Donors (170)
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A. L. Witt more information 

Andy L. “A. L.” Witt, was instrumental in the commerce and industrial growth of Big Stone Gap.  A native of Lee County, he was the son of John B.  and Ellen DeBusk Witt, pioneer residents of the Keokee Community in the Lower Crab Orchard section of Lee County.  He was born August 26, 1883, married Bertie Y. Fleenor on August 7, 1910, and died June 13, 1972. 

He was an employee of the Virginia-Tennessee Telephone Company for three years, becoming manager and operator of the Big Stone Gap office.  He later served as assistant cashier of the First National Bank of Big Stone Gap and, in 1905, was promoted to cashier, a post from which he resigned in 1908 to engage in the general insurance business.

Mr. Witt developed the South-West Insurance Agency in Big Stone Gap and the Norton Insurance Agency.  In 1918, Mr. Witt bought an interest in the First National Bank and became a director, Vice President and Chairman of the Board.  He also served as a director of the Pennington Gap Bank at Pennington Gap and of the Norton Grocery Company.

For many years, he served as a financial agent for Wise County, handling all bond issues and the sinking fund accounts.  Mr. Witt has represented the Richmond Magisterial District on the Wise County Board of Supervisors, and was a member of the county Republican central committee at one time.  He was a charter member of the Lonesome Pine Country Club and was an active golfer until he was past 80.  He also served as a member of the Wise County School Board for many years and as a member of the State Board of the Virginia Association of Insurance Agents.

Information is from the South-West Insurance Agency, Inc. website, as of July 28, 2014.

Administrative Support Technology Faculty more information 

MECC Business faculty established the Administrative Support Technology Scholarship in 1996 to assist Administrative Support Technology majors. The selection of students is based on financial need and/or academic potential.

Alice “Peggy” Rusek

Alice “Peggy” Frances Bailey Rusek was born February 8, 1938 in Tazewell County, VA. She graduated from Richlands High School in 1956 and went on to graduate from Emory and Henry College (1966) and Virginia Polytechnic Institute (1971). She spent over thirty years teaching at Mountain Empire Community College. She was known to always have a smile on her face and was a true friend to students and colleagues. After her retirement, she and her husband Joe served as financial consultants. She enjoyed spending time with friends and family on the lake. The Peggy Rusek Memorial Scholarship was established at the time of her death in April 2013.

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Alice Graham Williams

When Alice Graham Williams was growing up, higher education institutions did not exist in southwest Virginia.  A native of Big Stone Gap, Alice graduated from Big Stone Gap High School in 1948 and from Radford College in 1951.  She returned to Wise County to begin her teaching career.  Even though Alice eventually moved away from her hometown, throughout her life she remained partial to this region, and it was her wish to assist students attending college in her hometown.

Her husband, Joe, also a Big Stone Gap native, created the Alice Graham Williams Memorial Scholarship so that deserving students would not be denied an education because of limited resources. “I chose MECC for Alice’s scholarship because the students that attend here have the opportunity to major in a variety of subjects.  They can prepare to go to a university, or they can learn a skill and become immediately employed.  These are the kind of students we wanted to help, and the scholarship was a wonderful way to honor my wife’s love of the region.” 

Alice Stallings

The scholarship was established in 1983 by the MECC Rho Nu Nursing Club to honor, Alice Stallings, one of MECC’s first nursing faculty members.  This scholarship will assist second year nursing students with financial need and academic promise.  
Rho Nu is an organization for registered nursing majors in the Virginia Appalachian Tricollege Nursing Program at MECC. The club members conduct a variety of fundraising projects to support the annual scholarship donation and other club expenses.


Allen Gibson

Allen W. Gibson, Jr. studied Criminal Justice at Mountain Empire Community College.  He later attended the Southwest Virginia Criminal Justice Training Academy, where he graduated with honors.  He also received training in the investigation of homicides and suicides through the Department of Criminal Justice Services.

Allen Gibson worked for the Town of Castlewood, Virginia from 1996-1997 as a police officer.  He was a member of the Castlewood Fire Department and served as a fire instructor.  He was also an EMT for the Castlewood Rescue Squad.

He was employed for a short time as a fraud investigator for the Wise County Department of Social Services, and then moved to the Town of Waverly, Virginia to begin a job as a police officer.  He was hired on February 5, 1998 and shot in the line of duty on April 25, 1998.

Allen Gibson’s family and friends continue to mourn his loss, but take comfort in the fact that he gave his life making his community safe and protecting young people, like his daughter, from drugs.

Before Officer Gibson passed away, he was able to identify the perpetrators, which made it possible for them to be apprehended and arrested.  From information and testimony received from the two felons, four-four major drug dealers were sent to prison.

Following Officer Gibson’s death, his family believed that he would have had a better chance of surviving if a partner had been with him during the arrest.  As a memorial to his service as police officer, the family raised funds to send a Wise County police officer and a puppy to the police academy to establish a drug dog program.  Part of the funding for this project was raised by Officer Gibson’s daughter Crisanna, who was eight years old at the time.

Alpha Natural Resources more information 

Alpha Natural Resources, one of America's leading producers of coal, has mines and coal preparation plants located throughout Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Wyoming. Corporate headquarters are located in Bristol, VA. 

Alpha provides scholarships to MECC students, with first priority given to dependents of employees and employees of Alpha.  Any funds remaining may used for other MECC students.

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Ann Verta Hamilton

Ann Verta Hamilton was a teacher in Wise County.  The Ann Verta Hamilton Scholarship was created with a bequeath of her estate to assist students from Wise County with financial need and at least a "B" average.

Anna Barron Morris

This scholarship was created in memory of Anna Barron Morris by her son and daughter-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. James “Dutchy” Morris of Big Stone Gap, for students of Lee and Wise County.

Anna Barron Morris was an active civic leader in Big Stone Gap until her death in 1997.  In 1967, she served as the General Chairman of the Steering Committee to establish Lonesome Pine Hospital.  The committee raised $800,000 for construction of the facility.  Anna served as an active member of the Lonesome Pine Hospital Board of Directors and Women’s Auxiliary until her death.

In addition to her involvement with the hospital, she served two terms on the Big Stone Gap Town Council and a total of forty years on the Big Stone Gap Planning Commission, including thirty years’ service as Chairman.  She served as an officer in the United Daughters of the Confederacy, and was a member of the Trinity Methodist Church’s Parsonage Committee, as well as the Treasurer of the Memorial Fund.

She was voted “Woman of the Year” by the Wise County Democratic Women’s Club in 1985.  She served the club as president, vice-president, secretary and parliamentarian of the club, as well as the president of the Big Stone Gap Democratic Women’s Club.

Appalachia Centennial Committee

The scholarship was established in 2007 to assist high school graduates from the Appalachia community that have academic promise and/or financial need.

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Arlis Deaton

This scholarship was established in 1999 in memory of Arlis Deaton by his family.  Arlis was employed at Lee County Community Hospital as a nurse anesthetist.  The scholarship will assist students from Lee County enrolled in a health science curriculum who have financial need.

Auto World of Big Stone Gap more information 

Auto World of Big Stone Gap, VA sponsors the Auto World/MECC Golf Classic at the Lonesome Pine Country Club in Big Stone Gap, VA.  The golf tournament proceeds are used for scholarships for students from the MECC service region.  Community volunteers and MECC Foundation employees organize and host the annual tournament.

B. W. Frazier

This scholarship was established to honor B. W. “Billy” Frazier and provide a living memorial to his work in Scott County, Va.  The scholarship will provide educational opportunity to students from Scott County majoring in politics, science, or a related field who demonstrate academic potential and financial need.

Billy W. Frazier was born in the Daniel Boone community of Scott County, Va.  He graduated from Shoemaker High School.  He was a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps where he served in the Korean Conflict. He then began a very successful business career with interests in a number of enterprises in several states.

At the time of his death Mr. Frazier was serving as mayor of Gate City.  He had previously served as vice-mayor and as a town councilman for several terms since 1963.  He was the former chairman of the Gate City Sanitation Authority, former member of the Scott County Highway Safety Commission, and past president of the Scott County Unit of the American Cancer Society.

He was also past president of the Virginia Association of Counties and a member of the State Board of Education.  He was a former chairman of the Scott County Board of Supervisors and former chairman of the Ninth District Republican Party. 

He was an organizer of the Lee-Norton-Scott-Wise Redevelopment Authority and served as its chairman from 1966 through 1968.  This organization was the forerunner of the Lenowisco Planning District of which he served as director and chairman.  He participated in the development of the Duffield Industrial Park.  He was a Shriner and a member of the Gate City Catlett Masonic Lodge No. 35.

Mr. Frazier, in a Kingsport Times-News interview, once stated why he spent so much time working to improve the lives of others:

“I feel obligated to devote my own time and money to contribute whatever I can to create a better economy and a more diversified tax base in this county,” he said, “so our young people in the future can stay here to work instead of being forced to go elsewhere.”


Bank of America more information 

in 1997, NationsBank, which later became Bank of America, established a scholarship at MECC to assist students from Scott and Wise Counties and the City of Norton, locations of the bank branches within the MECC service region.  The scholarship was established as a service learning scholarship to provide a scholarship award and funds for work-study students.  Currently, the Bank of America Scholarship may also be used to assist AIMS Higher Scholar students.

Ben and Millie Wheless

The scholarship was created in 2011 to honor the memory of former MECC Dean of Arts and Sciences, Ben Wheless, and his wife, Millie.
Ben Wheless was the “father” of Mountain Empire Community College.  When the college opened in September 1972, Ben was the most experienced educator and leader on campus.  He brought to the school an extensive background in teaching, administration, personnel and labor relations, and SACS self-study knowledge along with his long-established tradition of scholarship in academia.  As a chairman and mentor, he guided faculty and students—and often administrators—with sound judgment and “tough love.”
Ben took responsibility early in life.  In 1934 at the age of 13, when his father, a North Carolina merchant, cotton ginner and broker, died, Ben became “the man of the family.”  He graduated from high school at 16, enrolled in classes at Campbell University, and entered the University of North Carolina as a junior at 17.  In his first job as an accountant in 1941, he earned $12 a week.

Ben led a life of commitment to church, community and college.  His active role in the community and church led to his beginning seminary studies in 1973 with a goal of entering the priesthood.  He was ordained to the Sacred Order of Episcopal Deacons and became minister of Christ Episcopal Church in Big Stone Gap in 1976 and served until June 30, 1992.
“Father” Ben’s teaching and fellowship spread wide across and rooted genuinely within the area.  At the college he was at the forefront of “The Tribe of Ben,” a compliment to his leadership.  For students, his message was to face difficulties with resolve and to build futures on strengths of mind and conscientious effort.
As he said upon retiring:
“To be kind to everyone is to show the love of God, the caring and compassion that is expected in the first and greatest commandment and the second commandment like unto it.  That’s not to say we should be sappy or maudlin, but love can be a strong tool in changing mankind.”
Information obtained from the History of Mountain Empire Community College--The First 30 Years.

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Benny Wampler

Benny Wampler held many roles during his long tenure at the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, including Acting Director of the Department. His years with DMME were characterized by a strong customer focus, innovation, fairness, and a strong commitment to service. To honor his outstanding skill as a manager, the scholarship is being designated for students who are majoring in management as a future career goal.

Upon his retirement in 2008, members of several mining and energy organizations, created endowed scholarships at the MECC Foundation and the Southwest Virginia Community College to show respect for Benny's distinguished career. Benny has established B. P. Wampler Consulting to continue support for the region.


Big Stone Gap High School Buccaneer Alumni more information 

The Big Stone Gap High School Buccaneer Alumni created the first Buccaneer Scholarships in 2003 to assist students graduating from Powell Valley High School in attending MECC.  The scholarships now assist students attending Union High School.  The Buccaneer Scholarship Committee selects annual recipients based upon GPA, financial need, activities on and off campus, and letters of recommendation.  Currently, two to six scholarships are awarded annually in the amount of $1,500 each.  The recipients attend the Big Stone Gap Reunion to meet the Alumni donors who have provided the funding for the scholarships.

The goal of the the BSGHS Buccaneer Alumni is to create a total of six endowed scholarships to continue awards into perpetuity.  The C. Bascom Slemp Foundation has also assisted in creating the Faith Cox Buccaneer Scholarship, the Billie Jean Scott Buccaneer Scholarship, and the Buccaneer Scholarship in Memory of Virginia McChesney.  The Buccaneer in Honor of Ed and Tommy Daugherty Scholarship has been created by their children.  The Grace and Roland Rose Memorial Scholarship was also created by a Big Stone Gap Buccaneer Alumni honoring his parents.

Big Stone Gap Lions Club more information 

The Lions club strives to empower volunteers to serve their communities, meet humanitarian needs, encourage peace and promote international understanding.  The Big Stone Gap Lions club established this scholarship in 1994 to support graduates from their community, Union High School (formerly Powell Valley), in attending Mountain Empire Community College.

Big Stone Gap Masonic Lodge #208

The Big Stone Gap Masonic Lodge #208 established the Square and Compasses Masonic Scholarship in 1999 to assist a Powell Valley High School graduate, and now benefits Union High School graduates.  The recipient must have a 2.0 GPA and moderate financial need.  Student applicants must submit two letters of recommendation and complete the Square and Compasses Masonic Scholarship application.  The scholarship award of $500 will be announced at the Union High School awards ceremony.    The student may be eligible for a second year $500 renewal, dependent on maintaining at least a 2.0 academic average.

The Square and Compasses Masonic Scholarship Committee reviews all eligible applications to select the recipients.  At the end of each semester, the recipient must submit a copy of the semester’s final grades and the next semester’s schedule of classes to the Masonic Lodge for scholarship’s award to continue.

Billie Jean Scott

The Big Stone Gap High School Buccaneer Alumni created an endowed Buccaneer Scholarship to honor Miss Billie Jean Scott, made possible with donations from the C. Bascom Slemp Foundation.  Miss Scott is a 1950 graduate of Lincoln Memorial University.  She was a librarian and teacher at Big Stone Gap High School and Powell Valley High School for many years.  She is dearly loved by all her students who benefited from her outstanding advice, sage counsel, caring ways, and exemplary character.

Miss Scott has a wonderful sense of humor and is a good listener.  She has an outgoing and warm personality, and has always supported her students’ dreams and aspirations.  She instilled in them the knowledge that they had the ability to pursue their goals and be successful in life.  Throughout her many years of dedication to education, she received many accolades from former students and fellow teachers.  All of this professional recognition was well deserved.

In October 2011, Miss Scott was honored by being inducted into the Educators’ Hall of Fame at Lincoln Memorial University.  The LMU Hall of Fame is a very select and short list of educators who have received this outstanding honor. 

Among those who thank Miss Scott for enriching their lives is Adriana Trigiani, a Powell Valley High School graduate and best-selling author.  Adri credits Miss Scott with helping shape her writing style.  Through the years as a librarian, she inspired others to become librarians or to pursue literary careers.  Most importantly, she instilled in her students the joy, love, and benefits of reading.

Miss Scott has one of those few personalities that other people quickly love and admire from the moment they meet her.  Miss Scott has devoted her life to helping others, as evidenced by how warmly her former students cherish her friendship and love.  She is a true legend to BSGHS and PVHS graduates and richly deserves to have this scholarship named in her honor.

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Bob Hamblen

Bobby R. Adams, A & A Security more information 

This scholarship was established by MECC alumni, J. D. and Sam Adams, in 2006 in memory of their father, Bobby R. Adams.

Bobby established A & A Security, a family business, in 1979.  He was employed in law enforcement as Deputy Sheriff of Wise County and he served as Chief Investigator.  Initially, he provided private investigative and security service through his small company and over time the company grew to focus on private security service.  Bobby passed away in 1988, but his sons and wife, Mary, continued to grow the business.

J. D. Adams was a 1986 graduate of MECC’s Mining Technology Program and graduated with an Associate Degree in Police Science in 1988.  Sam Adams was a 1990 graduate of MECC’s Business Administration Program.  Both served as security officers at MECC while they attended college and they have taught as adjunct faculty members in MECC’s Criminal Justice Program and directed MECC’s security school.

Both have acknowledged that scholarship assistance made the difference in them being able to attend Mountain Empire Community College.  Together, they created the Bobby Adams/A & A Security Scholarship to assist other MECC students in attending college.

Today, A & A security, employs over 200 persons and provides private security service to government agencies, including Mountain Empire Community College, and to private companies in the region.

Bon Secours St. Mary's Healthcare

The scholarship was established in 1996 by St. Mary’s Hospital, and later supported by Bon Secours, to assist students pursuing a health care major.

Bruce K. and Patsy Y. Robinette

Both Bruce and Patsy Robinette were teachers that had a personal love of learning and understood how important a good education is to a good start on life. 

Bruce was instrumental in the establishment of Mountain Empire Community College which expanded higher education opportunities to residents of Lee, Scott, Wise, and Dickenson Counties and the City of Norton.  Born near Duffield, Bruce was raised on a dairy farm in Powell Valley and graduated from East Stone Gap High School.  He earned a B.S. Degree in Business Administration and Economics from Lincoln Memorial University in TN and a Master’s Degree from Virginia Tech.  He retired after 42 years in public service; seven of those as a public secondary school teacher and administrator.  He spent 35 years engaged in community and economic development as Director of the LENOWISCO Planning District and as General Manager of the Duffield Development Authority.  He currently resides in Bristol.

His wife, Patsy, was born in Dickenson County and moved to Kingsport while still young.  She graduated from Dobyns-Bennett and went on to Lincoln Memorial University to earn a Bachelor’s DegreeFor 17 years, she taught elementary and secondary school in Wise County and City of Waynesboro, VA. She was married to Bruce for 51 years before her death in 2012.

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Campbell S. Edmonds

The memorial scholarship was established by the Mountain Empire Community College Foundation Board to honor the late Slemp Foundation board member, Campbell S. Edmonds. Unrestricted scholarship awards may be made to students from Lee, Scott, and Wise Counties, or City of Norton.

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Carol Jane Fouts

Friends, family, and colleagues of Carol Jane Fouts established this scholarship to honor the memory of an outstanding educator, community leader, and friend.  A memorial scholarship was determined to be the most fitting tribute to a teacher who gave so generously of her talents to encourage and develop Lee County youth.

Carol was born in Orlando Fl., but grew up in Sheffield, Al., and had resided in Dryden for the last 17 years of her life.  She was a graduate of Sheffield High School and received her PhD from Virginia Tech University. 

She was an outstanding educator with the Lee County Public School System, teaching both vocational child care and occupational foods at the Lee County Vocational-Technical School for 17 years.  She worked with the Girl Scouts since high school and lead summer camping experiences with the Appalachian Girl Scout Council for 17 years.

Cawood Family

This scholarship was established in 1999 by the Cawood Family to honor the strong history of the Cawood family in Big Stone Gap and surrounding areas.  The scholarship will assist Big Stone Gap residents who are older, returning students with a grade point average of 2.5 or above.
The Cawood Family has had a long line of residents from this area.  John Campbell Clark ‘Dick’ Cawood came to the area in 1889 when the South Atlantic & Ohio Railway extended its line to Big Stone.  He made the shoes and shod the mules and horses that worked on the rail line.  He settled in Big Stone Gap as a wheel-wright, smithy and gun-smith.  He made buggies, wagons, and guns as well as horseshoes.  His shop was the first in town and the only one equipped to re-tire buggies with rubber treads.  He was also a proficient gunsmith, making cap and ball rifles.  His shop was located on Main Street near the school house.  Later he moved his shop out of town and added a grist mill.
Mildred Clark Cawood, daughter of John Campbell Clark Cawood, graduated as valedictorian from East Stone Gap High School and was the 1922 class president.  She was the winner of a $20 gold piece awarded by the American Legion for an essay on Southwest Virginia.
Mildred graduated from Radford College with honors and subsequently taught in Wise and Tazewell County schools.  In 1939 she joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation at its home office in Washington, D.C., and served as administrative assistant until her retirement in 1973.
Mildred is not the only one in her family to teach in the area.  Among those also teaching were several of her sisters – Myrta Cawood, Myra Carrington, Ruble Lawson, Anne Lipps, Mary Jobe, and Sue Wheeler, her niece Marilyn Lawson Dixon, and great-nephew Bill Cawood.  Many others follow the family teaching tradition throughout the country.  Her brother Jack was a lifelong resident, and her brother Clarence, was also a local businessman.

Chant Branham Kelly more information 

This scholarship was created in 2002 by W. Paul Varson and his wife, Chances Kelly Varson, in recognition of the high value that Chant Branham Kelly placed on education.  The scholarship will assist deserving residents of Pound, VA attend Mountain Empire Community College.

Chant Branham Kelly of Sunnydale Farm is widely acclaimed as “Pound’s Founding Father “.   He dedicated his life to the development of the mountain community he loved.  As a child, Kelly’s formal education took place in a one-room schoolhouse.  Although he had to quit school to contribute to the household, Kelly never lost his love of learning.  Throughout his life, he took courses when they were available. 

Upon returning from service in the Army during the Mexican Expedition and World War I he found life in the hills little changed.  Remembering the week long wagon trips he made with his grandfather twice a year to Abingdon to secure supplies that could not be produced on the farm he concluded that a town was needed.  He determined that its location should be at the crossroads of the north-south route from Wise to Kentucky and the eastern route to Clintwood. He was appointed by C. Bascom Slemp to be the postmaster of Pound, and from that point on Kelly tirelessly worked to turn the “wide spot in the road” into a thriving and active town.

As an entrepreneur, Kelly built the first modern barber shop in Pound and then he built a filling station, two restaurants, a five and ten cent store, a boarding house, and a pool room.  He recognized the need for medical care for the town and recruited a doctor to move to Pound.  Working with the doctor, Kelly established the first drug store and made frequent trips to New York to obtain the needed medical supplies.  He recruited a large hardware and building supply store, a grocery store, a pharmacist, and other businesses to locate in Pound.

In order to support the new businesses, Kelly worked to have a road built between Pound and Wise.  He established an independent electrical utility that provided electrical power to the town; later he worked to build a water supply system as well as a sewer system. After a devastating fire destroyed a number of buildings in Pound, Kelly went to Indiana and bought used firefighting equipment and brought it back to establish the Pound Fire Department.

Often described as a “one-man Chamber of Commerce,” Kelly lobbied to promote Pound whenever and wherever he could find someone who would listen.  In an effort to provide flood control, Kelly worked to have a dam built on the Pound River.  Kelly was involved with the dam project beginning with the conception of the dam, surveying the land for a suitable location, and traveling to Washington, DC for funding meetings.  If it were not for his efforts, the North Fork Dam would never have been built.

Kelly was awarded a commission of Kentucky Colonel by the State of Kentucky for his work for tourism in Southwest Virginia and Eastern Kentucky, along with his contribution to electrical and flood control progress in the area.

Charles E. Morris, Sr. and Verta E. Morris

The Charles E. Morris, Sr. and Verta E. Morris Scholarship honors the memory of two outstanding Southwest Virginia citizens who demonstrated a long-term commitment to education and civic responsibility.

Charles Morris was an active leader in education and the arts in southwest Virginia.  He was a past chairman of the MECC Local Advisory Board, and at the time of his death in 1986, was serving on the board of directors at Lonesome Pine Hospital and the MECC Foundation Board.

Charles was born in Lee County and educated in Big Stone Gap schools.  He attended Virginia State College, Howard University, and the Hampton Institute, and began teaching at Stonega in Wise County.  Shortly after returning to Wise County he married Verta Edith Warner of Bedford, Va., a former classmate from Virginia State College.  At the death of his father, Charles took over the family shoe repair business to allow his sisters to continue their education in 1931.  With his wife, Edith, the business expanded into custom-tailored draperies and slipcovers.

Both Charles and Edith were well-known for their civic commitment in the community. His volunteerism included work with the Heart Fund, Head Start, and the Girl Scouts.  His singing of the “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” was an annual tradition at the Christmas community chorus. He was a past member of the Lonesome Pine Arts and Crafts Association Board and served on the Big Stone Gap Town Planning Commission.

Charles was an elder and Sunday school superintendent at the Mount Herman Presbyterian Church where his wife, Edith, was organist and he sang in the choir. He served as a member of the Governor’s Task Force on the Status of Women.  He was a long-time member of New Bethel Masonic Lodge #209, reaching the rank of Deputy Grand Master of the 18th and 19th Districts.

Edith served for 30 years as president of the Big Stone Gap PTA, served as chairwoman of the Heart Fund, was an active volunteer with the Lonesome Pine Hospital and various churches and auxiliaries in Big Stone Gap.  Charles and Edith were both certified teachers and continued serving as substitute teachers in the county school system in addition to keeping their businesses going.

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Charles Greene

Charles L. Daniels

Charlie Daniels was a lifelong resident of Norton, a community that he dearly loved and served.  As a veteran of the U. S. Air Force, he was a navigator in both World War II and the Korean Conflict.  Following the war, he and his brother founded Daniels Plumbing and Heating.  He served as its president until his retirement.

Community service was a strong point of Charlie’s life.  He helped organize and was the first president of the Norton Jaycees.  He was twice elected president of the Wise County Chamber of Commerce, and in 1961 he was awarded its coveted “Wise County Citizen of the Year” for his distinguished service to his community.  He served on various boards of directors including both the City of Norton and Wise County Industrial Authorities, as well as the First Commonwealth Bank.

He was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.  Charlie is probably best remembered for his enthusiastic service in the Lions Club, both locally and internationally.  He was the recipient of 20 Lions Club International President’s Awards, and also received the Lion’s Ambassador of Goodwill Award. 

He was well-known for his philanthropic and humanitarian activities.  He organized a statewide fund-raising effort to obtain food and clothing for victims of Hurricane Carla.  He made foreign visits on behalf of American servicemen.  He was part of a civilian advocacy team that traveled to Moscow and East Berlin to negotiate to free the crew of the USS Pueblo, and he traveled to Moscow in 1969 to seek information on U.S. Servicemen listed as missing in action or prisoners of war.

In 1937 when Charlie Daniels was a senior at Norton High School, he wrote the following in an article on fishing:

"Fishing is like school.  It requires patience to work a problem in geometry, algebra, or any other school subject.  When one goes fishing, he does not expect to catch a fish every time he casts a line; likewise, in school, a good student often spends hours at a time in solving a difficult problem.  A student is a fisherman, casting his line of patience and ability, baited with knowledge, into the fishing hole of school."

Mr. Daniels recognized the value of an education and understood the persistence required to complete an educational goal.  The scholarship at Mountain Empire Community College that now bears his name is a tribute to his dedication to education.

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Charlotte Wilkinson Cook

This scholarship was created by the family of Charlotte Wilkinson Cook in 2011 to assist students with financial need and academic promise. First priority is given to students from Lee County, second priority from Dickenson County and third priority from Scott County.  The scholarship can serve full-time or part-time students.

China Garden

The scholarship was established in 2010 to assist students with academic promise and financial need from the MECC service region.

Clarence E. 'Bud' Phillips

This scholarship was established by the Mountain Empire Community College Foundation in honor of retired state Delegate Bud Phillips, D-Clintwood. 

Phillips has been praised for his dedication and bipartisanship in working with other members of Southwest Virginia’s legislative delegation since his election in 1990 to the Virginia House of Delegates.  His work on health care, economic development, safe drinking water issues, and in particular, his support of higher education has been recognized.  One of his major accomplishments was raising the profile and funding level of the state’s community college system, convincing state leaders that it’s an effective way to help educate the population.

Delegate Phillips served on the Appropriations, General Laws and Privileges and Elections committees in the House of Delegates. His legislative district included Dickenson County, the city of Norton and part of Wise and Russell counties.

Prior to his election to the House of Delegates, Phillips taught government at Clintwood High School for nine years. He also served as the school’s principal. While working as an educator, Phillips read law and earned his Juris Doctorate Equivalency in 1988. He is a member of the Virginia State Bar and the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association and maintained a law practice in Castlewood.  In 2012, Phillips was appointed by the Virginia General Assembly as District Court Judge for the counties of Wise, Lee, Scott and the city of Norton.

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Coeburn Civic League more information 

The Coeburn Civic League, created in 1966, is a community service group dedicated to making their community a better, brighter, and happier place.   League members undertake civic projects benefiting the Coeburn, VA community.  In 1999, the Coeburn Civic League established an endowed scholarship with the MECC Foundation.  The initial donation was funds from the proceeds of a League-sponsored golf tournament and a $500 matching gift from Walmart.  The scholarship is to assist graduating seniors of Coeburn, VA.  The scholarship funds may be used for tuition, books, supplies, and other expenses.  The scholarship may be awarded to the same student for a second year.

Connie D. Reasor

Connie D. Reasor was born in Wise County, Virginia and graduated from Mountain Empire Community College and Clinch Valley College.  She was a Special Education teacher with Lee County Public Schools for eleven years.  She held certifications for teaching students Nursery to fourth grade, as well as teaching braille, hearing impaired students, and students with special learning disabilities. 

While visiting New Orleans with her parents in 1996, she was killed by a gunman.  The tragedy occurred while the 33-year-old teacher and her parents were photographing landmarks in New Orleans.  The photographs were to be used for special education instruction at the Pennington Gap Middle School.
Connie served on numerous boards, associations, and projects.  She served as sponsor of the Pennington Gap Middle School cheerleaders, organized and served as co-president of the Communications Awareness Project in Lee County, coached for the Odyssey of the Mind, and as the Pennington Middle School representative to the Lee County Education Association.  She received the 1995-1996 Commemorative Teacher of the Year by Pennington Middle School. 

A memorial scholarship was determined to be the most fitting tribute to a teacher who gave so generously of her talents to encourage and develop Lee County youth.  Friends, families, and colleagues established the scholarship to honor Connie’s memory as an outstanding educator, community leader, and friend.

Curtis and Sue B. Mays

Curtis and Sue Bostic Mays created this scholarship to assist honor students who wish to pursue an education at Mountain Empire Community College.  Curtis and Sue resided in Dungannon and have strong links to education.

Curtis was born in Russell County, Va.  He was a U.S. Navy Air Corp veteran of Worrld War II with the rank of Lt. J.G.  He graduated from VPI in 1950 and taught Vocational Agriculture in Scott County for 32 years. He was a member of Fincastle Masonic Lodge No. 33, Royal Arch Masons of Scott County No. 78, and Gate City Chapter No. 116 Order of Eastern Star, in which he served as Worthy Patron.  He was also a member of the Scott County Farm Bureau Board of Directors for 25 years and a member of the Clinch River Health Services Inc. Board of Directors from 1977 until his death.  In 1991 he was honored by the Virginia Primary Care Association as “1991 Volunteer of the Year” for his role and dedication in working toward providing medical care to the community.

Sue Bostic Mays was born in Russell County, Va.  She graduated from James Madison University and then received a master’s and PhD degree from Virginia Tech in education.  She was a charter member of Delta Kappa Gamma Chapter Alpha Zeta.  She worked in the Scott County School System for 20 years as a home economics teacher and principal.  She then served at ETSU as a home economics professor and department head for over 10 years.  She was a member of the Mountain Empire Community College Advisory Board and Foundation Board.  She was active with Farm Bureau Ladies Auxiliary, Southwest Virginia United Way, Gate City Chapter No. 116 Order of Eastern Star and Nickelsville Senior Citizens.

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Cynthia Kinser

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Dave and Julia T. Isaac

The Dave and Julia T. Isaac Scholarship was established in 1984 to assist full-time students based on financial need and a minimum 2.0 GPA.

David Ray Wampler

David Wampler graduated from Powell Valley High School and attended Mountain Empire Community College after serving as a paratrooper in the U.S. Army.  He served in the 82nd Airborne Division in Panama and Grenada during wartime.  He passed away December 30, 1994.

The David Ray Wampler Scholarship was established to honor David by his family.  Preference is given to veterans or active members of the military.

Dickenson County Special Events

Dickenson County volunteers, working with the MECC Foundation, host an annual fundraising special event to provide scholarship opportunities for Dickenson County students attending Mountain Empire Community College.  Through the generous donations of time, energy, and funds by these volunteers, three endowed scholarships have been established.

The Dickenson County Service Learning Scholarship
was established with revenue from special events in Dickenson County from 2001-2004 and with donations from the Colubus Phipps Foundation to assist Dickenson County students who are involved in service learning.

The Dickenson County AIMS Higher Scholarship was established in 2005 through special event fundraising to assist Dickenson County high school graduates who have met the academic, attendance, and community service requirements for the AIMS Higher Scholarship.

The Dickenson County Endowed Scholarship was established in 2010 to assist a Dickenson County student attending MECC.

Dominion Foundation more information 

Dominion Resources and the Dominion Foundation have awarded more than $1.4M to schools and educational institutions in eight states for the 2013-2014 academic year through their education partnership programs. Dominion Foundation’s Higher Education Partnership program will provide 39 colleges in Connecticut, Ohio, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia with up to $50,000 each to underwrite projects in energy, environmental studies, engineering and workforce development.

“We encourage projects that invoke critical thinking and relevant learning,” said Thomas F. Farrell II, Dominion Resources’ chairman, president and chief executive officer. “Our nation’s students must be prepared to meet the challenges ahead, particularly in the fields of science and energy.”

The Dominion Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Dominion Resources, is dedicated to improving the physical, social and economic well-being of the communities served by Dominion companies. Dominion and the Foundation annually award more than $20 million to causes that protect the environment, promote education and help meet basic human needs

Don Wax

In July 2007, Toby Wax, Tamara Cooper, and Garry Qualls created the Don Wax Memorial Scholarship in memory of their father. The scholarship will be used to fund tuition and books for students from Wise County majoring in Accounting/Business or other related fields at MECC.
Don Luis Wax was born and grew up in Big Stone Gap, and except for his service in the Army during World War II, he lived his entire life there.  He often said, “I never thought of living any place else.”  He graduated from Big Stone Gap High School in 1945 and was drafted into the Army at that time.  He was an avid supporter of the high school reunions, which he hosted at his farm in Cracker’s Neck.

Don was an independent building contractor.  He built a few hundred homes in Big Stone Gap, Wise County, the surrounding area, and Kentucky. He was a commercial and real estate developer, having built Cloverleaf Square, Shawnee Shopping Center, several apartment buildings, and business buildings.  He owned and operated Don Wax Realty, which later became Lonesome Pine Realty.  He was the former owner and operator of radio stations WLSD and WAXM, and the Virginia-Kentucky Opry in Norton.

Don loved to write and was a local historian.  He wrote feature stories for The Post and was the author of Welcome to Lonesome Pine Country.  His latest book, The Goodloes, was finished just prior to his death.


Donald and Victoria Ratliff

The endowed scholarship was established by Donald and Victoria Ratliff in 2010 to assist students enrolled in business and information technology curricula. Students should have a minimum 3.0 GPA for the scholarship.

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Donald McCollum

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Dr. George F. Sutherland

This scholarship was created in 1997 in honor of prominent local physician, Dr. George F. Sutherland, by his wife Mrs. Les Sutherland.  Dr. Sutherland practiced general medicine in Big Stone Gap from 1946 until retirement in 1985. This scholarship assists students enrolled in nursing or respiratory therapy with financial need and academic promise.
George Foster Sutherland was born in Clintwood in 1916, the son of George Cleveland Sutherland and Bertha McFall Sutherland.  He graduated from Hiawassee College, Duke University, and Duke University Medical School. He served as Captain in the Army Medical Corps during WWII.  He returned to Southwestern Virginia in 1946 to practice medicine and was the only physician in Big Stone Gap for over twenty years.
Dr. Sutherland was a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Practice, a member of the American Medical Association, the Southern Railway Association of Physicians and Surgeons and several local medical societies. He was a charter member of the Board of Directors of Lonesome Pine Hospital.

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Dr. Luis Adongay and Willie Joe and Laura Peters

The Dr. Luis Adongay Scholarship was created in memory of Dr. Luis Adongay in 1999, and the Willie Joe and Laura Peters Scholarship was created with a bequest from Willie Joe and Laura Lyon Peters in 2004.  The scholarships were combined and continue to assist MECC students from Wise County and the City of Norton, with preference to graduates of Union and John I. Burton High Schools.

Dr. Victor B. Ficker

The Dr. Victor B. Ficker Scholarship was established to honor the second president of Mountain Empire Community College.  Dr. Ficker served as president from January 1978 until October 1988.  During his tenure, the college enrollment increased dramatically.  Dr. Ficker’s goals were to serve as many people as possible and to assure that the college continued to reach out into the community as a resource and an avenue to a better future.

Other accomplishments included two new buildings (Dalton-Cantrell and Robb Hall), the beginning of the Educational Foundation which sponsors scholarships and a cultural series, the development of a model adult literacy program for the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Safe Mines Program which has been cited for its contribution to a reduction in mine fatalities, and the exploration of locating the DMME Office on campus which later came to fruition in 1992.

For his leadership and support of vocation education, Dr. Victor B. Ficker won the fifth annual Rufus W. Beamer Award.  Most accolades focused on the college president’s character as a caring, compassionate, and determined leader who aimed at bringing higher education to all Southwest Virginians.  He brought new programs, formed beneficial partnerships, expanded off-campus curricula, and enrolled people who thought they never had a chance in higher education.

Those who were privileged to know Dr. Ficker were well aware of his deep conviction as to the importance of education for everyone.  He worked hard to insure that this opportunity was available, not only on campus but also in many off-campus sites.  To make this region a better place to live, and to do so with compassion, to leave a place in better condition than when you came – and to know that you made the difference – that’s the greatest reward anyone can ever have.

It was with gratitude and appreciation of his tireless work for the benefit of Mountain Empire Community College and its service area that the Dr. Victor B. Ficker Scholarship was established.  It will be awarded to a deserving student from Dickenson or Scott County. 

Duffield Lions Club

The scholarship was established in 1996 to assist a Rye Cove High School graduate. Priority is given to students with physical disabilities.

E. J. and Nell B. Rhoton

The E.J. and Nell B. Rhoton scholarship was established at MECC to honor two of the areas well-known citizens who devoted their careers to public education.  Martha Rhoton, the couple’s daughter and a long-time employee of MECC, established the scholarship in honor of her parents.

E.J. was a veteran of the United States Navy having served in the Korean War.  He retired in 1989 from the Scott County School System after 42 years of dedicated service.  He began his career in 1947 as a history and government teacher and basketball coach at Rye Cove Memorial High School.  He served as principal of Clinchport Elementary from 1955 to 1966; Duffield Elementary from 1967 to 1982; and Shoemaker Elementary from 1983 until his retirement in 1989.

Nell Rhoton retired in 1992 after 25 years of service with the Scott County School System.  She served as a teacher’s aide at Duffield Elementary School for four years and served as secretary at Rye Cove High School from 1971 until her retirement.  She was also a member on the MECC Foundation Board.

“My parents have always instilled in me the tremendous value of an education.  It is something no one can take away from a person and armed with an education that person is in the driver’s seat to a world of opportunity that knows no limits.  I am so happy to be able to help deserving students and honor my parents with this scholarship,” Martha said.


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East Stone Gap Tigers Alumni Association

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Ed and Tommy Daugherty

Edward Rogan Daugherty grew up in Big Stone Gap and graduated from Big Stone Gap High School in 1929.  He played left tackle on the undefeated and unscored upon Big Stone Gap Buccaneer football team during the regular season, and his team played in the half state championship.  He received Honorable Mention for the All-State team. He was a founder of the Big Stone Gap Lions Club. 

Mary Margaret Murphy Daugherty graduated from Welch High School in Welch, West Virginia.  She excelled in sports, in particular, tennis; swimming and diving; track; and bowling.  She was usually called “Tommy”, a nickname derived from her reputation as a tomboy when she grew up playing sports with her three older brothers. 

Ed and Tommy Daugherty worked at the family business, Daugherty’s Grocery, in Big Stone Gap for over 40 years.  They had a strong Christian faith, loved sports, and personified the lasting values of a strong work ethic, integrity, honesty, respect for all, and personal responsibility. They placed great emphasis on education, and the scholarship honors their belief in providing people the knowledge and skills to make their greatest contribution to society as productive citizens.
In 2009, the endowed Buccaneer Scholarship in Memory of Ed and Tommy Daugherty was established by their son, Roger Daugherty, and their daughter, Carol Daugherty Rasnic.   The memorial scholarship assists graduates of Union High School attending Mountain Empire Community College.

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Edward Reed and Mary Newberry Stanley

Edward Reed and Mary Newberry Stanley, both born in remote sections of Dickenson County, in far southwestern Virginia were children of the Great Depression. The remoteness of their homes and adverse economic conditions were major factors in limiting their opportunity for higher education. Both Edward and Mary passionately hoped their children and future generations of rural southwestern Virginia students would have the opportunity to go to college and that most students who wanted a college education should be not hindered because of lack of money.
The Edward Reed and Mary Newberry Stanley Scholarship was created to honor Edward and Mary's commitment to opening the doors to higher education for any student committed to attaining this goal.


Elizabeth and Georgia Jo Couch

Georgia Jo and Elizabeth Couch were sisters and natives of Scott County.  Georgia Jo, known to friends as “Woody”, served as treasurer of Scott County from 1955 to 1962.  She later served as clerk of the Scott County School Board until she retired.  Elizabeth Couch, known to friends as “Liz” was employed as a technician at Eastman Kodak for 34 years.  Neither sister married.  They were successful farmers, and were active in politics, their church and community until their deaths in 2005 and 2006.
The sisters established the Elizabeth and Georgia Jo Couch Endowed Scholarship in 2003.  Having established the scholarship during their lifetimes, the Couch sisters had the opportunity to receive thank you letters from students whose lives they had changed.  Knowing how these scholarships had benefitted students, the Couch sisters used part of their estate to leave a larger scholarship fund as their legacy.
“Woody and Liz were wonderful ladies.  They loved students in Scott County.  The College is very grateful to them for leaving this wonderful legacy through estate giving”, said Dr. Terrance E. Suarez, president of MECC when the bequeath was received.

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Elna Jackson Robinson and Gray Robinson

Mrs. Elna Jackson Robinson was the wife of Mr. James W. “Jim” Robinson and was a teacher in the business department at Pound High School for 20 years.  Former students described her as a kind and loving person.  As a fitting tribute to her devotion to education, the scholarship fund was created in her memory.

Mr. Gray Robinson was the son of Mr. and Mrs. James W. “Jim” and Elna Jackson Robinson and was a native of Pound, VA.  He had graduated from the University of Tennessee and then received his law degree from the University of Richmond-T.C. Williams School of Law.  He practiced law in Bristol from 1982 until his death in 2002.

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Ewing "Rhea" Rasnic

Ewing “Rhea” Rasnic was a lifelong resident of Lee County and helped establish the dairy and tobacco industries in Lee and surrounding counties.  He was chairman of the first elected school board in Lee County at the time of his death.  He had served several appointed terms prior to being elected.  He was also instrumental in the county’s school building program in the 1950s and '60s.

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Faith Cox

The Big Stone Gap High School Buccaneer Alumni created an endowed Buccaneer Scholarship to honor Miss Faith Cox, made possible with donations from the C. Bascom Slemp Foundation.  Miss Cox, a graduate of Radford College as it was then known,began her teaching career at Big Stone Gap High School upon graduation.  Carol Daugherty Rasnic, Big Stone Gap High School Class of 1959 said of Miss Cox:

"Our class of ’59 always felt a special kinship with Miss Cox, since we started as fledglings at Big Stone Gap High School the same year she began teaching.  I think we loved her from the proverbial “get-go,” and none of us every had any doubt but that she loved each of her students—and she loved teaching. 
Fresh out of (then) Radford College, it was quite obvious that Miss Cox had chosen a profession specially moulded for her.  Her enthusiasm, her zest, and her vast array of information for the asking gleaned for her our paramount admiration. I must confess that in grammar school, history was dull for me, but she brought it alive.  This interest in American history that she ignited continued during my years at the University of Kentucky, where I had a wonderful history professor with same fervour for his subject as Miss Cox.  It is precisely because of Miss Cox and this professor that I decided to go to law school, since law is on the periphery of so much that is our history. 
Similarly, she was able to plant in us a genuine passion for literature, and without her insight, we likely would not have had a clue about what we were reading.  We even enjoyed Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar
I can always remember her saying to me, “Carol, you can do whatever you want to do,” and she actually had me believing this.  She did the same for all her students, giving us confidence in our individual abilities that guided each of us along our career path.  Encouragement was her signature style, and she pumped the very best out of each of us without our even realizing we were being stretched to our maximum limits.
Miss Cox was always away from Big Stone on weekends except for school functions, such as Friday night football games.  This time was reserved for her family in Scott County (Fort Blackmore).  Love for family was just as natural to her as was her love for her students and for teaching.  It was Miss Cox who telephoned me to tell me about the death of Mr. Gibbs, my mentor, friend, and piano teacher.  He had been her friend and confidante also, but rather than allowing herself to grieve, she was primarily concerned about how this loss would affect me.
When one thinks of Miss Cox, it is difficult not to think simultaneously of Miss Dingus, with whom she shared an apartment for many years.  They, along with Mr. Gibbs, chaperoned our senior trip to Washington D.C., which in 1959 extended to New York City.  She smiled continuously on that trip, revelling in watching us gawk at everything, absorbing the reality of seeing much of what she had taught us as theretofore “book stuff.”  Because of the preparation from her, we appreciated the real essence of the Washington Monument, the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, the White House, Congress, the Supreme Court Building, Radio City and its Rockettes, the Empire State Building, and the lights of Broadway.
We were all touched by Miss Cox, and this scholarship is a tribute to her skill as a teacher and her compassion as a person."

Fannie Ringley

The scholarship was established in 1996 in memory of Fannie Ringley by her sister Margaret Ringley Saylor.  This scholarship will assist nursing students from Lee County with financial need.

Farmers and Miners Bank more information 

This scholarship was established by Farmers & Miners Bank in 2006 to assist one new student and a returning student annually from the counties of Lee, Scott, Dickenson, and Wise or City of Norton.
Farmers and Miners Bank has offered customers "banking like it ought to be" since 1979.  Offices are conveniently located in Pennington Gap, Clintwood, Cumberland Gap, Rose Hill, Weber City, and Wise.

Ford C. Quillen

Ford C. Quillen was born on September 21, 1938 in Gate City, VA.  He graduated from Scott County Public Schools.  He attended Fork Union Military Academy as a postgraduate cadet, earning accolades as captain of the varsity football team and as a distinguished graduate. He continued playing football in college at the University of Tennessee, earning his degree in 1961.  He served as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army and began his career as a practicing attorney in 1966 in Gate City.
Quillen was first elected to the House of Delegates of the Virginia General Assembly in 1970.  He then served the next 24 years in such capacities as chair of the Privileges and Elections Committee; chair of the Joint Legislative & Audit Review Commission; vice chair of the Mines & Minerals Resources; the Joint Commission on Health Care; Member of Rules Committee, Coal & Energy Commission, chair of Coal Sub-Committee; Member of Appropriation Committee and its sub-committees of Higher, Education, Publication, and chair of Human Services sub-committee.

Quillen instituted a long-term regional focus on education improvement through his introduction of legislation creating the Southwest Virginia Public Education consortium.  He also introduced legislation establishing the Coalfield Economic Authority.

In addition to being an effective legislator, Quillen is widely recognized for his support of education. 
He was twice elected “Educator of the Year” by the Virginia School Boards Association.  He was elected “Legislator of the Year” in 1987 by the Virginia Primary Care association, and he received “Conservationist of the Year” in 1989 by the Virginia Wildlife Association.

In 1995, Quillen was elected as a Circuit Court Judge for Virginia's 30th Judicial Circuit. He retired from the bench in July 2003.
Quillen, a tireless supporter of the college, called his years of service a labor of love and noted the contributions of MECC to education in Virginia.  “Nobody does it like the community colleges as far as giving opportunities to young people.  You do a great job and the Commonwealth is well served.  I just feel lucky to be a part of it.” (MECC News Release, 1993)


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Frank and Ginger Rutherford

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Garnett and Carolyn Gilliam

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Gary and Rita McCann

Gate City Civitan Club in honor of Fred W. Dougherty more information 

Fred W. Dougherty was born September 3, 1918 in Scott County, Virginia.  He graduated from Virginia Tech in 1940 and captained the 564th AAA Battalion during World War II in the Pacific.  After the war, he returned to Gate City and served as postmaster until his retirement in 1979.

In 1946, Mr. Dougherty became a charter member of the Gate City Civitan Club, serving 53 years.  He served as club president and also held several other offices in the club.  He was also a lieutenant governor in the Appalachian District.

He faithfully participated in the club’s main fundraisers which raised money to purchase uniforms and instruments for the high school band, programs for special education, sponsored little league baseball teams, procured playground equipment for Grogan Park, and numerous other projects.

The Gate City Civitan Club created this scholarship not only to honor Fred’s testimony of life and his faithful service to the Club, but his dedication to the people in the community as well.

George C. Wharton, III and Margaret W. Wharton

Jerry and Melissa Wharton created the George C. Wharton, III and Margaret W. Wharton Scholarship to assist Mountain Empire Community College students and to memorialize Jerry’s devoted parents.

Mr. and Mrs. George C. Wharton III were outstanding citizens of Wise County who were active in its governmental, business, civic, and faith communities.  At the time of Mr. Wharton’s death in 1975, he was president of Wharton, Inc. as well as co-founder and chairman of the Board of Black Diamond Savings and Loan in Norton.  He was a director of the National Independent Coal Operators Association and chairman of the Cumberland Airport Commission of Wise.  He served for 21 years on the Wise Town Council, 35 years as a member of the board of administration of Wise Trinity United Methodist Church, and 25 years as member of the Hoge Lodge No. 8.  He previously served as member of the Wise Kiwanis Club, chief of the Wise Volunteer Fire Department, member of the Wise County School Board, and director of the Wise County National Bank.

Mrs. Margaret Wells Wharton began her career as an elementary school teacher and joined her husband in building the family’s successful coal and banking businesses.  She was a founding leader of the Wise Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts.  At her death in 2003, she had served for 42 years as a volunteer with the American Heart Association, for more than 50 years as a member and leader of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution and Trinity United Methodist Church.  She served as a member of the Trinity United Methodist Church’s administrative council, as teacher of the Ladies Bible Class, and as founder of the local Wesley Foundation.  She served on various boards of University of Virginia’s College at Wise, Emory and Henry College, Tennessee Wesleyan College, and Hiawassee College.


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Gilley/Sorah Families

The scholarship was established in 2002 to assist a Wise County student who is pursuing a career in the field of computer science. Financial need, involvement in school and community activities, and academic progress are to be considered in selecting the recipient. The scholarship may be renewed for recipients maintaining a 3.0 GPA.

Glenmary Council Knights of Columbus #7853 more information 

In 2007, the Knights of Columbus Glenmary Council No. 7853 created a new MECC scholarship to benefit residents of Lee, Wise, Russell, Scott, and Dickenson Counties who are full-time students in good academic standing. In providing the scholarship, the Council’s Grand Knight Doug Chute remarked, “MECC provides a wide variety of educational and training programs to prepare students for a job, or to transfer to a four year college.
The Knights of Columbus Glenmary Council is proud to help local students take advantage of these opportunities.” The Knights of Columbus is a Catholic men’s fraternal organization that is organized to provide support to its members and their families. The scholarship expresses the organization’s broader commitment to its community.

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Glenn (Bob) Marrs

Glenn Hurst and Beth Siphers Wendell

This scholarship was established in 2005 to honor Glenn Hurst Wendell and his wife Beth Siphers Wendell.  The scholarship will assist students from Lee and Wise County who demonstrate academic promise and financial need.

Glenn Wendell was born on June 11, 1929 in Wise County, Va.  He was the son of the late Oda V. Wendell and Mae Hurst Wendell.  He was a graduate of Big Stone Gap High School.  Glen received a B.S. degree from Lincoln Memorial University and a M.A. degree from Rollins College.  During his senior year at L.M.U. he was elected for Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities.

He was a retired business education teacher at Oak Ridge High School, Jones Business College, and Valencia Community College.  He also taught in the Wise County School System at Appalachia High School and J.J. Kelly High School.

Glenn served four years in the U.S. Air Force, including Air Training Command at Reece Air Force Base in Lubbock, TX, and Special Weapons at Sandia A.F.B. in Albuquerque, N.M.  While at Reece A.F.B., he was a member of the Base Men’s Chorus and Competitive Barber Shop Quartet, which also assisted with Air Force recruiting.

Beth Siphers Wendell was a native of East Stone Gap.  She was a 1945 graduate of East Stone Gap High School.  She received her B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Tennessee, where she was a member of the Delta Zeta sorority, and the Delta Pi Epsilon and Pi Omega Pi honorary fraternities.

She was employed with the University of Tennessee Treasurer’s Office before starting to teach.  She was a retired Business Education teacher with the Wise County School System, teaching at Big Stone Gap High School, Appalachia High School, and Powell Valley High School where she retired in 1977.

She was a member of the Virginia Business Education Association, the American Vocation Association, Wise County Education Association, Valley Garden Club and the Big Stone Gap Music Club.  She also volunteered at the June Tolliver House and the Lonesome Pine Hospital Auxiliary.

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Goodloe #2

The Goodloe #2 Scholarship was created in memory of Thomas W. Goodloe, Sr.  He provided instrumental leadership in the establishment of the Goodloe Brothers Scholarship and the Goodloe Family Reunion held at Mountain Empire Community College in 1999.  He was the son of Edward Everett Goodloe.

Goodloe Brothers

The Goodloe Brothers Scholarship was created in the memory of John Mills, Edward Everett, and William Tavenor Goodloe.  In the late 1880s, three enterprising brothers traveled from Afton, Virginia, to a small settlement in far southwest Virginia. 

Searching for excitement and new opportunities, John, Edward, and William Goodloe, left their family and friends to find their fortunes in Big Stone Gap, VA.   With the rich coal reserves which had been discovered in the region, the Goodloe brothers, like other early community leaders, anticipated that Big Stone Gap would become a major industrial center.

During this time, Big Stone Gap was on the cusp of prosperity, and the Goodloe Brothers began building the economic base for the growing community.  Their first venture was the Goodloe Brother’s Store.  They capitalized on numerous opportunities, the brothers operated the only livery stable, created a thriving lumber business, manufactured cigars, and eventually operated coal mines.  John Mills Goodloe represented the region in the Virginia Senate.

The three brothers made Big Stone Gap home through their business, civil, political, and church involvement.  This scholarship, honoring the pioneering spirt and love of community that these three founding fathers possessed came to fruition thanks to the brothers’ descendants.  The Goodloe Brothers Scholarship stands as a permanent memorial to loved ones whose lives were closely intertwined with the early history of Big Stone Gap.

Governor A. Linwood Holton, Jr. more information 

Governor A. Linwood Holton, Jr., a native of Big Stone Gap, was the state’s first Republican governor since 1884, and was serving as the state’s chief executive when Mountain Empire Community College opened its doors in 1972.  Mountain Empire Community College’s Holton Hall was named in the Governor’s honor.

Linwood Holton was the son of Edith VanGorder Holton and Abner Linwood Holton, superintendent of the Big Stone Gap Extract Works.

The Holton family was not known as a political family, but young Linwood let his parents know at the age of 10 that he planned to be governor.  He wore an old felt hat that his mother fussed over, but his dad only said “Oh, he’s just politicking.”

Governor Holton attended public schools in Big Stone Gap and was active in many extra-curricular activities.  He served on the football, track, and debating teams.  He was secretary-treasurer of the senior class and business manager of the yearbook, the School Bell.

Linwood’s academic gifts, and the confidence that he developed at a very early age, helped him to enter and graduate from Washington & Lee University, and later Harvard Law School.

After law school, he moved to Roanoke, opened a law practice with Caldwell Butler and became active in Republican politics.  Three years later, he married Virginia “Jink”s Rogers, with whom he raised four successful children.

After one impressive, but unsuccessful bid for governor against candidate Mills Goodwin, Linwood ran again in 1969 and was successful.  The election of Linwood Holton as Governor was a watershed for the Republican Party of Virginia, after being out of the Governor’s mansion for eighty-four years.

Governor Holton’s first executive order prohibited racial or ethnic prejudice in the hiring or promotion of state employees.  He appointed the first African-American to head a state agency.  He made appointments to state boards and commissions which reflected his desire for diversity in state government.

In addition to helping the state to become a place of equal opportunity, the Holton Administration is known for its establishment of the Cabinet System of administration which still exists today.  The Cabinet System created by Governor Holton replaced an unwieldy state bureaucracy in which 150 agencies heads reported directly to the governor.

He never forgot the issues of rural Virginia, and was successful in getting the legislature to appropriate an additional $31 million for poor school districts at the end of his term in office.  Mountain Empire Community College has Governor Holton to thank for both its location in Big Stone Gap, and for the transportation route which has allowed students to come to this campus.  At the time the college opened in 1972, U.S. 23 had reached Big Stone Gap, but was far from complete.  Governor Holton expedited the completion of U.S. 23 while in office.

After leaving the Governor’s mansion, Linwood continued a distinguished career.  He served as an assistant Secretary of State in the Nixon administration, served as vice-president and general counsel of the American Counsel of Life Insurance, chair of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, and president of the Center for Innovative Technology.  Since 1994, he has been practicing law with the firm of McCandlish Holton in Richmond.


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Grace and Roland Rose

This scholarship was set up in honor of Roland W. Rose and his wife of 56 years, Grace Carpenter Rose.

Roland was born in Big Stone Gap in 1913 and graduated as salutatorian from Big Stone Gap High School in 1930.  He started work as a railway express agent until he went into the auto parts business in the 1930s and later, in the 1960s, he also owned and operated a hardware store.  He was active in church affairs, serving as deacon, chairman of the Board of Deacons, trustee, teacher, choir member, and a number of other committees.  Community activities were also well supported, whether it be the Kiwanis Club, organizing the first Key Club, Wise County Chamber of Commerce, American Rose Society, Lonesome Pine Arts & Crafts Association, and was on the committee that helped build the Lonesome Pine Hospital.  He passed away in 1995.

Grace was born in 1912 in Wilkes County, NC and grew up in Norton.  She graduated as valedictorian from Norton High School in 1929 and then entered Milligan College.  She graduated in 1993 with honors and a major in English with minors in History, Latin, and French.  She began teaching in the Wise County School System in 1933 and remained there until her retirement in 1975.  Whether playing the piano for church, teaching Sunday school, serving as president of the Women’s Missionary Society for over 30 years, a member of the Dogwood Garden Club, Rose Society, Lonesome Pine Hospital Ladies Auxiliary, Wise County Extension Homemakers, and more, Grace was active in her church and community.  She passed away in 2005.

Grace Davis

A beloved former teacher who dedicated over fifty years of service to schools in Lee County, Grace Davis exemplifies the best in the teaching profession and community service.  Her teaching experience included Lee County’s Elydale School, Botetourt County, Patrick County, Flatwoods High School, and Jonesville High School. 

She was educated in Lee County, VA and attended Radford State Teachers College where she completed the requirements for her state teacher’s certification.  She received her undergraduate degree from Peabody College and received a master’s degree from University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA.

Ms. Davis was a member of the Region 14 Community College Board which was comprised of people from Dickenson County and the LENOWISCO area.  She was chosen to serve as chairman of the Selection of the Name of the College Committee.  The committee was charged with presenting its recommendation for the name of the community college.  Ms. Davis was accredited with coming up with the winning name when she handed a piece of paper to a fellow committee member on which she had written “Mountain Empire.  How’s that sound for a college?”
She was a member of the Retired Teachers Association, American Cancer Society, and AARP. She lobbied for rights of senior citizens in Richmond, VA., and was active in the Lee County Democratic Party.  In 1989, she received the “Governor’s Award for Voluntary Excellence” in Richmond, VA.  She was also a founding member of MEOC and served on the board of Mountain Empire Community College.

After her retirement, she taught home bound students and Drivers Education to senior citizens.


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Grace White

Grace White taught elementary school, primarily in the Wise County School System, until her retirement in 1960.  She was active in the Dogwood Garden Club, Trinity Methodist Church, Lonesome Pine Hospital auxiliary and service clubs in Big Stone Gap.  She was a graduate of Big Stone Gap High School and Radford College.

The Grace White Memorial Scholarship was established to assist an education major attending MECC.

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H. C. Rasnick

The scholarship was established in 1993 to assist students in a pre-chiropractic curriculum with a 2.75 GPA. Recipients must plan to attend Palmer Chiropractic College and pledge to return to Virginia for a career as Doctor of Chiropractic. Repayment of scholarship is expected for those who do not fulfill the expectations for continuing education and employment in Virginia.

Harry W. Meador, Jr.

Harry W. Meador, Jr. was a tireless advocate of the coal-mining industry in general, and of the Westmoreland Coal Company in particular. He began his career in 1949 as a union laborer. He joined Westmoreland management as an assistant superintendent, and advanced through numerous managerial positions to Vice President of Eastern Operations in 1969, and finally to Vice President of Coal Development in 1978, his responsibility at the time of his death in 1981.

Mr. Meador’s love of coal-mining and its history are evident throughout the Harry W. Meador Jr. Coal Museum in Big Stone Gap, VA.  He personally collected, catalogued and displayed nearly every exhibit located in the museum.  A tour of the museum with him was an enlightening experience-he could speak with authority as to the use and significance of each item.

E .B. (Ted) Leisenring, Jr., Chairman of the Board of Westmoreland Coal Company, speaking at the dedication ceremony in September 1982 said it all: "I think Harry Meador would like best to be remembered as a Coal Miner, with every proud attribute that goes with that name.


Hattie J. and Julian H. Graham

The Hattie J. and Julian H. Graham Scholarship was established in 2012 to assist students from the MECC service region with a 3.0 GPA.

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Henry Arthur and Edna Stewart Siphers

This scholarship was established in 1987 as a memorial to Henry Arthur and Edna Stewart Siphers by their daughter.  The scholarship will benefit students with financial need and academic promise.  Union High School graduates are eligible for the awards.
Their daughter wanted to bring the opportunity for higher education that her parents never had to the young people of this area.

Hobart Crabtree

William Hobart Crabtree was born on October 3, 1936, in Scioto County, Ohio. He joined the U.S. Air Force at the age of 19, receiving an honorable discharge after four years of service.  He married his high school sweetheart in 1960 and they eventually ended up in Big Stone Gap, Va., where they raised their four sons. Hobart was employed by the FAA, working at the radar tower on Black Mountain as an Electronics Technician.  He retired after 33 years of service.
Hobart was a target shooter, winning several awards for his sharp shooting skill. He was active in the Boy Scouts for several years. In the early 70's Hobart began playing the banjo. He became an active volunteer in the Lonesome Pine Outdoor Drama from 1980 – 1994, both on stage and behind the scenes. It was his time in the Drama that led him to becoming more comfortable as an entertainer. Hobart was famous for his claw hammer style of banjo playing. Probably his most proud moments come from teaching eager students banjo music at Mountain Empire Community College (MECC). Hobart also recorded seven albums before his health took a turn for the worse in 2004.  During his struggle with dementia, a two-disc collection of his music was produced and sold. A portion of the proceeds from it benefits a scholarship for music students at MECC.  Hobart passed away on Setpember 25, 2010 at the age of 73.

Holston Medical Group more information 

Founded in 1977, Holston Medical Group has grown from a handful of practitioners to a comprehensive, diversified group of nearly 150 primary care physicians, specialists and mid-level providers, with 24-hour medical/surgical coverage.  Today, HMG is one of the largest, most-respected, physician-led, multi-specialty groups in the southeastern United States.

Howard and Ruth Gilliam

Howard and Ruth Gilliam dedicated their careers to public education. Howard is a Mountain Empire Community College and Clinch Valley College (now UVA-Wise) alumnus. He was a member of the first graduating class and while enrolled there drove the MECC Learning in Transit Bus. He was a public school teacher at Coeburn Middle School for thirty years. Ruth is a graduate of Clinch Valley College, now UVA-Wise and received a Masters and C.A.G.S. from Virginia Tech.  She was also a public school teacher and administrator with most of her educational experience in Lee County.

Howard and Ruth have created the Howard and Ruth Gilliam Scholarship, which provides a $500 scholarship each year to children of current public school teachers in Wise or Lee Counties.

Howard T. Williams

Howard Taft Williams was born in Gate City, VA, in 1909, the oldest of 6 children. He was named after the newly elected U.S. President, William Howard Taft.  Howard graduated from Shoemaker High School in Scott County and then completed a commercial course at the Kingsport Business College in Kingsport TN in 1929.  He worked as a clerk in that area until 1933, when he moved to Hampton VA to take a job as a supervisory clerk for the War Department (later Dept. of the Army) at Fort Monroe, VA. He was drafted into the Army (infantry) in 1943 and quickly rose to the rank of Staff Sergeant.

While he was on a ship heading to Europe in 1945, the war ended, but he served in England for 6 months before returning to Hampton, and was discharged at the end of 1945. He worked at Fort Monroe until 1950 when he transferred to work for the Munitions Command, U.S. Army Chemical Corps, Edgewood Arsenal (now part of Aberdeen Proving Ground) and moved to Maryland. He retired from Edgewood in 1973 after 40 years of federal service, moving up from clerk to ordnance procurement officer.  He passed away in 1997 at the age of 87.
He said that when he had the chance, he ran as far as he could from the VA hills, stopping only when he ran out of land at Hampton. He discovered that he loved the water and continued to kayak and fish from his rowboat for many decades. He loved to putter in the garden and continued to wear his country overalls for the rest of his life.  Although he never received a formal education beyond business college, he was a lifelong learner.  He read a book explaining how to build a stone ranch house and went out and did it with no prior experience by working on weekends. He attended a number of classes at the local community college after he retired and was always telling his children that education was what would let them spend their lives doing something other than digging ditches. He would be proud to know that this scholarship is helping other young people from southwestern Virginia to follow their dreams and improve their lives.

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Ikey Joe Chadwell

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Jack L. and Alice O. McCarty

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Jack R. and Patricia Howard

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James and Nancy Large Family

The James and Nancy Large Family Scholarship was originally established in 1995 to benefit graduates of Ervinton High School, but the guidelines have been expanded to assist students graduating from any Dickenson County High School.

James Madison Gilley

James Madison Gilley was born in Keokee, Virginia, on October 3, 1910, and passed away on April 14, 2014, at the age of 103.  Jim was known by his many friends for his humor, wit, and wisdom.  His historical knowledge and memory were outstanding.   He was a constant joy to all based on his generosity, congeniality, and humility.
Jim grew up in Big Stone Gap, Virginia and graduated from Big Stone Gap High School in 1927.  In 1932 he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, and later became both a certified public accountant and an attorney at law.  He served in the United States Navy during World War II in Oran, Algeria, and retired as a Captain from the US Naval Reserves.  He also retired as vice president and general manager from Burruss Land and Lumber Company of Lynchburg, Virginia.
Jim’s community contributions included serving as senior warden of the Vestry at St. John’s Episcopal Church, as the second president of the newly formed Lynchburg Fine Arts Center, and as head of the Downtown Rotary Club, the United Way of Greater Lynchburg, and Heritage Condominiums Homeowners Association.  He established the Gilley Family Scholarship Fund at Mountain Empire Community College in Big Stone Gap and stressed the importance of education throughout his life.
Jim avidly pursued the study of genealogy and shared his work with many friends and family.  He also possessed a wealth of knowledge on Virginia history, particularly the history of Southwest Virginia.  He could speak at length on matters that he had lived, observed, and learned throughout his life.  His stories were fascinating and highlighted happenings and events that helped make the history of Southwest Virginia come alive.
Jim is sorely missed but fondly remembered by his many friends and family.  He was an extraordinary person who impacted countless lives and brought much joy and happiness to others.  A big part of his legacy will be his commitment to education and its benefits to students in Southwest Virginia.  
Jim was blessed to live to be the oldest Big Stone Gap High School Buccaneer and a Buccaneer scholarship is being awarded in his honor.  He loved Southwest Virginia and he would be most proud of this honor for education.

James W. (Jim) Robinson

James Walker (Jim) Robinson dedicated more than 40 years of his life to bring better jobs, more roads, and improved health care to Wise and Dickenson counties.

He was the manager of Pound Hardware Co. for many years, vice president of Wise County National Bank and co-owner of Robinette Steel and Scrap Metal Co. in Big Stone Gap.  Jim had a long record of public service, including four years in the Virginia House of Delegates from 1983 through 1987.  He was a graduate of Pound High School, attended Emory and Henry College, Randolph Macon College, served in the U.S. Air Force, and graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1957.

He was a former member of the Lenowisco Planning District Commission board of directors, charter member of the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority, Pound Lions Club, Wise County Housing and Redevelopment Authority, and a member of the Wise County Chamber of Commerce.  He served as a member of the Town Council and as Mayor of Pound, and numerous commissions and appointed positions in three gubernatorial administrations.  Jim also served as treasurer of the Mountain Empire Community College Foundation for 12 years.

“Jim touched a lot of lives” by working to endow scholarships and to raise money for other college functions," Anita (his wife) said.  “The thing I shall always remember that he impressed on me is that we should leave the world a better place … and he did that on so many levels.” (Kingsport Times News)

Jill Quinley

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Jo Pierson Horne and Rufus Horne

The Jo Pierson Horne and Rufus Horne Scholarship was created in 2014 by Don and Jane Horne Carter to assist MECC students.  Students must maintain a 2.0 GPA.

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Joe Burdette

Joe Fuller, Scott County Rotary

The Scott County Rotary Club honored its charter club president by renaming the Scott County Rotary Scholarship the Joe Fuller Scott County Rotary Club Scholarship and by making a gift to fully endow the scholarship. The $25,000 endowed fund will provide financial assistance to Scott County students for generations to come.  

Joe Fuller was instrumental in establishing the Rotary Club of Scott County in 1988.  He received the Paul Harris Fellow Award in 1989 and the Skelton Fellow Award of Rotary District 7570 for the year 2004-05.  He continues to be very active in club and district activities. 

He began his professional career with the Clinchfield Railroad in 1952, which later became CSX Transportation.  When he retired in 1988, he was officer in charge of all railroad operations in the Kingsport area, including the railroad operations for Holston Army Ammunition plant, which CSX operated under contract for the U. S. Army.  Throughout his railroad career, Joe was very active in the Kingsport, TN community, serving leadership roles in numerous organizations, including the Rotary-Downtown Kingsport Club, Greater Kingsport Area Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Kingsport Association, and others.  He was in charge of the annual Santa Train operations from 1978 through 1987.  Joe was also instrumental in establishing the Kingsport Trolley, known as the “Jitney,” which provided the first public transportation to downtown Kingsport.

Joe is a lifelong resident of Scott County.  Joe and his brother, John, operated Fuller Brothers General Merchandise in Snowflake, Virginia for 17 years.  He has served as Chairman of the Scott County Economic Development Authority and is a past president and treasurer of the Scott County Chamber of Commerce.  He has been involved in many civic organizations that promote tourism and economic development. Some of the projects that have been undertaken with Joe’s involvement include the Clinchfield Heritage Wayside overlooking the high railroad trestle at Speers Ferry; Virginia’s Heritage Migration Route which stretches from Winchester, VA to Cumberland Gap; the Coal Heritage Trail though seven coalfield counties; and the Clinch Mountain MusicFest, a three day musical heritage event in Scott County.  Joe has also served two terms on the Mountain Empire Community College Foundation Board of Directors.

John A. Reid more information 

The Slemp Foundation created the John A. Reid Scholarship in 1997 after John A. Reid had completed 50 years of service as a Slemp Foundation Trustee.

John A. Reid was not a household name in Lee and Wise Counties when he died on September 27, 2001, in his 100th year.  Mr. Reid was born in Wakefield, Massachusetts, and he spent most of his life in Cincinnati, Ohio.   He became a leader in many civic organizations, including the Community Chest, the Literary Club, and the zoo. 

John Reid worked with The Honorable C. Bascom Slemp to plan the creation of the Slemp Foundation soon after he became the head of the trust department of the First National Bank of Cincinnati.  Although, Mr. Reid never lived here, he was one of Lee and Wise Counties’ greatest friends as he devoted more than half of his life to serving the region through the Slemp Foundation.

The Slemp Foundation is the result of C. Bascom Slemp’s philanthropic vision, but the Foundation may not have reached its remarkable level of success had it not been for John Reid.  He provided excellent financial advice in creating the Foundation and he guided the Foundation during its formative years.

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John D. and Ethel M. Broadwater

The John D. and Ethel M. Broadwater scholarship was created by their children in memory of their parents.  This scholarship is awarded to students based on financial need and academic promise.

John Martin more information 

This scholarship was established by Lambda Alpha Epsilon, the MECC Criminal Justice Association, in honor of fallen officer John L. Martin of Lee County, Va. 

Sergeant Martin was shot in the line of duty while on a routine patrol on Monday, November 7, 1988, while investigating a suspicious vehicle parked outside of a building. Martin was able to give a description of the suspect and vehicle to backup officers before being transported to a local hospital  He succumbed to his wounds three days later.

The suspect's vehicle was found several days later burned beyond recognition except for the bullet holes found in the driver's door. The suspect was later apprehended and sentenced to life in prison.

Sergeant Martin worked for the Lee County Sheriff’s Office for 17 years. 

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Joseph and Maude Fawbush Williams Barrett

The Joseph and Maude Fawbush Williams Barrett Scholarship was established in 1986 by Dr. Thomas A. Williams in honor of his mother and step-father.

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Kline Foundation

Kyle P. Rosenbalm

Kyle Porter Rosenbalm was born in Lee County, VA in 1926.  He was an educator for 37 years and retired as division superintendent of Lee County Public Schools. He was a member of the Rose Hill Christian Church and was a veteran of the U.S. Navy.
Sue Parkey Rosenbalm was born in 1930 at Ewing, VA. Mrs. Rosenbalm retired from the educational system in Lee County, having taught school at Thomas Walker High School, and was a counselor and principal at the Lee County Career and Technical Center.  She was a member of the Rose Hill Christian Church.


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Larry G. Grady

The Larry G. Grady Memorial Scholarship was established in 1999 to assist students who are single parents, as well as liberal arts majors.

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Leanna Marie Rasnic

The endowed scholarship was created in 2010 in memory of MECC alumna Leanna Marie Rasnic. The scholarship assists second year respiratory care students. Students should have a minimum 2.8 GPA and be attending full‐time.

Lee County Bar Association

The Lee County Bar Association established this scholarship in 1995 to assist Lee county students with financial need and academic promise.

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Lee County Endowed Scholarship Committee

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Lonesome Pine Hospital Auxiliary

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Louise and Siebert Vicars

Siebert and Louise Vicars, of Nickelsville, VA, created the Louise and Siebert Vicars Scholarship to aid nursing students from Scott County.  Siebert was born in Nickelsville, VA in 1920, grew up on the family farm, and was a farmer his entire life, raising many dairy cattle.  He was a decorated World War II veteran, who was wounded several times.  Louise Robinette Vicars was born in Rose Hill, VA in 1927, and moved to their new home on the family farm after her marriage to Siebert in 1951. She retired from Eastman Chemical after 40 years of service.  They celebrated almost fifty-five years of marriage.

Siebert and Louise raised large gardens and had fruit trees, canning and freezing the fruits and vegetables, which they shared with family and friends.  They were faithful members of the Culbertson’s Chapel United Methodist Church.  They donated a flag pole to the church and replaced the American flag every year.  A family member will continue this tradition for them.  They were active volunteers in the community and traveled after their retirements.  Both were cancer survivors and participated in many cancer related activities. 

Siebert was a member of the Nickelsville’s Masonic Lodge and Louise held several offices in Eastern Star.  Both participated in many activities for the Shriners Children’s Hospital.   Instead of buying gifts for each other, they donated to charities to assist children with cleft palate surgeries, to purchase cows so children could have milk, to buy chickens, and to dig wells so children could have clean water.  After their deaths, their generosity continues to support children and education with their gifts to St. Jude’s, The Shriners Hospitals for Children, and Mountain Empire Community College.

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Lucile M. Orr

The Lucille Orr Scholarship was established in 1987 by the Lee County Community Hospital Board of Directors to recognize the auxiliary work of Ms. Lucile Orr.

Mrs. Orr was a teacher in the Lee County School System for over 40 years with most of those years at Dryden Elementary.

She was a charter member of the Lee County Community Hospital Ladies Auxiliary.  Mrs. Orr served as president for two terms and held other offices as well.  Under her leadership, the auxiliary established a chapel, initiated televisions in patient rooms and provided funding for the heliport.  Additionally, she had over 12,000 volunteer hours at Lee County Community Hospital.

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Lucy W. McNiel

Gateway Youth Services Corporation decided to make endowments to colleges serving Lee County students in honor of the members of the Board of Directors.  One member of the Board of Directors, Lucy W. McNiel, selected to establish her scholarship at Mountain Empire Community College.

Lucy W. McNiel retired in 1983 as director of the Lee County Department of Social Services.  She received a meritorious service award from the Commonwealth of Virginia recognizing her 40 years of service to Lee County.

Marsha and Steven Hayes

Marsha Hayes is an alumnus of the Appalachian TriCollege Nursing Program and completed her studies at Mountain Empire Community College.  Though she, and her husband Steven, now live in Lexington, Kentucky, they have close ties to Southwest Virginia and maintain a farm in Lee County.  During one of their regular visits to the area, the Hayes ate at the Rooster’s Pub, a restaurant in Lee County and their waitress was Amanda Goins, a nursing student at Mountain Empire Community College.  That brief meeting led to a surprising turn of events that Amanda never expected.

Marsha and Dr. Steven Hayes maintain a subscription to the Powell Valley News.  In July 2006, Marsha read a feature article about Amanda Goins, a single mother who was juggling work and family responsibilities while studying to become a Licensed Practical Nurse at the Lee County Career and Technical Center.  In this article, Goins expressed her desire to obtain employment as an LPN, and continue her education through the LPN to RN bridge program at Mountain Empire Community College.

Marsha Hayes recognized Amanda as her waitress at the Rooster’s Pub, and was reminded of her own struggle to complete her education.  Marsha, like Amanda, had been a single mother, had completed the LPN program at the Lee County Career and Technical Center, and had obtained her associate degree at MECC in preparation for becoming a RN.

Amanda’s story was close-to-home for Marsha Hayes, and inspired her to provide a scholarship which will help cover tuition, books, and other expenses for a student while they complete their nursing studies at MECC.  Marsha Hayes views this scholarship as an opportunity to acknowledge the value of the education she received at MECC, but also to invest in the education of someone who life closely paralleled her own.

Martha A. Turnage

Martha A. Turnage established this scholarship to honor MECC’s 25 years of service to the community.  The scholarship will assist female single parent students returning to school to further their education. 

Martha graduated from Wake Forest College and in 1945, married Dr. James Robert Turnage.  After the death of her husband in 1968, she was left with four children to support and no income.  She knew she would have to get more education to be able to make the kind of money it would take to send these children to college.  She borrowed the money from her brother and went to William and Mary College in 1970 and earned her master’s degree.

She returned to the workforce as the director of the Job Preparedness Center at Virginia Highlands Community College.  From there she became a moving force in the Virginia Community College movement, working at Mountain Empire Community College as the first Dean of Students and Community Services.  Martha was one of the first three employees hired in 1971, before the college opened in 1972.  She was responsible for recruiting the opening student body of more than 800 students.  She was also instrumental in co-producing MECC’s first Home Crafts Day which occurred on December 9, 1972.

She later assisted in establishing J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College in Richmond.  She also served as vice president of George Mason University from 1978-1984 and retired as vice president at Ohio University in 1992.

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Mattie Cleek Johnson

Mattie Cleek Johnson was born in Gate City, Va.  Her parents were Charles R. and Esther T. Cleek.  She graduated from Shoemaker High School as valedictorian of her class.  She graduated from Whitney Business School in Johnson City, TN.   She became secretary at Price & Ramey Insurance Company in Kingsport, TN.  She married army veteran, Wayman L. Johnson and resided in Gate City until her death.

Mattie enjoyed reading throughout her life.  She also enjoyed swimming, puzzle solving, fishing, and traveling.  She had a wonderful sense of humor and liked being with friends and family.

MECC Foundation more information 

The MECC Foundation, Inc. was created in 1983 as a non-profit organization that supports the mission of Mountain Empire Community College. Foundation projects include scholarships, faculty and staff development and recognition programs, cultural programs and events, campus improvements, educational programs, and other projects.

The Foundation awards scholarships to qualified persons for the purpose of attending MECC. These awards are based on criteria such as financial need and scholastic promise, and are available to persons who are enrolled or intend to enroll in specific programs. Scholarship recipients are selected by the MECC Office of Financial Aid.


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Milford Spencer and Agnes Quesenberry

Milford Spencer “Ques” Quesenberry was a lifelong resident of Wise County, Va.  He was a Captain in the U.S. Army during World War II, earning the Bronze Star, the Oak Leaf Cluster to the Bronze Star, two Purple Hearts, the European Theater Operations Ribbon with four battle stars, the Presidential Unit Citation, the Croix de Guerre from the French government for bravery and the American Defense Ribbon, among others.  After the war, he founded what later became Quesenberry’s Inc., general contractors.

Mr. Quesenberry worked on behalf of many community causes and was instrumental in the establishment of the C. Bascom Slemp Library and Wellmont Lonesome Pine Hospital, where he served as a member of the board of directors for many years.

Agnes was born August 12, 1922.  She was the daughter of the late Alexander and Anna Balcerski.  She graduated from Hartford Hospital Nursing College in Connecticut and moved to Big Stone Gap in 1945 upon her marriage to Milford Spencer Quesenberry.

After raising her family, she returned to nursing at Lonesome Pine Hospital and continued to serve the hospital as a volunteer patient advocate for many years after her retirement.  She also volunteered at the community food bank and the Trail of the Lonesome Pine Outdoor Drama.

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Mountain View

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Mr. and Mrs. P. C. Sapra

The Mr. and Mrs. P.C. Sapra Scholarship Fund was created by Dr. and Mrs. Parmod Sapra of Norton in memory of their grandparents.  The scholarship will assist students who are enrolled in college transfer programs, including students who are majoring in business administration, education, liberal arts, general studies, and science.  Recipients of the scholarship will be selected on the basis of financial need and academic promise.

New Peoples Bank more information 

New Peoples Bank established an endowed scholarship with the MECC Foundation in 2005.  The scholarship recipient is competitively selected, with dependents of New Peoples Bank employees receiving first priority.  Eligible applicants must be full time students with financial need and have a minimum 2.5 GPA.  If there are no applications from dependents of New Peoples Bank employees, second priority is given to employees of New Peoples Bank before the scholarship can be awarded to other qualified MECC students.

Norton Community Hospital Auxiliary more information 

The sole purpose of the Norton Community Hospital Auxiliary is to support and aide the hospital and community.  The Norton Community Hospital Auxiliary, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization consisting of approximately 35 members. This organization operates the Helping Hands Gift Shop and staffs the hospital information desk, both of which are located in the main lobby of the hospital.

Funds generated in the gift shop are generously donated back to the hospital and the community through a number of worthy causes, including the Norton Community Hospital Auxiliary Scholarship, which was established in 1995 to help a deserving student in the MECC Registered Nursing Program.

Norton Kiwanis Club

The Norton Kiwanis Club Scholarship was established in 2001 to assist J. I. Burton High School graduates (first priority), or City of Norton residents (second priority). The scholarship assists students with financial need or academic promise.

Norton Kiwanis Club-Spirit of Burton more information 

The Norton Kiwanis Club-Spirit of Burton was established in 2009 for a J. I. Burton High School graduate (first priority) or a City of Norton student (second priority) with financial need and academic promise.  The scholarship was a joint endeavor with donations from the Norton Kiwanis Club and multiple individuals who attended the 50th anniversary of the J. I. Burton High School Reunion in 2004.

Norton Lions Club more information 

The Lions Club of Norton established this scholarship at Mountain Empire Community College in 1999. The scholarship is to assist a John I. Burton High School graduating senior who is enrolled as a full-time student at MECC, with a minimum of 2.0 GPA required.  The scholarship is renewable for a second year if the student makes satisfactory academic progress.

Orby Cantrell

Orby Cantrell was born in Pound, VA on November 10, 1906.  He graduated from Pound High School and later attended Radford College.  He taught school in Wise County for a brief period before working in the business office of Consolidated Coal Co. in Jenkins, Ky.  He was highly successful in the retail clothing business and the banking community in Pound.

He served as Mayor of Pound before being elected to the Virginia House of Delegates representing the First House District from 1952 to 1982.  In 1982, he was the senior member of the Virginia House of Delegates in both age and seniority.  His thirty year tenure in the House spanned the term of nine governors. 

During his service in the House, his accomplishments and appointments included service as chairman of the Roads and Internal Navigation Committee; vice chairman of the Appropriations Committee; introduced legislation for the appropriation for the Dalton-Cantrell Mining Technology Building to be constructed on the MECC campus; and the introduction of legislation to make UVA Wise (formerly Clinch Valley College) a four-year college.

He maintained active membership and service in numerous civic, fraternal and professional organizations such as the Wise County Chamber of Commerce, Lions Club, Pound Masonic Lodge, Breaks Interstate Park Association, Clinch Valley College Advisory Committee, Appalachian Regional Hospital Advisory Committee and the St. Mary’s Hospital Advisory Committee.

Mr. Cantrell believed in educational pursuit and worked toward the establishment of institutions of higher education for his constituency.


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Patricia Cox Howard and Jack R. Howard

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Patton Wise and Dorothy D. Slemp

Patton Wise Slemp was a farmer in Wise and Lee County.  He was a pioneer in the coal fields of Eastern Kentucky.  He was a devoted husband, father, and friend.  His integrity, kindness and simple friendliness won for him a lasting place in the minds and hearts of all who knew and loved him.

Dorothy Dennett Slemp was a native of Washington, D.C.  She was a gifted pianist and singer.  She was a settler in eastern Kentucky and Wise County, Virginia.  She was a concerned citizen, a self-giving wife, and mother. Her artistic spirit, high ideals, and personal dedication enriched the lives of family and friends and remain her gift to those who come after her.

This scholarship was created in 1998 in honor of Patton Wise and Dorothy D. Slemp. The scholarship was created to assist students attending Mountain Empire Community College with academic promise and financial need.


George Hunnicutt, Jr., President of Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company in Norton, VA, established this scholarship in 1999 to assist students with financial need and academic promise.  George has served on the MECC Foundation Board of Directors since 1997, including five years of service as board treasurer, and six years of service as an Investment Committee member.  

George’s wife, Lotus, has also been a member of the MECC Foundation Gala Committee for many years.  She has also given generously of her time to raise funds for the MECC Foundation and to help honor many community leaders. 

Two generations of the Hunnicutt family have supported MECC Foundation scholarships.  George’s father contributed to scholarships on an annual basis during his lifetime, and George, Jr. has continued this family philanthropic legacy.

In addition to providing financial resources for scholarships, George has given very generously of his time to education and workforce development boards in the region.  He serves on the Employer Advisory Committee of the VEC, the University of Virginia’s College at Wise Foundation Board, and is a past member of the Virginia Workforce Council and past Chair and Vice-Chair of the Southwest Virginia Workforce Investment Board. Because of his involvement with all of these organizations, he is extremely knowledgeable about workforce issues and understands how the central role of the community college in the region’s workforce development efforts.  

On a personal level, his son, Brian, and daughter-in-law, Carolyn, were adult students at MECC.  George and Lotus encouraged them to return to college to launch careers in health care and teaching.  They have now achieved their goals.    

Mr. Hunnicutt is a tireless community supporter and has provided in-kind and cash assistance to many organizations. He is an active member of the Norton Kiwanis Club, Board of Trustees of the Wellmont Mountain View Regional Medical Center, the Wise County Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Committee, and Wellmont Health System’s Finance Committee, as well as a past president of the Southwest Virginia Management Association. 


Phi Theta Kappa, Alpha Delta Psi more information 

Mission Statement:
Established in 1918 by Missouri two-year college presidents, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society serves to recognize and encourage the academic achievement of two-year college students and provide opportunities for individual growth and development through honors, leadership and service programming. Today, Phi Theta Kappa is the largest honor society in American higher education with more than 1.3 million members and 1100 chapters located in the 50 United States, U.S. territories, Canada, Germany, and Japan. In 1929, the American Association of Community Colleges recognized Phi Theta Kappa as the official honor society for two-year colleges.

Phi Theta Kappa membership is based primarily upon academic achievement. Invitation to membership may be extended only by the local chapter of the institution at which you are enrolled. To be eligible for membership at Mountain Empire Community College, you must meet the following requirements:
  • You must be enrolled in an associate degree program
  • You must have completed at least twelve semester hours of college-level work with a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or higher
  • You must enjoy full rights of citizenship
When you meet these requirements, you will automatically receive a letter from the college president inviting you to join Phi Theta Kappa. Invitations are extended each fall and spring semester.

Good as Gold Scholarship:
The Alpha Delta Psi chapter of Phi Theta Kappa offers a Gold Star program to help recognize our actively participating members.  Attending monthly meetings, performing PTK sponsored community service, becoming a PTK officer, and attending state or international meets are all ways to earn stars and receive exclusive member benefits.
Members who receive a Five Star Status are eligible for letters of recommendations for scholarships, college applications, and employment.  Members who receive a Ten Star status will be eligible to apply for a local scholarship from the MECC chapter.  PTK scholarship amounts may vary depending upon funds available for the given academic year.


PlugGED In VA more information 

PlugGED in VA is an integrated curriculum to transition workers who lack high school credential into gainful entry-level employment and into post-secondary education more quickly than through traditional education and workforce channels.

Wells Fargo, along with a private donor, partnered with Mountain Empire Community College Foundation on project Expanding Opportunity through PlugGED in Virginia.  This program assists recruits from Lee, Wise, Dickenson, and Scott Counties and the City of Norton in a career pathways program that prepares adult learners with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in postsecondary education, training, and high-demand, high-wage careers in the 21st century.

Wells Fargo & Company is a diversified financial services company providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and commercial finance through more than 9,000 stores, 12,000 Wells Fargo ATMs, and the Internet across North America and internationally.

Although headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo stores, businesses, and team members are located in our local community, helping their customers succeed financially. Wells Fargo believes in creating economic growth and prosperity through community development, financial education, cash contributions, affordable housing, environmental stewardship, and volunteerism.

PlugGED In VA - Columbus Phipps more information 

PlugGED in VA is an integrated curriculum to transition workers who lack high school credential into gainful entry-level employment and into post-secondary education more quickly than through traditional education and workforce channels.

The Columbus Phipps Foundation partnered with Mountain Empire Community College Foundation on project Expanding Opportunity through PlugGED in Virginia.  This program assists recruits from Dickenson County in a career pathways program that prepares adult learners with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in postsecondary education, training, and high-demand, high-wage careers in the 21st century.

The Columbus Phipps Foundation was established to improve the educational opportunities of the citizens of Dickenson County and provide for cultural enrichment.  Ms. Beulah G. Phipps endowed the Columbus Phipps Foundation in memory of her father, Columbus Phipps. The late Carol Phipps Buchanan, granddaughter of Columbus Phipps, guided the foundation through its formative years and established the guidelines for grant awards. The Columbus Phipps Foundation encourages the recipients of its grants and scholarships to remain in or return to Dickenson County to provide much needed services for residents.

Powell Valley National Bank more information 

Powell Valley National Bank established this scholarship in honor of their 125th Anniversary in 2013. Executive Vice President Leton Harding said, in a Kingsport Times interview, education is key to prosperity for individuals as well as the local and regional economies.
“In today’s world, education is critical for the students pursuing careers and for the economic growth and vitality of our region,” he said. “Our modest gift will hopefully support MECC with its vital role in our region that touches and supports so many lives.”
Powell Valley National Bank is a locally owned bank which has been serving southwest Virginia since 1888. They have offices in Jonesville, Pennington Gap, Big Stone Gap, Wise, and Duffield with automated teller machines at each location, Wellmont Lonesome Pine Hospital in Big Stone Gap and Mountain Empire Community College (Holton Hall).  They are a locally owned community bank and invite you to come by one of their offices so they can assist you in choosing the services that best suit your needs.

Ralph B. Miner

Gateway Youth Services Corporation decided to make endowments to colleges serving Lee County students in honor of the members of the Board of Directors.  One member of the Board of Directors, Ralph B. Miner, selected to establish his scholarship here at Mountain Empire Community College.
Ralph Miner was born on July 15, 1930 to Leonard and Bertha Collier Miner on Powell Mountain in Lee County, Virginia.  He attended Sand Spring School and graduated from Jonesville High School in 1947.  Ralph was saved as a young man and spent the rest of his life bringing the news of God’s salvation through his testimony, his singing of gospel music, and playing his Martin guitar. He passed away December 22, 2014.
Ralph started working at Powell Valley Electric Cooperative (PVEC) at the age of 18 as a lineman.  By 1963, he had worked his way up through the ranks and became the manager.  He devoted more than 43 years of his life to the members of the cooperative who live in Lee, Hancock, Claiborne, and portions of Wise, Scott, Hawkins, and Granger Counties in Virginia and Tennessee until his retirement in 1993.
During those years, he served on numerous boards and was awarded many tributes, including serving as a member of the Mountain Empire Community College Foundation Board where he championed the important cause of providing higher education to everyone.  His interest in his fellow man was perhaps best reflected in one of his favorite activities, which was seeking out and writing the stories of hundreds of people.  These stories were introduced monthly to the readers of The Tennessee Magazine and Cooperative Living Magazine center section.  Several of those articles have been reprinted in nationally known publications.  He loved to tell a good story!
He served his community in numerous capacities but his proudest achievements were being a founding director of LENOWISCO Planning District Commission, and the creation of the Duffield Industrial Park in Duffield, Virginia.  The benefits of the Industrial Park can be seen in the many industries and jobs that exist there today.


Randy "Doc" Castle

Randy “Doc” Castle was a veteran of the Marine Corps and a graduate of East Tennessee State University.  After completing college, he began his education career as a teacher at John’s Island in Charleston, SC, and then at the Flatwoods Job Corps Center.  He held positions as teacher, assistant principal, and coach at J. I. Burton High School before serving as the Division Chairman of Mining and Technology at MECC.  After leaving MECC, he taught driver improvement courses and was a partner of Norton Track and Roller Company of Norton. 

He advocated for all students, but his particular concern was for the well-being of struggling students.  His compassion for those less fortunate was also evident in his work as a Shriner and a member of the Kazim Temple.

Rhea and Mary Seaton Mullins

Maryrhea Mullins Morelock established this scholarship in honor of her parents, Rhea and Mary Seaton Mullins, who lived in Wise County, Virginia.  Rhea Mullins served as manager of Stonega Coke and Coal Company and Westmoreland Coal Company stores in several Wise County locations including Roda, Stonega, and Andover.  Mary Mullins taught in several Wise County elementary schools including at Dunbar, Roda, and Appalachia. The scholarship was created to contribute to the education of young people in this area.

Richard L. Settle, Jr. more information 

The Richard L. Settle Scholarship was created to honor Richard’s diverse experience in the fields of telecommunications, government relations, and economic development.  A proven leader, he has provided vision, insight and a well-balanced general management perspective, along with a demonstrated ability to successfully position complicated business and regulatory issues before local, regional and state government.
Richard served Verizon Communications for over 30 years in several capacities of steadily increasing responsibility, including the design, construction, and maintenance of aerial and buried telecommunications facilities.  He also served Verizon Virginia as Area Manager, External Affairs, where he was responsible for development and implementation of legislative and regulatory policy positions in Virginia. 
He has served on the Board of Directors of several public economic development agencies, including the Southwest Virginia Technology Council, Russell County Board of Supervisors, Cumberland Plateau Planning District Commission, Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority, Virginia Economic Bridge, and The Southwest Virginia Economic Development Commission.

Upon his retirement in 2003, Richard opened a business consulting firm to provide services in the areas of business development, telecommunications, government relations and economic development to clients in the private and public sectors.  Sadly, Richard passed away on April 16, 2015.

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Richard Rusk

Originally from Baltimore, MD, Richard Rusk's family moved to Winchester, VA and he graduated from Handley High School in 1934.  He went on to Lehigh University to get both his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry in 1938 and a Master of Science in 1949.  At that point, he joined the Physics Department of Virginia Tech until he retired in 1982 as an associate professor and assistant head of the physics department.  He was active in church and community activities.  He was also passionate about energy efficiency and sources, writing numerous articles.  He created the Wise Wind Scholarship in 2011.  He died in 2013 in Blacksburg, VA.

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Richard Tavenor Bell

The scholarship was established in 1999 in memory of Richard Tavenor Bell to assist MECC students with academic promise and/or financial need.

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Robert and Diana Etherton

Sandy Honaker McGlothlin

Sarah Julia Broadwater

Sarah Julia Broadwater was the daughter of John D. and Ethel M. Broadwater.  This scholarship was created in memory of Sarah by her siblings.

Scott County Democratic Party more information 

The Scott County Democratic Party has established this scholarship to show their commitment to the importance of education in Scott County.  The Scott County Democratic Party wants to demonstrate, especially to young adults, that the Democratic Party subscribes to and believes in a philosophy of compassion towards others who are most in need, no matter the need, and, when able to do so, will put that philosophy into direct action. 

This scholarship was established for high school seniors, recent high school graduates, or adult students who reside in Scott County and will be attending Mountain Empire Community College.  The awarding of this scholarship will be based on financial need and academic promise, each to be of equal priority.  The award is open to both part-time and full-time students.


Scott County Special Events

Scott County volunteers, working with the MECC Foundation, host an annual fundraising special event to provide scholarship opportunities for Scott County students attending Mountain Empire Community College.  Through the generous donations of time, energy, and funds by these volunteers, three endowed scholarships have been established.

The Scott County Ambassador Scholarship
was established with revenue from special events in Scott County and with combination of funds from the Gibson-Ireco Scholarship.  It was created to assist Scott County students who are involved in service learning.

The Scott County AIMS Higher Scholarship was established in 2010 through special event fundraising to assist Scott County high school graduates who have met the academic, attendance, and community service requirements for the AIMS Higher Scholarship.

The Scott County Endowed Scholarship was established in 2012 to assist a Scott County student attending MECC.

Shirley Lane Stiles Memorial Nursing Fund

This scholarship was established by the family of Shirley Lane Stiles to honor the memory of a lady who was passionate about nursing.  The family hopes that by providing this scholarship that Shirley’s ideals of hard work and compassion for helping others through nursing will live on.

Shirley was born and raised in an area known as Williams Hollow in Big Stone Gap, VA.  She was the fifth of seven children born to William Howard and Georgia Peterson Lane.  Shirley’s father farmed the property in Williams Hollow where he raised apples and other fruit, which he sold from a cart, had a tobacco crop and also made moonshine on the side.  Shirley’s mother raised her seven children, took in seamstress work and contributed to the back breaking labor necessary to eke out a living on the mountain. Her parents were strict disciplinarians who possessed and passed on to their children a strong value system and an incredible work ethic. 
Shirley began an after school job around the age of ten with a local couple who lived at the bottom of the mountain.  She performed housecleaning, helping with meals, and other small jobs.  She later described how juggling the responsibilities of school, home life, and a job taught her much about time management and work ethic.  Around this same time she was stricken by Scarlet fever which landed her in the hospital for several days – this is when she discovered her true calling in nursing.

She left Appalachia and moved to the Richmond area after graduation from high school to pursue a career in nursing and received her training and education at the Medical College of Virginia and J. Sergeant Reynolds School of Nursing. She held various nursing positions at several area hospitals, was the industrial nurse at Bear Island Paper Company in Doswell, Va., for more than 20 years and, at the time of her death, was a medical records coordinator for Westminster Canterbury - Richmond.

Shirley would tell you that she was never given anything in her life.  She came from poverty, worked hard for everything she had and was driven to provide a better life for herself and her family.  She never forgot and was extremely proud of her roots and the values imparted to her by her family and life growing up in Williams Hollow in Big Stone Gap.

Her philosophy on life never wavered and is found in a quote from her high school yearbook: "Nothing is impossible to a willing heart."

Southwest Virginia Management Association in honor of Harold Armsey, by honoring his wife, Joyce N. Armsey

The Southwest Virginia Management Association wished to honor Harold Armsey for his countless hours of work to their organization and other groups throughout Southwestern Virginia.    The SWVMA knew of no better way to honor Harold than by honoring his late wife Joyce.  They established this scholarship in her name to assist worthy recipients entering the nursing profession.

Joyce Nicholson Armsey, born in Pineville, Kentucky was the mother of three daughters; Rebecca Pueleo, Jennifer Armsey, and Karen Armsey Keen.  She was a graduate of Pineville High School and Saint Joseph’s School of Nursing in Lexington, Kentucky.  Her nursing career allowed her to work at Pineville Community Hospital, a nurse in a physician’s office and a valuable volunteer school nurse.  She was a talented organist and pianist for many years at the First Baptist Church in Norton, Virginia.  Joyce passed away on October 18, 1987 from cancer.


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Stafford Family

The scholarship was established in 2009 to benefit resident of Wise, Lee, Scott, Dickenson, or Russell Counties. Awards must be made to students in a business related curriculum and awarded to students with financial need.

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Sue Kennedy

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T. Reid Rankin Family

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T. Reid Rankin Family Educational Trust

The Gap Partnership more information 

The Gap Partnership is a community development organization comprised of members from businesses, non-profit organizations, educational institutions, churches, and individuals who work for the betterment of our community in every facet.

The mission of The Gap Partnership is:  "to develop Big Stone Gap as the 'Community of Choice' to reside in, within the region of far Southwest Virginia."

The Gap Partnership was formed in 2008 from the merger of two separate community development organizations, Bridging The Gap and The Gap Corporation.   Both boards realized the need for the two groups to work together, in partnership, to better the community of Big Stone Gap.

The "Close the Gap" Scholarship Program was created for the Appalachia and Powell Valley High Schools' graduating seniors entering Mountain Empire Community College in the fall following their high school graduation.  The scholarship is now for Union High School graduating seniors, who qualify for financial aid, but still have unmet tuition expenses at MECC.


The Nalco Foundation more information 

This scholarship was established in 1985 by The Nalco Chemical Company Foundation to provide educational opportunities for students with financial need and academic promise.

Nalco is an Ecolab company. A trusted partner at more than one million customer locations, Ecolab (ECL) is the global leader in water, hygiene and energy technologies and services that protect people and vital resources. With 2012 sales of $12 billion and 44,000 associates, Ecolab delivers comprehensive solutions and on-site service to promote safe food, maintain clean environments, optimize water and energy use and improve operational efficiencies for customers in the food, healthcare, energy, hospitality and industrial markets in more than 170 countries around the world.

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Thomas and Adeline Skorupa

The children of Thomas and Adeline Skorupa created this scholarship in honor of their parents.  Thomas was born in Lublin, Poland in 1911. He later came to Dunbar, Virginia in 1928.  Adeline Yakubowski Skorupa was born in Tom’s Creek, Va. They were both long-time residents of the area, living in Derby, Va., for 45 years, Appalachia, Va., for nine years, and spent their last years together in Big Stone Gap.

He retired in 1978 after 51 years of employment at Stonega Coke and Coal Company and Westmoreland Coal Company.  He was an active member of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Big Stone Gap, the Knights of Columbus, and the Appalachia Lions Club.  He was the financial secretary of the Derby Local Union No. 6353, District 28 of the UMWA for more than 40 years.

Adeline was known to everyone as “Mimi”.  She leaves behind a lifelong legacy as a dedicated wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother.  She is lovingly remembered by family, friends, and the community throughout as being an inspiration to those around her for her strength and family values.  She was a member of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Appalachia and Big Stone Gap for 73 years and served in many different capacities.

Thomas B. and Lillian Fugate more information 

Thomas B. Fugate was born April 10, 1899 on a farm east of Tazewell, TN, in Claiborne County. He was the son of William Colbert Fugate and Virginia Alexander Bacon.  On June 13th, 1918, he married Lillian Oretta Rowlett of Rose Hill, VA.   They were blessed with five children.  Thomas was a resident of Ewing, Va., where he died September 22, 1980.

During his lifetime the former U.S. Congressman performed an instrumental role in the establishment of better living conditions for persons in and around Lee County.  He also served politically as a member of the Virginia General Assembly in 1929-1930; as the director of Civil Works Administration for Lee County in 1930; and as a member of Congress in 1948. 

In 1950, he was elected as a member of the Board of Trustees of Lincoln Memorial University where he served eight years as vice-president of the College, eight years as vice-president of the Board, and was a member of the Executive Committee for sixteen years.  He was also named director of the Virginia Tennessee Farm Bureau, Inc., and president of the Peoples Bank of Ewing. 

Residents of Lee County will long remember him for his involvement in such projects as the Lee County Planning Commission and the county’s Recreational Center.


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Thomas Scholarship

The Thomas Scholarship was established in 1999 to assist a student with financial need and academic promise from Lee, Wise or Scott Counties or the City of Norton.

Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission more information 

The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission  (VTRRC) is a 28-member body created by the 1999 General Assembly. Its mission is the promotion of economic growth and development in tobacco-dependent communities, using proceeds of the national tobacco settlement.

Annually, the VTRRC provides funds to MECC for scholarships for tobacco families and AIMS Higher Scholars, which are AIMS HIgher Annual Scholarship and the VTRRC Tobacco Scholarship.  Previous years' funds have created the MECC AIMS Higher Endowed Scholarship.

Town of Pennington Gap more information 

The Town of Pennington Gap Scholarship was established in 2012 to assist students residing within the corporation limits of the Town of Pennington Gap, VA.

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Tracy Stone

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Trigiani family/Franccesca Trigiani Noone

TRIO more information 

The Federal TRIO Programs (TRIO) are Federal outreach and student services programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. TRIO programs are targeted to serve and assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities.  These programs include Upward Bound, Talent Search, and Student Support Services. For students to be eligible for the TRIO scholarship they must have been a past participant in a TRIO program.

The TRIO scholarship was established through the generosity of Robert and Teresa Adkins of Wise, VA.  Robert attended Pound High School.  He later owned and operated a family automotive repair and tire center for 40 years.  He is active in the Kiwanis Club and serves on the Wise County Board of Supervisors.  Teresa Adkins is the director of the Upward Bound Program at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise.


Virginia Foundation for Community College Education more information 

The mission of the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education (VFCCE) is to provide access to education for all Virginians. Through the statewide scholarship program, students have the opportunity to apply for scholarships ranging from $500 to $10,000. The VFCCE recognizes outstanding students of all ages and backgrounds. 

The Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy was created in 2006 to honor leading philanthropists from each of Virginia’s 23 community colleges as well as the system’s statewide foundation. Each year the Commonwealth Legacy Scholarship is awarded to honor the Philanthropy Leader at each college.

The 2014 Philanthropy Leader is Ms. Martha J. Rhoton.  Martha established a scholarship at MECC to honor her parents, E. J. and Nell Rhoton.  Martha is shown in the photo (front, center left), accepting the Chancellor's Award in Richmond, VA.

Virginia McChesney more information 

The Big Stone Gap High School Buccaneer Alumni created an endowed Buccaneer Scholarship in Memory of Virginia McChesney.  For a quarter of a century, Mrs. Sam McChesney gave music and inspiration to Appalachia. The village was called Big Stone Gap, Virginia in the coal mining area where the Powell River cuts around Stone Mountain. It was here that Mrs. Mac started an 11-piece band in 1933 and taught for 16 years before she received a salary. Though the school provided no money, it let her rehearse in the auditorium, and later boarded off the balcony for a band room. “I remember once a contest judge complimented me because my children had done so well. ‘Mrs. Mac,’ he said, ‘I know about that one light bulb in your band room; you are to be congratulated since this is the first time these children have really seen their music!’”

Buying musical instruments and uniforms was a sacrifice in Wise County, but the school band flourished none-the-less on a generous budget of enthusiasm, rich traditions, and the dedication of Mrs. Mac. Her own personal career on the violin had been cut short when she developed violinist’s palsy. Uncommonly vigorous and never ill, Mrs. Mac taught over 35 years before she retired in her native town of Big Stone Gap giving 75 piano lessons a week, “I don’t guess I can tell you why, but music is the whole world for me,” she explained. “I know the children won’t all feel that way, but every one of them absorbs something. That is why I never turn down anybody for lack of talent. If they come, they can stay, even if all they learn is not to play when they’d hurt the music.”
When Big Stone Gap schools were consolidated in 1963, she moved into the new Powell Valley High School where she had her first real band room, but still no budget. Her 72-piece band continued to use the original bass horn, assorted metal clarinets, and other heirlooms. Parents contributed $2 a month, which was used for music and state contest expenses.
“There were no band directors around here when I started, so nobody complained because I was a woman.” By the time college-trained music educators were taking jobs in the area, she was the indisputable dean of her profession. Everyone recognized her special qualitites.
Mrs. Mac’s husband, Sam, was a salesman who was also the band’s factotum. He built risers with lumber from an abandoned barn, organized a drill team with youngsters who couldn’t afford instruments, and generally helped make the balcony livable by putting in shelves, etc. When he died in 1967, Mrs. Mac continued teaching until her retirement.
During her career, bands under her direction earned an impressive number of superior ratings in both marching band and concert band. Adjudicators have included nationally known figures such as Paul Yoder, Nilo Hovey, Cliffe Bainum, Jack Lee, and John Paynter, who gave her marching band a rating of 99.6 at one contest.
When the subject of the first uniforms came up, Mrs. Virginia McCesney confronted the businessmen in town who were about to be reimbursed money they had put up for football lights. Since they had not expected to get the money back, all but one told her to take the money for the band. The one businessman felt bands were a losing proposition that cost too much money. But a few weeks later, a brightly uniformed band marched down main streets and stopped in front of the obstinate businessman’s business establishment. They played a rousing rendition of “Beer Barrel Polka.” The following day, the irate storekeeper returned his share of the money to Mrs. McChesney to finish paying for the uniforms.
A member of the first Big Stone Gap Band, who is now a doctor, has said, “How much better off so many of us are because of her work.” A local merchant stated, “You don’t get this kind of person in a town very often.” What a fitting tribute to such a dedicated teacher. Today, we have problems, our budgets do not often seem adequate, the administration and school boards do not always follow every recommendation we make, and sometimes we do not believe the community cooperates as extensively as they might. Put Virginia McChesney in today’s band position and she would be over-whelmed. Here is a woman who probably was the first career high school woman band director who certainly worked under what we would call adverse conditions and produced a fine musical organization, consecutively for many years. She stands tall among WBDI members as our foremost pioneer woman of the podium.

Virginia Mining Association honoring Dink Shackleford more information 

The Virginia Mining Association established an endowed scholarship through the Mountain Empire Community College Foundation to honor Dink Shackleford.  Dink has always been a strong advocate of higher education.  In creating this scholarship, the Association wishes to express its deep affection for Dink, and to express members’ appreciation for the many ways that he enriched their lives with his indomitable spirit, humor, and gift for turning a phrase.  
Dink joined the Virginia Mining Association after working for several years as a Public Administration Specialist for the Mount Rogers Planning District Commission, where he was assigned to the Town of Damascus.  When the position of Executive Director of the Virginia Mining Association became available, Dink applied and was immediately hired.  A native of Lee County and the son of a coal miner, Dink impressed Association members with his energy, knowledge of the coal industry, but most of all, his positive can-do attitude. Dink put his own indelible stamp on the position of Executive Director.  Whether in southwest Virginia, Richmond, or Washington, Dink used every opportunity and method to promote the coal industry.  
Few individuals knew the full extent of Dink’s civic involvement.  Dink was a believer in community service, and as the Executive Director of the VMA, he was a visible and engaged coal industry representative in the greater community.  He was a founding and continuously serving board member of the Coalfield Water Development Fund (CWDF) for over 10 years.  By fostering the coal industry’s role in this organization, the industry has shown its commitment to solving the region’s long-tem needs for safe drinking water.
As an active member of the Norton Kiwanis Club, Dink was the force behind stream cleaning projects, the establishment of a bicycle race, the development of the Chief Benge Walking Trail, and the lighting of Flag Rock.  He also led efforts to collect and distribute hundreds of suitcases for children and families in crisis.

W. C. Witt, Sr. and Helen P. Witt more information 

William C. (Bill) Witt was born on June 14, 1918 in Big Stone Gap, Va. to the late A. L. and Bertie Fleenor Witt.  He married Helen Plageman Witt on January 17, 1948.  Helen was born in Richmond on July 19, 1923 to the late Gerard Henry Plageman, Sr. and Helen McDonnell Plageman.

Bill worked for Mason-Dixon Freight Lines as a freight agent in Kingsport, Tn. and Atlanta, Ga.  He left Mason-Dixon to work for the War Department in Radford, Va. Witt worked in the finance department while the Radford Arsenal was being prepared for the upcoming war.  During World War II, he served with the U.S. Army Air Corps overseas on Saipan and Tinian.  After the war he worked for the Veterans Administration as a budget analyst in Richmond, Virginia.

He returned to Wise County in 1948 and worked at the Miners’ Hospital of Norton until its closing.  He then went to work for his father in the insurance business in Norton and Big Stone Gap.  He later became president of Norton Insurance Agency and worked there until his retirement in 1993.

He served briefly as a member of the Norton Lions Club and the Norton Kiwanis Club.  His true passion in life was the Lonesome Pine Country Club.  He served many years on the board of directors with many of these as treasurer and president.  He was a member of the Wise County National Bank board for many years, prior to merger.  He served the City of Norton on its first industrial development authority board.  He served as secretary to NIDA during their first bond offering for Norton Community Hospital.

Helen was an employee of Thalheimers Department Store and the Department of Veterans Affairs in Richmond prior to making her home in Norton.  She served several terms as president of the PTA in the Norton City School System.  She was a charter member of the St. Mary’s Hospital Auxiliary and several terms as its chair, working her weekly shift until her illness.  During her tenure she devoted over 11,000 volunteer hours to the Auxiliary.

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W. Clinton Broadwater

Dorothy Broadwater created the W. Clinton Broadwater Memorial Scholarship in memory of her husband.  William Clinton Broadwater was born in Gate City, Va., he was the son of the late John D. and Ethel Broadwater.  He was a graduate of Big Stone Gap High School and William & Mary College in Williamsburg, Va.

In 1937, he married Dorothy and the couple moved to Middlesboro, Ky.  Clinton served as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy during World War II.  He was a manager of Middlesboro Milling Co. for many years and was a retired postmaster of Middlesboro.  

W. H. and Callie Anne Coughlin Clark

The W. H. and Callie Anne Coughlin Clark Scholarship was established in 2014.  The Clarks are natives of Big Stone Gap, VA, and both graduated from Big Stone Gap High School.

W. “H” Clark earned a B. S. degree in Industrial Engineering from North Carolina State University.  He is a graduate of the Stanford University Executive Program and holds an honorary Doctor of Business Administration from North Central College.  He has received the Sigma Phi Epsilon Citation Award, the Distinguished Engineering Alumnus Award, and the American Institute of Chemists Award.  In 1993, he was awarded the prestigious SCI Chemical Industry Gold Medal.  “H” served as Chairman of the Chemical Manufacturers Association in 1986 and 1987.

Mr. Clark started his career as a Sales Engineer with Standard Oil of Ohio in 1956.  He joined Nalco Chemical Company as a District Representative in the Industrial Division in 1960 in Houston, Texas.   After several promotions within the company, he was elected President and Chief Executive Officer in 1982.  Mr. Clark retired in 1994 as Chairman and CEO of Nalco. 

Additionally, Mr. Clark served on the Boards of Directors for several organizations including Merrill Lynch & Co., Georgia-Pacific, and Bethlehem Steel Corporation.  He is a Life Member of the Northwestern University Advisory Board of the Kellogg Business School and a Life Trustee of the Field Museum of Natural History.  He is actively involved as a Trustee for the Rush Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center.  In 1992 he was the General Chairman for the Chicago Metropolitan Area United Way/Crusade of Mercy Campaign.  Mr. Clark completed tenure as Vice-Chairman of the North Carolina State University School of Engineering Scholarship Campaign, which raised $123 million.  He currently serves on the North Carolina State Engineering Foundation Board and is recognized on the Engineering “Wall of Fame”.

Callie Anne Clark holds a B. A. from Wake Forest University, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa.  In addition, she was elected to "Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities," plus several honor societies.  She served as Vice-President of W “H” Clark Associates.  She is a former high school teacher and piano teacher.  Mrs. Clark has been very active with Wake Forest University, serving on the Wake Forest Board of Visitors and is a former member of the Wake Forest Alumni Council.  She is active in a variety of civic activities.  She served on the Field Museum of Chicago Women’s Board, the Brookfield Zoo Women’s Board, the Children’s Home & Aid Society, Service Club of Chicago, and the Art Associates of the Art Institute of Chicago.  She is also active with the Historical Society of Hinsdale, and the American Association of University Women.

Both Mr. and Mrs. Clark are members of the Leadership Council of Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.

Mr. and Mrs. Clark have been long-term supporters of higher education.  They have ten scholarships at various universities.

The Clarks have two daughters, two granddaughters and one grandson.  The Clarks currently reside in Burr Ridge, Illinois and Davidson, North Carolina.

Wallens Ridge State Prison Employee Fund more information 

The Wallens Ridge State Prison Employee Fund Scholarship was established in 2005, with priority given to a dependent of a current Wallens Ridge State Prison employee. The recipient must have financial need and a 2.5 GPA. If no there is no applicant that is a WRSP dependent, another qualified MECC student will be selected.

Wellmont Foundation more information 

The scholarship was established to support students who are enrolled in health care majors. The recipients may be asked to provide community service as a condition of the award.


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White Williams more information 

In late 2006, Reed and Judy Williams, owners of Old Virginia Hand Hewn Log Homes in Lee County, created the White Williams Scholarship to assist MECC students with physical disabilities. The scholarship was created in memory of White Williams, Reed Williams’ brother, who suffered paralysis from birth. The scholarship was inspired by Reed Williams’ lifelong commitment to his brother and his admiration for him.
The White Williams Scholarship encourages students with physical disabilities to pursue a college education to enhance their self-sufficiency.

Willard H. Miller

This scholarship was created in honor of Willard “Bill” H. Miller in 2004 for his outstanding service and contributions to Mountain Empire Community College and the region.  For Bill Miller, a native son of Big Stone Gap, saying that he loved life would be an understatement; he brought a vivacious spirit and an engaging enthusiasm to every project.  He was the son of Willard Sale and Louise Goodloe Miller.

Bill was a graduate of Washington and Lee University, and he served three years in the US Army during World War II.  His working years were spent as a retailer for Miller and Rhodes in Richmond, VA and Fieldcrest Mills in Columbus, GA and after retirement was owner of Miller’s Antiques in Abingdon, VA.  But Bill was more than his job—he was a family man devoted to his wife, Pat, his sons, daughters-in law, and his grandchildren.  He loved growing roses, playing Santa Claus, traveling to exotic places and performing in musicals.  He spent his life bringing smiles to those around him and to enjoy every experience life had to offer to the fullest.


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William Campbell and Mary Edmonds more information 

The C. Bascom Slemp Foundation established this scholarship in honor of the late William Campbell and Mary Virginia Edmonds.  William C. Edmonds was a nephew of C. Bascom Slemp.  He served on the C. Bascom Slemp Foundation Board of Directors for 40 years and was active in Big Stone Gap’s civic affairs.

Mary served as a teacher librarian at Dryden High School for 36 years.  She was a graduate of Sullins College in Bristol, Va., and of William and Mary College.  She served on the Mountain Empire Community College Foundation Cultural and Humanities Committee.  She also served on the advisory board of the Lee Bank and Trust Company.  Mary succeeded her late husband, William C. Edmonds, as a member of the board of trustees of the C. Bascom Slemp Foundation, which she served until the time of her death.

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William P. Kanto, Sr.

William P. Kanto, Sr., a graduate of North Carolina State University, moved to Norton in 1939 to become the town manager.  His tenure as town manager was interrupted by service in the US Army (1942-45) during World War II.  Returning after the War, Mr. Kanto served as city manager before entering private business (Victory Coal Company and Norton Motor Inn) with his long time business partner, S.E. Trinkle.  Ten years later they established Kanto Motors 

Mr. Kanto remained an active civic and community leader until his death in 1987.  He was a prominent supporter of the regional cooperative movement which chartered the LENOWISCO Planning District Commission in 1965.  He was also active in the Norton Kiwanis Club and Democratic politics in addition to serving on the Board of St. Mary’s Hospital and what was then the First National Bank of Norton and later part of Bank of America.

He was a charter member of the State Board of Community Colleges and later a member of the MECC Local Advisory Board.  Mr. Kanto was also on the Norton School Board serving as Chairman for a number of years and was an active supporter of Clinch Valley College (UVA-Wise).  He was instrumental in the establishment of UVA-Wise and Mountain Empire Community College and his many contributions to education in southwest Virginia were recognized by the creation of the William P. Kanto, Sr. Award in 1989.  This award is presented annually to a local citizen who has made significant contributions to the betterment of education in Wise County and Norton.


William T. and Ruth Ann J. Clements

Bill and Ruth Ann Clements were leading citizens in Wise County and the City of Norton.  Bill was president of Wise County National Bank and served as president of the Virginia Banker’s Association.  He served on the St. Mary’s Hospital Board of Directors, the Board of the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development, the State Water Control Board, and the Norton Industrial Development Authority.  In 1976, he was named as Citizen of the Year by the Wise County Chamber of Commerce.

Bill and Ruth Ann were both highly committed to K-12 and higher education.  Bill attended the College of William and Mary and graduated from the University of Wisconsin’s Graduate School of Banking.  Over the years, Bill served on the Advisory Boards of Virginia Highlands and Mountain Empire Community Colleges, and was on the founding board of the Mountain Empire Community College Foundation.   Ruth Ann Clements received a Bachelor’s Degree in economics from the College of William and Mary.  She served on the Norton City School Board for ten years.
The endowed scholarship is a lasting memorial to the Clements and their many civic contributions to Wise County and the City of Norton.


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Williams-Berry Charitable Foundation

Wise Appalachian Regional Hospital Auxiliary

The Wise Appalachian Regional Hospital Auxiliary created this scholarship in 1998 when the Wise Appalachian Regional Hospital closed.  The Wise ARH Auxiliary continued the hospital’s community legacy by creating this scholarship to help someone in a health science curriculum.

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Wm. "Jr." and Jeanean Fleming

The scholarship was created by the Fleming family in honor of Jeanean Fleming’s 80th birthday and in memory of Jr. Fleming, who passed away in 1997. The scholarship will assist students from Dickenson County attending Mountain Empire Community College.
Jr. and Jeanean Fleming have been lifelong residents of Dickenson County.  Jr. worked as a coal miner for 33 years, served in the Navy during World War II, was a charter member of the Clintwood Lions Club, coached little league baseball for 18 years, and served on the volunteer fire department.  Jeanean was a homemaker, raising four children, and worked as a pharmacy assistant at Hancock-Lambert pharmacy. 
Jr. and Jeanean Fleming’s children, grandchildren, and other family members have created the scholarship in recognition of the contributions that Mr. & Mrs. Fleming made to their family and to their community.