Smithfield Foods has earned the 2014 Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy and is Paul D. Camp Community College’s 2014 Philanthropist of the Year. The honor was awarded at a luncheon ceremony at the Country Club of Virginia, located in Richmond, on Tuesday, April 15, 2014.
Smithfield Foods, along with its Smithfield-Farmland division and the Smithfield-Luter Foundation, has generously supported College programs and initiatives, including the construction of the Regional Workforce Development Center; the establishment of a sustainability program; the launch of a new robotics curriculum; the enhancement of workforce programs and services; and scholarships. The company has also provided financial support to the PDCCC Foundation’s unrestricted fund, which supports a variety of initiatives that help students, faculty and staff.
In January 2013, Smithfield Foods and Smithfield-Farmland made the single largest contribution in the College’s history—$330,000—during PDCCC’s first Major Gifts Campaign. Smithfield Foods President and CEO C. Larry Pope also served as Honorary Chair of the campaign.
Tim Schellpeper, President and Chief Operating Officer of Smithfield-Farmland Fresh Meat Group, serves on the PDCCC Foundation Board. Smithfield has also provided many food donations for special events at the College and strives to make a positive impact in the communities where their employees live and work.
Pope and Schellpeper agree that the Virginia Community College System is a hidden jewel that provides another avenue in which to educate kids at home, where they are successful contributors to society. “Funds donated to community colleges go toward helping real people create a better life for themselves,” said Pope. “As a result, communities are much richer and more stable, and that broadens the knowledge base of all residents.”
The Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy luncheon is hosted by the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education (VFCCE) to honor the leading philanthropists from each of Virginia’s 23 community colleges, as well as the statewide foundation. This marks the ninth year the awards have been given.
This year’s class of distinguished philanthropy leaders has contributed a combined total of more than $12 million dollars to Virginia’s Community Colleges.
“The generosity of the two dozen philanthropy leaders makes a critical difference in the lives of students and their families, as well as in the economic vitality of the commonwealth,” said VCCS Chancellor Glenn DuBois. “They believe in the knowledge and skills that Virginia’s Community Colleges offer to every Virginian. We thank them deeply for the partnerships that demonstrate the art of giving.”
The honored philanthropists will have a scholarship named after them, which will be awarded next fall to a student attending their community college.
The luncheon’s keynote speaker was W. Heywood Fralin, Virginia Business Higher Education Council Chair and noted philanthropist. He is also Chairman of Medical Facilities of America Inc. and has worked in higher education and economic development efforts throughout Virginia for the 20 years.