Thursday, November 3, 2011


Philanthropist Rose Bente’ Lee Ostapenko is met by current Germanna Community College President David A. Sam (right) and former GCC President Frank Turnage today upon arrival for a visit to the Daniel Technology Center in Culpeper.

Germanna Community College honored philanthropist Rose Bente’ Lee Ostapenko Thursday by inducting her into the “President’s Circle” for cumulative, lifetime giving. She has donated over $1 million to the college, and was one of the benefactors who made construction of the Joseph R. Daniel Technology Center possible through her donation of land, along with Kaye and Marie Andrus, Nicholas and Flora Tomasetti, and Philip and Susan DeSiato.
Current Germanna President David A. Sam, former GCC President Frank Turnage, Daniel Center Director Russell James, GCC Educational Foundation member Connie Kincheloe and Foundation Director Michael A. Catell gave her a tour of the facility, built in 2006.
The 39,000 square foot facility is designed primarily for workforce development instruction and technology training. A wide variety of credit classes are also offered.
“Your generosity made this possible,” Dr. Sam said in thanking Mrs. Ostapenko, an Arlington resident. “The college would not have been able to grow and help all these people without you.” He told her GCC, which has been one of the fastest-growing schools in the country in recent years, will serve 15,000 students, all of them local, during this academic year.
Her 2000 autobiography is entitled “Rose Bente’ Lee: An American Dream.” It tells the story of her immigration to the U.S. from Germany in 1939 and how, over time, she built one of Washington, D.C.’s most successful businesses, The House of Fine Fabrics.
In the book, she recalls, “One of my earliest memories is a desire to help the poor, sick and elderly.”
She is the first of a series of donors who are to receive GCC President’s Circle recognition.

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