Harvest matches governor's New College budget funds

January 11, 2006

The Harvest Foundation has authorized $4.5 million to match the proposed $4.5 million in the governor's budget to establish the New College Institute.

The Harvest funds will be released only after $4.5 million in the 2006-2008 Virginia Biennial Budget is appropriated, dispersed by the state treasurer and received by the New College, according to Harvest Foundation Board President Marshall Stowe.

The foundation's $4.5 million match also is based upon the enactment into law of legislation to create the New College in substantially the form submitted to the General Assembly by Sen. Roscoe Reynolds and Dels. Ward Armstrong and Robert Hurt.

The grant is part of a $50 million challenge grant to the commonwealth from The Harvest Foundation.  The original Harvest challenge was issued in January 2004 to make higher education opportunities more accessible, especially for people who typically do not pursue them, and to help Southside Virginia prosper.

The proposed New College Institute, to based in the Martinsville-Henry County area, would give students who already have associate degrees from a community college and students with two years of college an opportunity to obtain a four-year baccalaureate degree.

Robert H. Spilman Jr., chairman of the New College planning commission, said, "The New College of Virginia expands the opportunity for Virginia students to obtain their degrees, and we're delighted by the acknowledgement of The Harvest Foundation of the importance of this project."

The Harvest Foundation was created in 2002 after the sale of Memorial Hospital of Martinsville and Henry County.  The Harvest Foundation's mission is to improve the overall quality of life in the areas of health, education and welfare in the region.


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