Philanthropists Honored, Local Student Speaks, at Annual Event

Since 2005, the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education (VFCEE) has honored individuals, families, businesses, and organizations that have improved the quality of life in their communities through their philanthropic endeavors focused on community college education and training. Rappahannock Community College (RCC) proudly nominated Dr. Stuart and Mrs. Cammie Flanagan to receive the 16th Annual Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy.

The awardees were recognized and honored at a luncheon ceremony in Richmond. The annual event, hosted by the VFCCE, honors leading philanthropists from each of Virginia’s 23 community colleges as well as the statewide foundation. Recipients are nominated for their outstanding commitment to the growth and development of Virginia’s community colleges and their respective foundations.

The Flanagan’s gift of $2.7 million, the largest received by the RCC Educational Foundation to date, ensures each high school in the RCC service region has a dedicated navigator, resulting in a significant increase from last spring in the number of high school seniors who have already enrolled in RCC classes for the coming fall semester.

“Dr. and Mrs. Flanagan embody the mission of our college,” said Dr. Shannon Kennedy, RCC President. “Through their incredible generosity to RCC and commitment to education, they transform lives, strengthen communities, and inspire excellence. We are incredibly grateful to their recognition and commitment to RCC.”

Each year a student speaker is selected from among the Virginia community colleges, and this year’s speaker was RCC student and Colonial Beach, VA, resident Quinton Thomas. He is a recipient of the Dana B. Hamel Commonwealth Legacy Scholarship and RCC’s Serendipity Book Club Scholarship, established by former Virginia Governor and Mrs. Linwood Holton. Thomas expressed his gratitude to donors who make attending college an affordable reality, and to navigators and support staff who helped him as a first-generation college student.

“Both of these scholarships have greatly impacted my life in a positive manner in that they have allowed me more time to focus on my studies and take up less time working,” said Thomas. “Knowing that this financial support was there for me as I entered back into college after a tough year, made all the difference in my ability to succeed.”

Among the numerous dignitaries in attendance at the luncheon were Chancellor Glenn DuBois, State Senator Ghazala Hashmi, Anne Holton, former Virginia Secretary of Education, and professor of Education Policy at George Mason University, and Dr. Stewart Roberson, past chair of the VFCCE.

Dr. Bill Hazel, Jr., former secretary of Health and Human Resources, and now Senior Deputy Executive Director of the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation, was the event’s keynote speaker. This year’s class of distinguished philanthropy leaders has collectively contributed $10 million dollars to Virginia’s Community Colleges.