Funds show support of university

December 19, 2004

Editorial: Martinsville Bulletin

Gov. Mark Warner's inclusion of funds for a Southside university in his budget plan shows the proposal's support has reached the highest level of state government.

Gov. Warner has put $1.5 million in the state budget proposal to "support continued efforts to develop a coordinated plan to strengthen the options for higher education in Southside Virginia," he said in his budget presentation on Friday. "I have asked the Secretary of Education to work with SCHEV (the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia), The Harvest Foundation and other interested parties to move an appropriate proposal forward."

The Harvest Foundation has championed the creation of a college or university in Henry County or Martinsville. The governor's recognition of the foundation's role in this effort shows that he understands its significance to this area.

Gov. Warner's letter to lawmakers outlining the budget proposal promised his support. "I believe the concept holds enormous promise and I am committed to advancing it," he wrote.

The governor has long been a friend to this community. He is well aware of the problems that have occurred here and has taken an active role in trying to turn things around. His commitment to the college continues that spirit, and we applaud it.

Now, legislators, The Harvest Foundation and others working to make the local college a reality will be working to make sure the $1.5 million withstands the political wranglings of both houses of the General Assembly this winter. With Gov. Warner's backing, we hope they can convince legislators from throughout Virginia that helping Henry County and Martinsville helps the commonwealth.


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