ABINGDON, Va., April 23, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- First Bank & Trust Company, a diversified financial services firm was honored on April 17, 2018 with the prestigious Chancellor's Award for Leadership in Philanthropy for its generous contributions to Virginia Highlands Community College.
William Hayter, president and CEO, accepted the award from Dr. Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia's Community Colleges, during a recent luncheon ceremony in Richmond. He was accompanied by other members of the bank's leadership team, as well as VHCC President Gene C. Couch Jr., and Laura Pennington, who leads the VHCC Educational Foundation.
"It is a privilege to accept this award on behalf of First Bank & Trust Company," stated William H. Hayter, President and CEO. "Virginia Highlands Community College is an important part of our community, and this community has been good to us. Bringing students and the community together is our way of giving back and saying 'thank you.'"
The award recognizes First Bank & Trust's long-standing support to VHCC. Over the past decade, the company has provided $150,000 to the College through generous donations and sponsorships of campus events. Additionally, company leaders have provided in-kind support by serving as members on VHCC boards and committee that directly support educational opportunities in the service region.
First Bank & Trust was one of more than two dozen individuals, families, and businesses from across the Commonwealth honored for a philanthropic spirit that supports the programs and services of Virginia's Community Colleges. The 13th Annual Award Luncheon was hosted by the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education (VFCCE). This year's class of distinguished philanthropy leaders has contributed a combined total of $6 million dollars to community colleges throughout Virginia.
Keynote speaker Paul Koonce, executive vice president & president and chief executive officer with the Power Generation Group, Dominion Energy, called the community college system "one of Virginia's greatest inventions." He also borrowed a passage from a 1903 Teddy Roosevelt speech to underscore the invaluable connection between higher education and opportunity.
"'Far and away, the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing. Our purpose (as donors) is to make sure that prize – meaningful work – the best prize that life offers, remains within reach of every Virginian.'"
About Virginia's Community Colleges: Since 1966, Virginia's Community Colleges have given everyone the opportunity to learn and develop the right skills so lives and communities are strengthened. By making higher education and workforce training available in every part of Virginia, we elevate all of Virginia. Together, Virginia's Community Colleges serve more than 252,000 students each year. For more information, please visit www.vccs.edu.
About the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education: Working hand in hand with Virginia's 23 community colleges, the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education seeks to guarantee financial assistance to all students who dream of attending college. The foundation is building an endowment that is already generating interest to provide full scholarships to selected community college students; helping more Virginia foster youth pursue and complete higher education through the Great Expectations program; and leading a partnership to improve rural Virginia's education pipeline through the Rural Virginia Horseshoe Initiative. Learn how the Virginia Foundation for Community College is building the future of Virginia. Visit VFCCE.org.
About First Bank & Trust Company: First Bank & Trust Company, one of the top community banks in the United States, is a diversified financial services firm with office locations in southwest Virginia, northeast Tennessee, and New River and Shenandoah Valleys. Financial objectives are addressed by offering free checking products for personal and business accounts, and assessing lending solutions managed by mortgage, agricultural and commercial lending divisions. Comprehensive financial solutions are available through trust and brokerage service representatives.