Northern Neck Electric Cooperative honored with Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy

nnec group

At the 13th Annual Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy event, Northern Neck Electric Cooperative was honored for their contributions to higher education for the Northern Neck region. Among those who were on hand to receive the award were (front row left to right) Marty Mothershead with Greg and Cheryl White (of NNEC), Sarah Pope (of RCC), Beverly Gates (RCC Foundation) and (back left to right) VCCS Chancellor Glenn DuBois, RCC President Dr. Elizabeth Hinton Crowther, Rusty Brown, Jay Garner and Richard McClendon (of the NNEC), and Rob Gates (RCC Foundation).

Northern Neck Electric Cooperative (NNEC), headquartered in Warsaw, Virginia, has received the 13th Annual Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy. NNEC was nominated for the award by Rappahannock Community College (RCC).

More than two dozen individuals, families, and businesses from around Virginia have earned the 2018 Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy. The awards were presented at a luncheon ceremony in Richmond on Tuesday, April 17, 2018. Hosted by the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education (VFCCE), the 13th annual event honors leading philanthropists from each of Virginia’s 23 community colleges as well as the statewide foundation.

This year’s class of distinguished philanthropy leaders has contributed a combined total of 6 million dollars to Virginia’s Community Colleges.

NNEC is committed to enhancing the value of member ownership; providing safe, reliable, affordable electricity and outstanding member services; and participating in community activities and economic development to enhance the quality of life in the region.

To that end, NNEC established a perpetual endowed scholarship at RCC that will help future students attend the College at an affordable cost.

RCC President, Dr. Elizabeth H. Crowther stated, “NNEC is a vital part of the economic and social fabric of the Northern Neck, providing power, jobs, and community support to our region for 80 years. Working with NNEC to ensure an affordable higher education for area students is a natural partnership.  I am proud to nominate NNEC for a 2018 Chancellors Award for Leadership in Philanthropy.”

Keynote speaker Paul Koonce, executive vice president & president and chief executive officer with the Power Generation Group, Dominion Energy, called the community college system “one of Virginia’s greatest inventions.” He also borrowed a passage from a 1903 Teddy Roosevelt speech to underscore the invaluable connection between higher education and opportunity.

“’Far and away, the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing. Our purpose (as donors) is to make sure that prize – meaningful work – the best prize that life offers, remains within reach of every Virginian.’”

Military Friendly

RCC Earns 2018-19 Military Friendly School Designation

Rappahannock Community College announced today that it has earned the 2018-19 Military Friendly School Bronze designation. Institutions earning the Military Friendly School designation were evaluated using both public data sources and responses from a proprietary survey.

For the first time, student survey data was taken into consideration for the designation. More than 1,400 schools participated in the 2018-2019 survey with 941 earning the designation.

“The Military Friendly bronze designation recognizes our institutional commitment to serve veterans and their families at the College,” says David Keel, RCC’s Dean of Student Development.

“Specifically, bronze award winners have programs that scored within 40 percent of the 10th-ranked institution within a given category.”

Keel said that receiving the Military Friendly designation helps RCC let veterans and their families know that the College values having them as part of the college community. The annual application process also allows the staff to evaluate strengths in serving military families, and areas where RCC can improve services.


Gerald Smith

Northumberland County native Gerald Smith traveled all over the world as a member of the United States Army.

“Because of our small size, our Financial Aid and Veterans Affairs Coordinator, our counselors, and all our staff can personalize services to students,” says Keel. “They can assist military students and their dependents step-by-step from applying to the college, selecting an academic plan of study, choosing classes each semester, and advising them through graduation.


“We have also started an annual tradition of holding a lunch each year to celebrate the veterans and blue star families who are part of our campus community.”

RCC student Gerald Smith and Northumberland County native agrees with the designation that the College earned. As a member of the National Guard stationed in Pennsylvania and Army veteran of Afghanistan, Smith traveled all over the world in service to his country. When he returned, he decided to begin his college career with RCC and has been very happy with the results.

“The people from the Veteran’s Administration worked with me, and so did the folks from RCC,” says Smith. “They got me ready to do everything I needed to do and made sure everything was in place. It was a very smooth transition.”

Smith is currently studying Criminal Justice and plans to transfer to a four-year school in Richmond or Norfolk upon graduation. He’d like to work as a state trooper, in the FBI or another, related, law enforcement field.

The same is true for Brad Hornsby. The West Point native returned from the Army and wanted to try something new. He looked to RCC for this new beginning and is happy he did.


Brad Hornsby has taken advantage of all RCC has to offer, including working as a student ambassador at the Glenns Campus.

“RCC has been very friendly to me, and very open,” says Hornsby. “Especially the Student Support Services — they are quite awesome. And really, everybody here has been very nice.”

Hornsby is currently working on a Health Science transfer degree and hopes to work in the field of forensics and ballistics after completing his college career.

Methodology, criteria, and weightings were determined by Victory Media with input from the Military Friendly Advisory Council of independent leaders in the higher education and military recruitment community. Final ratings were determined by combining the institution’s survey scores with the assessment of the institution’s ability to meet thresholds for Student Retention, Graduation, Job Placement, Loan Repayment, Persistence (Degree Advancement or Transfer) and Loan Default rates for all students and, specifically, for student veterans.

About Military Friendly Schools
The Military Friendly Schools list is created each year based on extensive research using public data sources for more than 8,800 schools nationwide, input from student veterans, and responses to the proprietary, data-driven Military Friendly Schools survey from participating institutions. The survey questions, methodology, criteria, and weighting were developed with the assistance of an independent research firm and an advisory council of educators and employers. The survey is administered for free and is open to all post-secondary schools that wish to participate. Criteria for consideration can be found at www.militaryfriendly.com.

hoopla digital

Richmond County Public Library Partners with Hoopla Digital to Give Patrons Online and Mobile Access to Free Movies, Music, eBooks and More

hoopla digital

Richmond County Public Library Partners with hoopla digital

Richmond County Public Library at Rappahannock Community College (RCC) in Warsaw has announced the public availability of thousands of movies, television shows, music albums, eBooks, audiobooks and comics, all available for mobile and online access through a new partnership with hoopla digital.

Richmond County Public Library card holders can download the free hoopla digital mobile app on their Android or iOS device or visit hoopladigital.com to begin enjoying thousands of titles — from major Hollywood studios, record companies and publishers — available to borrow 24/7, for instant streaming or temporary downloading to their smartphones, tablets, and computers.

“We strive to be a valuable resource for our community,” RCC / Richmond County Public Library director Dan Ream said, “and hoopla offers several advantages over similar services in that it includes thousands of music CDs, including many on the day of their release, as well as downloadable e-books, audiobooks, comic books, movies, and television programs.

“Perhaps best of all, hoopla allows instant access to all content without waiting lists or holds. Another advantage is that the hoopla app allows you to download these albums, movies, or books to your smartphone or tablet computer wherever you have Wifi access so that you can watch. Listen, or read them later without Internet access. Users can borrow and download up to 5 items per month on their account.”

“With hoopla digital, it is our mission to empower the evolution of public libraries while helping them to meet the needs of the mobile generation. We’ve worked for years to create a best-in-breed service that is fun, fast and reliable.  And we continue to secure content deals to expand our offering of popular and niche movies, TV shows, music, eBooks, audiobooks, and comics,” said Jeff Jankowski founder and owner of hoopla digital.

For more information, please contact the Richmond County Public Library at RCC in Warsaw at 804-333-6710.

About hoopla digital

hoopla digital is a category-creating service that partners with public libraries across North America to provide online and mobile access to thousands of Movies, TV Shows, Music, eBooks, Audiobooks, and Comics. With hoopla digital, patrons can borrow, instantly stream and download free dynamic content with a valid library card. All content is accessible via hoopla digital’s mobile app and online at www.hoopladigital.com. hoopla digital is a service of Midwest Tape – a trusted partner to public libraries for over 25 years.

RCC Press Release icon

State Board for Community Colleges to Set 2018-2019 Tuition and Fees at May Meeting

RICHMOND – In accordance with Section 23.1-307 (D) of the Code of Virginia, the State Board for Community Colleges provides notice that it will consider tuition and mandatory fee increases for Virginia’s Community Colleges, effective fall 2018, at 9 a.m., May 17, 2018, at 300 Arboretum Place, Richmond, Va.

The State Board will consider tuition and mandatory fee increases of between 1 percent and 3 percent for all undergraduate students, subject to further actions of the General Assembly.

The community colleges would use the revenue generated from the tuition increase to pay for:

  • Increased state employee fringe benefit costs;
  • Operation and maintenance of new buildings;
  • Technology infrastructure upgrades;
  • Contractual obligations; and
  • Investments in strategic initiatives to improve student success.

About Virginia’s Community Colleges: Since 1966, Virginia’s Community Colleges have given everyone the opportunity to learn and develop the right skills so lives and communities are strengthened. By making higher education and workforce training available in every part of Virginia, we elevate all of Virginia. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve more than 252,000 students each year. For more information, please visit www.vccs.edu.

Tredegar Iron Works

RCC Faculty Member featured in PBS Special on Tredegar Iron Works

Joshua LeHuray

Joshua LeHuray can add documentary “talking head” to his resume, which includes author and as a teacher for RCC.

Joshua LeHuray, an adjunct history professor at Rappahannock Community College, appears in the new documentary How The Welsh Changed the World: The Tale of  Two Tredegars, which will air on WCVE on Thursday, April 26 at 10 p.m.

When not teaching for RCC, LeHuray is a Visitor Engagement Supervisor for the American Civil War Museum, for which the Tredegar Iron Works in downtown Richmond is a part.

“The Tredegar Iron Works in Richmond was founded in 1837 and ran for about 120 years,” says LeHuray. “They made all kinds of iron products for different things, but the thing they are most famous for is making cannons for the Confederacy during the Civil War. About half the cannons made for the South were made at Tredegar.”

LeHuray became involved in the film project when a coworker was contacted by filmmakers from Wales with questions about the former ironworks and current museum.

Since LeHuray works at the museum, and is a history professor, choosing him as a “talking head” expert for the film was an easy choice for the filmmakers.

“I was one of the people who was interviewed in the United States to give information about the history of Tredegar and the history of immigration and things along those lines,” says LeHuray.

“I thought I would be in it one or two times, but I was in it over ten times,” he laughs.

The producers of the film were interested in the relationship between the Tredegar Iron Works in Wales and the one in the United States, which were constructed by some of the same people. A Welsh engineer was hired in the mid-1800s to take part in the building of the iron works, and as a tribute to his home, it was named after the original.

LeHuray enjoyed his role in the project and raved about the special effects that they used to make the old buildings come to life again. He did note that the while he and the filmmakers shared a common language, the strong accents of the crew sometimes made questions difficult.

“Once you listen to them a while, it was OK,” says LeHuray. “But every once in a while I had to stop them to say ‘I don’t know what that word was that you just said.’”

Even the name of the town in Wales and the museum in Richmond fell victim to the heavy Welsh accents.

“In Wales, it is pronounced “tra-DEE-ger,” but it became Americanized as “tre-duh-ger” which is how we pronounce it today,” says LeHuray.

Now LeHuray can add documentary “talking head” to his resume, which includes authoring a book on music before the Revolutionary War, and as a teacher for RCC.

“I’ve been here for six years now, and it’s a real honor to work for the school,” says LeHuray. “The students are engaged. It’s fun to speak with them and to get their feedback on different things.”

“Even though many of the students are taking history classes because it’s a requirement, it’s nice to see that by the end of the classes, most of the students engage with the material that I’m giving to them.”

A Club member for Fall 2017

RCC recognizes the very best grades from the Fall 2017 Semester

A Club Fall 2017

Joy Bodiford, Nicole McCuistion, Candi White, Jessica Ray, Destiny Chamberlain and Christina Hamilton pose together after the luncheon held in their honor on March 30 at the Glenns Campus of Rappahannock Community College.

At a formal luncheon at the Glenns Campus of Rappahannock Community College on March 30, a group of students gathered to share some time with faculty and staff. Their achievement was considerable — each of them earned straight As for the Fall 2017 semester.

The event was produced by RCC’s Student Support Services, a grant-funded office at the College whose purpose is to give assistance to first-year college students, income-eligible students, or to give help to students who have a documented disability.

This group, made up of students from throughout the 12-county service region which RCC serves, heard from Shannon Turner, who works in RCC’s financial aid office. Turner graduated from RCC, and successfully transferred to Regent University where she earned her bachelor’s degree. Turner, too, was a first-generation college student.

Turner gave the students advice on what to do after they’ve earned their associate degree, and how to find their right match in the working world.

“I thought once I had graduated I would just automatically become this great working professional and not have to worry about finding a job because — who wouldn’t want to hire me,” said Turner.

“Let me tell you it is hard out there! You fill out application after application and hear nothing, but you don’t give up, and you keep trying. Keep working hard, people will notice, and opportunities will come.”

Essex County:

  • Maurisha Turner

Gloucester County:

  • Alexis Belcher
  • Joy Bodiford
  • Joshua Dreyfous
  • Christina Hamilton
  • Nicole McCuistion
  • Tracey Mcfarland
  • Christina Pyatt

King and Queen County:

  • Destiny Chamberlain
  • Emily Cialone
  • Candi White

King William County:

  • Savannah Curry
  • Cherry Townes
  • Laura Zenhye

Lancaster County:

  • Jessica Ray

Middlesex County:

  • Chloe Williams

Northumberland County:

  • Steven Reynolds

Richmond County:

  • Brandi Metz

Westmoreland County:

  • Misty Rowe
Preakness Party 2018

Historic Ben Lomond is the Site for the May 19 Preakness Party

Preakness Party 2018

One of the highlights of the Preakness Party is the best hat contest, which brings out the competitive spirit in many of the guests who don enormous, colorful hats.

The RCC Educational Foundation proudly announces that the 14th annual Preakness Party, scheduled for Saturday, May 19 from 3:00 to 7:00 pm, will be held at historic “Ben Lomond,” one of Essex County’s most architecturally significant homes. The c. 1730 house is located 10 miles south of Tappahannock in Dunnsville.

Judge Muscoe Garnett and his wife Sarah Gatewood Garnett purchased Ben Lomond in 1838 and made extensive renovations. The Garnett family occupied the property for several generations, and today it is owned by Zorine and Craig Shirley, New York Times best-selling author and noted Ronald Reagan biographer.

RCC’s President Dr. Elizabeth Crowther commented, “We are thrilled that the Shirleys are hosting the Preakness Party at this special property. Ben Lomond epitomizes the rich history and landmark architecture of our region, which is a draw for our Preakness guests.”

The event starts at 3:00 pm when guests enjoy cuisine from the area’s top restaurants, including Eckhard’s, Indian Creek Yacht & Country Club, Java Jacks, Lancaster Tavern, Over the Top Catering and Event Planning, RCC Culinary Arts Program, and Tommy’s among others. Generals Ridge Winery, Good Luck Cellars, Ingleside Winery, and Ardent Craft Ales will be offering their selections. Also, domestic beers, a full bar, and non-alcoholic beverages will be on hand for guests.

The best hat contest during the festivities brings out the competitive spirit in many of the guests who don enormous, colorful hats.

While enjoying the culinary offerings, guests can bid on an array of silent auction items from jewelry and home goods, to sporting equipment, and spa packages. This year’s live auction features a dozen amazing experiences, including tickets to the musical Hamilton at the Kennedy Center with an overnight stay at the Ritz Carlton and vacations in the Turks and Caicos, Nag’s Head, the Finger Lakes, and Lake Tahoe among other places. The event culminates with the Preakness Stakes shown live on large screens in the event tent.

President Crowther comments, “The restaurants donate their cuisine at no cost to support the RCC Educational Foundation, and other area businesses step up to sponsor the event. The Preakness Party has raised almost $800,000 over the years. These funds support the RCC scholarship program, which provided over $400,000 in awards to students this academic year, our professional development grants for faculty and staff to attend conferences or take classes that may not be in their department budgets, as well as other program needs not funded through state allocations. The Preakness is a fun event for a very worthy cause!”

The all-inclusive ticket is $100 per person, and 50% of the cost is tax deductible. For tickets, contact the RCC Educational Foundation at 804-333-6707 or visit: www.rappahannock.edu/foundation.

RCC Press Release icon

RCC Lifelong Learning builds women’s financial savvy

“Money Management Basics and Confidence Building for Women” will be the subject of an upcoming course from the Rappahannock Community College Educational Foundation’s Rappahannock Institute for Lifelong Learning (RILL). It will be held at the main branch of the Gloucester County Public Library in Gloucester Courthouse on May 3, 10, and 17 (Thursdays) from 10 a.m. – Noon, and the instructor will be Clayton W. James.

Women are rapidly becoming more interested and engaged in the decision-making and management details of their finances, wealth management, and investments. This course is designed specifically for women (and if they choose their “significant others”) to learn the basics of finances, wealth management, asset allocation, and income generation. The three sessions will cover all of the entry-level information a woman needs to feel confident and knowledgeable about the management of her finances.

Clayton W. James is a registered financial advisor who serves as the managing director of Jamestowne Investments, LLC. He graduated from Hampden Sydney College in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in mathematical economics and has been serving clients in the investment management industry since 2003.

Advance registration, with a tuition payment of $35, is required to take this course. For more information on “Money Management Basics and Confidence Building for Women” and other RILL courses, or to register, please call Sharon Drotleff at RCC’s Educational Foundation office (804-333-6707), or e-mail her at sdrotleff@rappahannock.edu.

The Educational Foundation expresses sincere appreciation to the Virginia Commonwealth Bank’s Golden Advantage program, and to Rappahannock Westminster-Canterbury, for their generous support of RILL in 2018.