to enjoy food and drink. Mrs. Shelby, a registered nurse, recently started a nursing scholarship in memory of her late husband, Dr. Mel Shelby, and in partnership with the Samaritan Group in Gloucester — an organization for which the couple had volunteered for many years. She was joined at the reception by her husband’s sisters, who traveled from out of town, and Samaritan Group case workers, Marsha Germek and Arliss Ketchum.
At the reception, the Samaritan Group entourage immediately found Janice Whitley, the recipient of the Dr. Mel Shelby Scholarship, who was attending with her husband and two-year old daughter. Janice, a second year RCC nursing student from Gloucester, was selected for the scholarship because of her demonstrated leadership in clinical work. Dr. Shelby understood clinical empathy as vital in the successful treatment of his patients over his long career as an Obstetrics/Gynecology physician.
Janice relayed to the Samaritan Group, “I’d like to become a labor and delivery nurse and eventually continue my education to nurse practitioner. Giving birth to my daughter really gave me a new perspective on how much those nurses do for mothers, especially first-time mothers. I would love to be as inspiring and helpful to another mother as my nurses were during this time.”
Marsha Germek with the Samaritan Group commented, “Meeting Janice was very meaningful to all of us. Deb had the opportunity to visit with her and share with her Mel’s contributions in the medical field, as well as her own in celebrating Mel. Mel’s sisters Millie and Dana were also present which meant so much more to know that Mel’s presence was with us.”
The scholarship application for the 2018-19 academic year is open until February 16, 2018. Students only need to complete one online application by going to: www.rappahannock.edu/scholarships to qualify for 100 different scholarships earmarked specifically for RCC students. The average award is $1,500 which covers 30% of a year’s tuition and fees.
If you are interested in learning more about how to establish a RCC EFI scholarship, go to: www.rappahannock.edu/scholarships or contact Sarah Pope, RCC EFI Executive Director firstname.lastname@example.org or 804-333-6705.