WENTWORTH — The Rockingham Community College Foundation has handled 293 scholarships awarded to 202 students for this academic year, totaling more than $242,000 of funding provided by donors in the community.

On Nov. 1, the foundation and RCC hosted these students and their donors for an annual scholarship luncheon, providing an opportunity for them to meet each other.

“Students are pursuing their dreams, and donors, you are making those dreams possible,” Foundation President Jeff Parris said as he welcomed everyone.

RCC President Mark Kinlaw thanked donors for supporting the students, the foundation, and the college.

“I’m a little biased, but I think (RCC) is the greatest asset in this county,” he said. “I’ve been here almost five years now, and as I move around and get to know people in the county, one of the things that I have found out is that people in this county think very highly of this college, and that is something that has occurred over a very long period of time.”

Kinlaw said he was amazed that while posing for photographs with the scholarship recipients, nearly every one of the students told him they knew exactly what they wanted to do.

“We’re very proud and very fortunate to have these students that we do,” he said.

“Students, this is for you. The college is very fortunate to have the support of the community, and we are in the midst of doing a lot of renovations. The new Center for Workforce Development will be built within three years, and we just finished renovating our Student Center,” Kinlaw said.

“There’s a lot that’s going on (here) on this campus, and it’s all designed for one thing: to improve the learning experience that we have at this college so that we can offer the programs and support that our students need to be successful,” he said.

“This is a day to celebrate the generosity of our donors and the academic success of our students,” said Kim Pryor, foundation interim executive director.

Bryson Goins, SGA president, agreed, and congratulated both the scholarship recipients and their donors.

“To my fellow students, it is important for us to remember that RCC is a valuable resource for us, as we build a base of education for further studies so we can move on to pursue a four-year degree or move into the workforce. Not only do we benefit from the instruction and guidance given to us by our professors and advisors, we are fortunate to benefit financially with the scholarships that are made available to us,” he said.

“Today is also a day where we say thank you to the donors. Your wonderful generosity makes it possible for me and other students here to receive financial support that might not otherwise be possible. Your scholarships give us an opportunity to pursue our dreams. On behalf of all of the students who received your scholarship support, I thank you for your gifts and for your confidence in RCC to provide us with a worthy education,” Goins said.

“Good luck to you as you progress, and I look forward to handing you a diploma here in this building at some point soon,” Kinlaw told the students.

The RCC Foundation offers two types of scholarships. The minimum donation for an Endowed Scholarship is $18,000, while the minimum for a General Scholarship is $500.

For endowed scholarships, the foundation awards 75 percent of the fund’s interest, and puts the other 25 percent back into the fund.

General scholarships can be awarded one time or over an extended period of time. Benefactors work with the foundation in creating criteria for donor intent. RCC’s Financial Aid Office selects the recipients for each scholarship, based on the established criteria.

For information on becoming a donor, call 336-342-4261, ext. 2201.

For an extensive list of available scholarships, visit http://www.rockinghamcc.edu/supportrcc/kp, and click on “scholarship descriptions.”

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Gerri Hunt is director of public information at Rockingham Community College. She can be reached at huntg0780@rockinghamcc.edu or 336-342-4261 ext. 2170.

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