Community College Philanthropists Honored with 2017 Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy

Mon May 1, 2017 at 01:42 PM

(left to right) BRCC President, Dr. John Downey; VCCS Chancellor Dr. Glen Dubois; Carol and Fred Showker

(left to right) BRCC President, Dr. John Downey; VCCS Chancellor Dr. Glen Dubois; Carol and Fred Showker

The Zane D. Showker Family has received the 12th Annual Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy. The family was nominated for the award by Blue Ridge Community College. The award was given at a luncheon ceremony at the Country Club of Virginia on Tuesday, April 18, 2017.

Hosted by the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education, this annual event honors leading philanthropists from each of Virginia’s 23 community colleges as well as the statewide foundation. This year’s class of distinguished philanthropy leaders has contributed a combined total of more than $10 million dollars to Virginia’s Community Colleges.

The late Zane D. Showker’s support of Blue Ridge Community College dates back almost to the inception of the BRCC Educational Foundation, with his first gift made in 1988. He continued to invest in BRCC until his passing in 2004, including establishing the Zane D. Showker Endowed Scholarship. Mr. Showker’s children take seriously the legacy of philanthropy that their father left for them, as evidenced by their support for organizations and causes throughout our community. Their support of Blue Ridge Community College has extended even beyond student scholarships to include BRCC Enactus, Nursing program, Great Expectations program for foster care youth, Foundation events, and even unrestricted gifts.

“The late Zane D. Showker was a philanthropic giant in our community – investing in numerous educational institutions, including Blue Ridge Community College, as well as a significant number of local not-for-profit organizations,” said John A. Downey, president of Blue Ridge Community College. “At BRCC, he established the Zane D. Showker Endowed Scholarship to support students based on their financial need and academic performance. Mr. Showker’s children have continued the legacy of support for Blue Ridge, in part by growing the scholarship endowment in the years since Zane’s passing,” Downey continued.

Chancellor Glenn DuBois expressed his gratitude in his address to the crowd. “You are difference-makers. You are opportunity-creators. We thank you, not just for the dollars donated, but for the standard of leadership you represent. Your example motivates and challenges us all to do more to ensure that opportunity is there for those who come next.”

Keynote speaker John O. “Dubby” Wynne, chairman of GO Virginia and Reinvent Hampton Roads, said he was honored to be a part of the event, and he emphasized the generous donations he and others have made are having a positive impact on the communities Virginia’s Community Colleges serve. “In many instances, your gifts are the difference between average or good and excellent in student performance,” he observed.

Wynne also issued an appeal to members of the audience to increase their level of support to help train and educate Virginia’s workforce for economic growth.

Recipients of the 2017 Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy

  • Blue Ridge Community College: Zane D. Showker Family
  • Central Virginia Community College: BWX Technologies, Inc.
  • Dabney S. Lancaster Community College: Bill and Lang Wilson
  • Danville Community College: Danville Regional Foundation
  • Eastern Shore Community College: William H. Bannon
  • Germanna Community College: Connie Kincheloe
  • J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College: The Perry Family & VAMAC, Inc.
  • John Tyler Community College: Altria Group
  • Lord Fairfax Community College: PATH Foundation
  • Mountain Empire Community College: and Joe Fuller
  • New River Community College: Tracy and Sarah Wilkins
  • Northern Virginia Community College: Edward and Marilynn Bersoff
  • Patrick Henry Community College: Eastman Chemical Company
  • Paul D. Camp Community College: Herbert W. DeGroft
  • Piedmont Virginia Community College: David Whitcomb
  • Rappahannock Community College: Dorothy Cosby Cooke
  • Southside Virginia Community College: Fluor
  • Southwest Virginia Community College: James R. “Jim” Lindsey Family
  • Thomas Nelson Community College: Jay and Marguerite Brown
  • Tidewater Community College: Hampton Roads Community Foundation
  • Virginia Highlands Community College: Jones and Associates Realty
  • Virginia Western Community College: J. Granger and Anne Macfarlane
  • Wytheville Community College: Anne B. Vaughan
  • Virginia Foundation for Community College: Education Michael and Wendy Smith

About the Keynote Speaker

Mr. John O. "Dubby" Wynne currently serves as Chairman of GO Virginia and Reinvent Hampton Roads. Earlier in his career, Wynne served as both president and CEO of Landmark Communications, Inc.

About Virginia’s Community Colleges

Created more than 40 years ago, the VCCS is comprised of 23 community colleges located on 40 campuses across the commonwealth. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve more than a quarter-million credit students each year.

About the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education

Working hand in hand with Virginia’s 23 community colleges, the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education seeks to guarantee financial assistance to all students who dream of attending college. The foundation is building an endowment that is already generating interest to provide full scholarships to selected community college students. Donors to the fund are invited to endow a single scholarship in their name and designate it to any of Virginia’s community colleges or regions.