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BRCC receives its largest individual gift ever

Liselotte R. Wehrheim Liselotte R. Wehrheim

Blue Ridge Community College Educational Foundation has received a $1.75 million bequest from the estate of Liselotte R. Wehrheim, the single largest single gift from an individual in the history of the college.


The bequest will provide scholarships and other program support for health care training programs at BRCC.

Wehrheim, who died in Tryon in August at the age of 103, grew up in Germany, where she studied nursing and served as a nurse in World War II. She moved to the United States in 1954, where she continued in her nursing profession before retiring with her husband in North Carolina. Wehrheim understood the importance of a college education and loved seeing students work hard to improve their lives.

"More than half of Blue Ridge students receive some kind of financial support while a student here,” BRCC President Laura B. Leatherwood said. "This gift will allow us to expand academic programs and provide support for students pursuing a career in healthcare. We strive to provide both quality and affordability, and it is through the generous support of donors like Liselotte Wehrheim that we are able to achieve those goals. We are humbled and grateful for her overwhelming generosity.”

Hans and Liselotte Wehrheim retired and moved to Flat Rock in the mid-1990s from Pennsylvania. An endowed scholarship fund at Blue Ridge Community College was established in their names in 2005. Though retired, Liselotte remained active in charities such as the Shriners Hospital for Children and her church. Her main passions, however, were her love of learning and travel. Liselotte remained active and traveled back and forth to Germany into her late 90s. She also engaged in lifelong learning classes at Blue Ridge Community College well into her 80s. According to her friend, Christa Hartley, "She never wanted to stop learning."