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Gifts and Grants

It is a part of the Ferrum College mission to further educational opportunities via the use of grants and gifts to the College.  This page will detail grants and gifts received and the way the funds are applied to the educational process.

The Virginia College Fund Gives $152,201.42 Grant to Ferrum College.

Virginia College Fund Grant PresentationRoanoke, Va. (June 28, 2012) – At its annual meeting in Roanoke on June 28, 2012, The Virginia College Fund (VCF) distributed grants of $713,638 to its five member schools, including Ferrum College, which received $152,201 to be used for general support and student aid.  Accepting the grant was Ferrum’s Vice-President for Institutional Advancement, Kim Blair.

“Ferrum College is privileged to be a part of the VCF and is grateful for its generous support.  The VCF has been a significant contributor to the college over the past 47 years, making a college education more attainable for our students and their families,” said Blair. 

The VCF schools serve a unique demographic.  Seventy five percent of attendees are Virginia residents, 30 % are minorities, 30 % are among the first generation in their families to attend college, and 49% come from low to moderate-income households.  The majority of the funds raised go toward offsetting the cost of tuition to help make a private college education more affordable. For many students, such help is their only option for higher education.

During its history, the VCF has raised over $18,000,000 for its member schools and students. Three quarters of the funds raised are divided equally among the five schools, and the remaining amount is divided based on full time enrollment. 

Ferrum College Receives Grant from Margaret A. Cargill Foundation

Ferrum, Va. (September 7, 2011) – Ferrum College has received a gift from the Margaret A. Cargill Foundation for $383,612.  The funds will be applied to the Ferrum College Environmental Science and Sustainability programs.  The gift will be used to purchase laboratory equipment and to establish an endowment for the Institute for Integrative Learning, which houses the College’s Center for Sustainable Development.

“We are so appreciative of the Cargill Foundation’s generous gift to the College.  Our Environmental Science program is among the oldest in the United States, and this will help us stay at the forefront in this important area of study,” said Ferrum College Provost and Executive Vice President Dr. Leslie Lambert.

The Margaret A. Cargill Foundation (M.A.C.) supports the environment; the arts; services to families, children and the elderly; disaster-related relief, recovery and development, planned health and animal welfare.  The Foundation was created upon Ms. Cargill’s death in 2006.   Grants are given to reflect her passions and priorities while she was living.  Cargill was the granddaughter of William Cargill, co-founder of Cargill Inc., a Minnesota based company that is one of the world’s largest corporations.

“Since its inception, our environmental science program has deliberately cultivated a strong scientific foundation for our graduates. This generous gift from the Cargill Foundation will permit us to upgrade and expand our instrument holdings for education and research while also strengthening our programs related to the Center for Sustainable Development,” said Ferrum College Dean of Natural Sciences and Mathematics Jason Powell. “We expect to be able to begin installing the new equipment later this fall and to have students using it during the spring semester. This is an exciting time to be working in the sciences at Ferrum College.”


Appalachian Power Gives Ferrum College $25,000

Ferrum, Va. (August 25, 2011) – Ferrum College has received a gift of $25,000 from Appalachian Power, a subsidiary of American Electric Power (AEP).   The college will use the money to enhance the Water Quality Program in the Environmental Science Program.

“We are grateful for the support of our on-going research into the area’s water quality,” said Environmental Science Professor Carolyn Thomas, who has been testing the area’s water for more than two decades.

“ We believe this helps recognize the importance of the work being done by Ferrum researchers, said Frank Simms, manager of hydroelectric operations for Appalachian and AEP.   “Ferrum has taken a leadership role in measuring the quality of water in the region as well as in the reservoirs our company operates and we want to support those efforts.”

Appalachian Power built and operates the Smith Mountain and Claytor hydroelectric generating projects in Southwestern Virginia. Thomas and other Ferrum researchers and students have regularly tested Smith Mountain and Claytor reservoir water quality since 1987 seeking to determine the impact of increased lakeside populations, businesses and boaters.  Simms, Joe Jones, Director of External Affairs and Larry Jackson, Manager of External Affairs for Appalachian Power presented a check to Ferrum College President Dr. Jennifer L. Braaten during a luncheon at the president’s home on campus.

“Ferrum College is pleased to have the support of Appalachian Power.   We appreciate its interest in our research and the recognition of the quality of our faculty and students.  This money will enable us to make the program even stronger,” said Braaten.

Thomas said the money would be used enhance Ferrum’s analytical ability in the water quality lab by upgrading its analytical testing equipment.

Ferrum Receives Second Jessie Ball duPont Grant

$100,000 to further sustainability efforts.

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Ferrum, Va. (June 24, 2011) – On the heels of a successful sustainability campaign funded by a $150,000 grant received in 2009 from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, Ferrum College is planning to implement a second duPont award which will build upon the success achieved with the first project,  entitled Sub-Metering: A Step Toward Sustainability.

Earlier this year the College was granted an additional $100,000 for a three-year follow up plan to be called Sustainable Energy Action and Accounting (SEAA).  The new plan calls for:

  1. Immediate advances in campus energy conservation.
  2. Setting aside funds for long-term strategies for reducing energy costs
  3. Articulating short, medium and long term energy conservation strategies
  4. Building upon already achieved student, faculty and staff awareness of energy conservation.

“We are extremely grateful to the Jessie Ball duPont Fund for their generosity and recognition of Ferrum’s substantial green initiatives,” said Ferrum College President Jennifer Braaten.

Project Director Glen Stevens, assistant professor of Environmental Science, said that this new grant from duPont allows the College to continue its sustainability momentum.  “We raised awareness during our initial sustainability campaign, now we want to build upon the foundation we have created,” said Stevens.

Stevens explained that in the initial phase of the program the College installed sub-meters in eleven buildings on campus, allowing students to track energy usage and to hold a competition among residence halls to see which building could conserve the most energy.

The next phase calls for a number of specific protocols on campus including:

  • Replacing fluorescent ballasts in the two buildings with the largest number of lighting fixtures:  Garber Hall and Stanley Library
  • Incorporation of motion sensors into all restrooms on campus
  • Replacement of halogen bulbs in EXIT signs with LED bulbs
  • Sub-metering ten additional buildings on the main college campus
  • Purchase and use of a thermal imaging camera to identify building insulation issues

In addition, the College will meet with energy consultants to identify profitable energy conservation measures which can be carried out over the long term. 

Plans call for implementation of those additional concepts in the second year of the grant, (2012-2013) as well as building more of a campus-wide awareness of energy conservation and sustainability.

About the Jessie Ball duPont Fund: The Jessie Ball duPont Fund makes grants to more than 330 eligible organizations identified by Mrs. duPont in her will. The Fund has assets of more than $281 million and has awarded more than $303 million in grants since 1977.

Ferrum College Awarded $250,000 from The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations

Ferrum to receive grant for “smart classrooms.”

Ferrum, Va. (October 18, 2010) – Ferrum College announced today that it will receive a $250,000 grant from the Jacksonville, Florida-based Arthur Vining Davis Foundations to fund construction/renovation, equipment and furnishings for The Arthur Vining Davis Smart Classrooms.

“A grant from The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations is a significant award to an institution,” said Ferrum College President Jennifer L. Braaten.   “The smart classrooms will improve the overall educational experience for our students and we are greatly honored to meet the funding goal of the grant, which is ‘to make good schools better.’”

Arthur Vining Davis was a successful businessman who guided the Alcoa company to prominence in the first half of the 20th century.  The Foundations were established to support education with grants given to private colleges which are broadly acknowledged to provide academic excellence.  Grants are also made to historically Black colleges, Native American tribal colleges and colleges located in Appalachia. 

“In these times of steady growth for Ferrum College we need and greatly appreciate support from organizations such as The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations to help us achieve our number one priority, student success.” said Braaten.   “The receipt of this prestigious grant is a validation of our accomplishments over the past several years.”

According to Dr. Christine Stinson,  Ferrum’s Chief Information Officer, The Arthur Vining Davis Smart Classrooms will complement teaching and learning by providing video-conferencing capability, smart boards, and permanent video cameras for lecture capture. Stinson noted that Ferrum College’s Stanley Library has an impressive set of online databases and eBooks which students will be able to access, explore, and integrate in real-time during group activities in the smart classrooms.