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PVCC unveils Pathways funding campaign

Piedmont Virginia Community College is officially taking its fundraising campaign public after having quietly raised $10.2 million through community donors, officials announced Thursday.

College officials said they are officially kicking off Pathways: Campaign for a Brighter Future, with the pathways moniker reflecting education as a path to economic security. The goal is to have the campaign help fund expansion of PVCC programs.

“We have now received over $10.2 million in gifts and commitments toward our campaign. This shatters any expectations we had,” said Harry Stillerman, PVCC vice president. “When we began planning for this campaign two years ago, we set a goal based in the midst of a very challenging economy.

Stillerman said the goal has remained flexible.

“We hoped our results would allow us the flexibility to increase this goal. Our community has responded and stepped up in a remarkable way to support this campaign,” he said. “We are trying to raise as much money as possible because our needs are substantial and the opportunities for supporting our students and our community are limitless.”

The campaign will help fund the college’s three-pronged priority list, officials said. Those priorities are creating state-of-the-art facilities; expanding workplace development programs; and increasing student access and support.

“As the community’s college, we seek to change the lives of our students, meet the workforce development needs of our region and enhance the quality of life for everyone in Central Virginia,” said PVCC President Frank Friedman. “The Pathways campaign will enable PVCC to achieve this vision.”

Officials on Thursday announced that Cynthia and Jim Stultz of Charlottesville have made a “generous lead gift” to help build a new 45,000-square-foot advanced technology center.

The estimated $26 million building will be funded through the state and the Pathways campaign and will be the first in the Virginia Community College System to use 100% alternative energy.

The building will include facilities for rapidly growing technology programs aligned with high-demand occupations and a one-stop student services center. The new center, to be named in honor of Cynthia Stultz’s father and founding PVCC College Board member, Woodrow W. Bolick, is expected to “become the heart of the campus,” officials said.

“My dad, Woody, served on the founding board of PVCC and is credited with being the person who gave the college its name,” said Cynthia Stultz, who currently serves as president of the PVCC Educational Foundation. “We are delighted to be able to honor him by investing in this important campaign.”

Stultz said her husband, Jim, represents the college student body.

“Like many of the students attending PVCC today, Jim began his educational journey as a community college student while working two part-time jobs,” she said. Stultz said she and her husband also see her father in PVCC students.

“My dad spent over 60 years as an upstanding and energetic member of the Charlottesville community,” she said. “Jim and I see this same determination and hard work in the students that we meet at PVCC. We hope our gift can inspire others to recognize that an investment in PVCC is an investment in the community and it is one that will pay dividends for all of us.”

Friedman said he appreciates the Stultzes’ contribution and hopes other will also step up to support the school.

“I look forward to working together with our friends, alumni, and supporters to ensure the college has the resources necessary to connect our students and community with their full potential,” he said.

Friedman said that growing public support of PVCC programs has helped the college provide new initiatives.

“I am incredibly proud and inspired by the growing philanthropic support PVCC has received from friends and supporters,” he said. “In the last 20 years, nearly every new initiative at PVCC has been made possible with the help and support of the PVCC Educational Foundation.”

PVCC has received support from its bigger sibling, the University of Virginia, several times this year, including a $300,000 donation announced earlier this month to expand its nursing program to graduate 150 nurses a year and work in cooperation with the UVa Medical Center.

An anonymous donor provided the $300,000 gift, and UVa Health System officials agreed to provide another $400,000 to expand the PVCC associate degree in nursing program.

The goal for both schools and the medical center is to ease some local impact of the national nurse shortage. The support will also allow PVCC to make major upgrades to its Giuseppe Center in Greene County, upgrading two skills labs to match those at the main campus and add full-time nursing school faculty member.

PVCC officials said most of their nursing graduates stay in the area. They noted that UVa Medical Center employs about 30 of the school’s nursing graduates each year.

In May, PVCC began working with the Charlottesville Albemarle Technical Education Center to help provide the school’s students with access to the state’s tuition-free program to help qualifying adults pursue jobs in high-demand fields such as health care and manufacturing.

Also in May, PVCC officials announced they were offering free tuition and fees in 2021-2022 school year for most students. The tuition will be paid for through a combination of federal stimulus money, state-approved financial support, PVCC funds and donor-supported scholarship programs.

In March, officials announced a $9.5 million Piedmont Scholars program at UVa for 25 PVCC transfer students each year as part of the UVa University Achievement Award program.

Recipients will be selected by UVa’s Office of Admission in coordination with Student Financial Services.

A UVa donor’s $5 million gift led to the program and the creation of an inter-college liaison to help shepherd all PVCC students wanting to transfer to get to UVa. UVa will match $4.5 million of the gift.


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