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BRCC announces $2M gift for scholarships

Blue Ridge Community College announced Wednesday that it has received an anonymous $2 million donation for student financial aid.

The gift was accepted through Blue Ridge’s Educational Foundation on March 2, and the funds will be used to support area students pursuing more than 200 degrees, diplomas, and certificates on one of the College’s three campuses in Henderson and Transylvania counties.

“On behalf of the entire Blue Ridge community, I want to express our sincerest gratitude for the generosity that has been shown to our students,” said Dr. Laura B. Leatherwood, president of Blue Ridge Community College. “A gift toward a student’s education is also an investment in our entire community. As we continue to provide clear and affordable paths to professional success, this act of kindness will provide countless career opportunities and strengthen our workforce for many years to come.”

Blue Ridge Community College is committed to helping learners of all ages overcome financial obstacles to their educational goals. To this end, generous alumni, community partners, corporations, private foundations, and individuals partner with the College’s Educational Foundation each year to provide critical funding for student scholarships. These investments allow students to build new skills and reach their professional goals while preparing for success in a rapidly growing local economy.

During the 2020-21 academic year, the foundation awarded nearly 300 scholarships totalling $469,000 as part of the BRCC’s tuition-free Brighter Futures program. The Foundation’s total impact on the college was $1,146,000, including student assistance and support for programs and initiatives.

“This kind of generous giving has a transformative effect on a student’s life and family,” said Lisa Adkins, the college's Vice President for Advancement. “Attending college is a life-changing event, and a scholarship empowers a student to make a change, reach their potential, and ultimately, choose their future.”

The $2 million unnamed gift was the largest received so far in 2022 and and the largest since Liselotte R. Wehrheim bequeathed $1.75 million to the Foundation in 2020.