50th Anniversary Gala Recap
What a night! There was music, laughter, and toasts galore on the evening of Oct. 15 as a packed house of 470 supporters gathered at the Richmond Marriott to celebrate the golden anniversary of Virginia’s Community Colleges. Anne Holton, wife of vice-presidential candidate Tim Kaine and Virginia’s former Secretary of Education; Governor Terry McAuliffe; and other dignitaries were on hand to reflect on the progress and promise of Virginia’s 23 colleges over the last 50 years. A special video tribute to Dana Hamel, the first chancellor of VCCS, honored his commitment and dedication during his 23-year tenure. Perhaps the highlight of the evening was the announcement of a $1 million donation from Betty and Ben Davenport to establish the Davenport Institute for Early Childhood Development.
The Institute, which will partner with four of Virginia’s Community Colleges — Danville, Patrick Henry, Virginia Western, and New River — will create a talented workforce in Southern and Southwestern Virginia to ensure access to high-quality training and education for individuals working in childcare centers or family childcare homes, and increasing access to high quality childcare options for all working parents. Programming will include training, a network of professional development opportunities, coaching, and a Fellows Program, which will provide select students with financial incentives, service opportunities and leadership experiences.
Including the Davenport gift, the 50th anniversary gala raised a total of $2.4 million to support the programs of the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education. To view more photos of the evening, visit our Flickr page here.
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