FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Staff Contact:

Andrea J. Burney, APR

Director of  Public Relations

BARKHOUSERS TO ENDOW FUND FOR A FREE ENTERPRISE CENTER

 

Danville Community College Educational Foundation Board members and DCC staff are all smiles as they greet Richard and Kit Barkhouser, who recently announced plans to establish a Free Enterprise Center at the College. The donation is the first in DCC’s new Major Gifts Campaign. Shown left to right, are: Dr. Ed White, Dean of the Business and Engineering Technologies Division; President Dr. Carlyle Ramsey; Richard Barkhouser; Kit Barkhouser; Darren Conner, Chair of the DCC Educational Foundation; Dr. Chris Ezell, Vice President of Academic and Student Services; Dr. Harry Kolendrianos, retired business professor and member of the Foundation Board; and Buddy Rawley, Director of Development.

 

DANVILLE, VA, January 20, 2010 – As a kickoff to Danville Community College’s recently-announced Major Gifts Campaign, Richard and Kit Barkhouser will endow a fund to establish a Free Enterprise Center at DCC. Dr. Carlyle Ramsey, DCC President, said the Barkhouser Free Enterprise Center will be committed to promoting the American free enterprise system and entrepreneurship opportunities at the College and throughout the service region of Danville, Halifax County and Pittsylvania County.

“This is so exciting. We are very grateful to Richard and Kit for their investment in DCC and the impact this center will have not only on our students and faculty, but also on small businesses today and in the future,? Ramsey said. “Investing in DCC is also an investment in the community.?

The Center’s goals are as follows:
• To be a premiere resource center and celebrate the successes of community business leaders.
• To promote DCC’s business and related programs and services as well as entrepreneurship opportunities for existing and aspiring business owners.
• To plan and coordinate workshops, seminars and other special programs in concert with community partners that will assist large, medium and small businesses.
• To provide technical support and assistance to enable private sector employers to be more profitable.
• To offer assistance for stipends and internships for aspiring entrepreneurs.
• To provide opportunities for faculty and staff professional development

Ramsey said one of the first actions will be to appoint a Steering Committee to plan the organizational structure and the inaugural projects. The Steering Committee and later the Advisory Board will be comprised of DCC Business Division and Engineering Technology faculty, as well as representatives from the area’s Chambers of Commerce, Dan River Business Development Center, Economic Development Offices, and private sector employers. He plans to have signage for the center and dedicated space in the Taylor Building by the end of the Spring Semester in May.

The Barkhousers have been long-time supporters of DCC, with Richard serving on the DCC Board from 1998 -2009, including two terms as chair, and Kit Barkhouser has been a member of the DCC Educational Foundation Board since 1995. In 1988, they endowed a scholarship for a full-time, first-year student who resides in the DCC service area or in Caswell County, NC.

“It is our pleasure and privilege to be a part of this effort to provide a free enterprise center at the College and in the community,? Barkhouser said. “It is a little different for the community college, but there is a precedent for this kind of center at the universities.?

He added that he sees a need to encourage and keep entrepreneurs here in the area. He said he has watched DCC graduates who work at his business and others who after a few years of training, leave for the “big city.?

“We hope this will turn out to be something exciting for the College and the community,? Barkhouser noted.

The Barkhouser gift is the first lead gift in DCC’s Major Gifts Campaign. The College is embarking on this first campaign with plans to raise more than $7 million over the next two years to provide financial resources to address the region’s need for a skilled and educated workforce.

Buddy Rawley, Director of Development, said DCC’s campaign kicked off in late November with lead gifts. Priorities for the campaign include increased access to scholarships, helping students successfully obtain their degrees, assisting in meeting regional workforce development needs, and providing ongoing education and training support for the area’s employees.

“We are very appreciative to the Barkhousers. It is fitting and appropriate that this first gift will strengthen the economic development and vitality of our region,? Rawley said.

For more information about DCC’s Major Gifts Campaign, contact Buddy Rawley at 434.797.8495, or click here.

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