Saturday, November 19, 2011

Stafford EDA named Germanna's 2012 Philanthropist of the Year

Don Newlin, chairman of the Stafford County Economic Development Authority, accepts Germanna's 2012 Philantrhopist of the Year Award on behalf of the EDA.

The Germanna Community College Educational Foundation named the Stafford Economic Development Authority its 2012 Philanthropist of the Year at its Annual Dinner Friday night, Nov. 18, 2011 at the Fredericksburg Country Club.

On May 5, 2011, The Stafford EDA awarded Germanna a matching challenge grant of up to $1 million to be used toward the establishment of a permanent campus in the county. Officials said the intent is to support workforce development and economic development in the county.

When the challenge is met, the Stafford EDA will have donated $1.375 million to Germanna since 2009, when GCC opened its Stafford County Center at Aquia Park. In the first year the Stafford Center was open, it attracted 1,000 students, and in its second, 1,200. Enrollment has already outgrown the facility. The Stafford EDA has also donated $75,000 toward the construction of a new GCC Automotive Program facility in the county, which is expected to be completed in the spring of 2012.

“Germanna has been gratified and honored by the ongoing investments by Stafford County's EDA,” GCC President David A. Sam said. “We are pleased in turn that our Educational Foundation can recognize and celebrate that investment and partnership by naming them the 2012 Philanthropist of the Year.”

“Germanna is an important partner in our vision that was established in our Economic Development 10-Point Plan to build a business-friendly environment and an educated workforce,” said Chairman of the Stafford Board of Supervisors Mark Dudenhefer. “The Economic Development Authority has worked hand-in-hand with the Board of Supervisors in moving this vision forward, and we are thrilled that they are being honored for their efforts.”

Don Newlin, the Chairman of the Economic Development Authority, added, “The EDA has worked hard to enhance the higher education offerings in Stafford, and Germanna offers a diverse selection of courses to help college students and working professionals advance their careers,” he said. “We look forward to our continued work with Germanna to ensure their long-term success in Stafford.”

Germanna hopes to break ground on the Stafford Campus soon, but it must first meet the $2.5 million local funding requirement for the state to fund the rest of the cost for the facility's land and development. The Stafford EDA challenge was a major step. Plans are for the facility to be built in North Stafford, but no site has been selected.

"On behalf of the Educational Foundation, it is an honor to recognize Stafford County's Economic Development Authority for its leadership and investment in Germanna,” said Michael A. Catell, Director of the GCC Educational Foundation. “The Foundation's mission is to promote and support the growth, progress, and well-being of the College, and we look forward to a continuing partnership with the EDA in carrying out that mission."

Amy Peery, a GCC Educational Foundation Scholarship recipient who is a nursing student at Germanna and a single mother of three, told the crowd at the dinner: “Germanna Community College has changed not only my life, it has changed my family’s life and these scholarships are helping to change our future. Please, always remember that you are providing so much more than just financial assistance. My most sincere thanks are extended to you all, for the possibilities you create.”
She said she had “little hope” before entering Germanna,” and that the college and had “truly rekindled my faith in life.“

GCC currently has a Fredericksburg Area Campus in Spotsylvania, a Locust Grove Campus, centers in Stafford and Culpeper. It has long-range plans for a center in Caroline County. Construction on a third academic building at the Fredericksburg Campus is expected to be completed by March 2012.


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