The NVCC Educational Foundation hosted its 21st Annual Recognition Dinner on September 13 at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner. Proceeds from the fundraising event support student scholarships, faculty and staff development and college programs. Retired Army General Barry R. McCaffrey, former drug czar under President Bill Clinton and current NBC News consultant, delivered the keynote address.
The Foundation hosts this annual event to thank those who support NOVA through philanthropic gifts and to encourage others to support NOVA’s important work. This year, more than 350 NOVA community members, elected officials and corporate leaders gathered at the Hilton, raising nearly $100,000. In addition, NOVA College Board Member Zuzana Steen pledged $50,000 from Micron to benefit NOVA’s SySTEMic Solutions.
NOVA President Scott Ralls discussed NOVA as the springboard to opportunity for so many. Initiatives like the Posse Foundation, Northern Virginia Technology Council and its support for the Uncommon Coders, the Cybersecurity Surge and the Virginia General Assembly are among many veteran initiatives that provide active and former military what they need to transition from military to civilian status. Foundation Board Vice Chair Tony Burchard welcomed guests and served as emcee.
This year, the Foundation Board honored active duty and veteran students. Student speaker Dallas Lockley is a NOVA student and Army veteran who was critically wounded by an improvised explosive device (IED) in military service. Lockley was raised by a disabled single mother in Atlanta and was the main provider for his mother and younger sisters. After joining the military, he determined the only way he could realize his potential was through a college education. Lockley has an associate degree from NOVA and is working on a second with hopes of transferring to George Mason University for a B.I.S. in homeland security and counterterrorism and a minor in aviation.
“The experience during my tenure here as a student is unlike anything I could imagine,” Lockley said. “It was difficult at the beginning and, at times, it seemed harder than the math classes I’ve taken. However, the faculty and staff are caring and helpful. I feel like people here at NOVA are dedicated to student success.”
McCaffrey discussed the impressive number of veteran students who attend NOVA. He said how we hear reports about veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), who are unemployed and/or addicted to drugs, but these issues are actually lower than we are led to believe.
McCaffrey asserted that no nation in history has created more wealth or opportunity for its citizens than the U.S.; never have we been safer in our national security because we have the best armed forces in history, but also never since the Civil War have we been more divided as a country. He also entertained questions from the audience.
The NVCC Educational Foundation and the Foundation Board wish to thank its generous event sponsors: Wells Fargo (Emerald Level); AGIR Ltd. and Moseley Architects (Silver Level); ESI (Ruby Level); and L.W. Transportation (Friends Level). In addition, they truly want to thank the many Table Sponsors and those who worked to make this spectacular event a reality.
The NVCC Educational Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which disburses more than a half million dollars in need-based scholarships each year, and provides funding for relevant faculty activities and programs.