Scholarship Luncheon Chance to Say Thanks

It’s a fact of college life – many students depend on scholarships to attend UVa-Wise. Yet, many students disregard the Scholarship Luncheon invitation.

Valerie Lawson would like to see this change by pointing out the importance of the Scholarship Luncheon.

Lawson, Senior Director of Development, said that endowed scholarship donors are required to invest a minimum of $10,000.

Endowed scholarship donations range from the minimum to around $1 million.

The invested donation then generates interest throughout the year. This allows more and more scholarships in the range of $250- $7,000 to be given each school term to qualified students.

From those numbers, many have invested a substantial amount of money into the UVa-Wise community, and the Scholarship Luncheon gives students an opportunity to show thanks to their benefactors.

This year’s Scholarship Luncheon also marks the event’s twenty-fifth anniversary, and the luncheon has grown in scope and size from its start at the Chapel of All Faiths, As the college’s range of scholarships has expanded in a quarter-century, so has the need for space for benefactors and recipients – from moving to the Greear Gymnasium and now to the David J. Prior Convocation Center.

“Of course, many of the donors do not know the students, the students do not know them, and so the donors don’t know who they are helping,” said Lawson.

“This is a great learning opportunity for the students because you all are going to be out doing interviews for jobs and graduate schools, so it’s a good opportunity to interact and sharpen your communication skills.”

The Scholarship Luncheon also allows students to network with not only the donors that they are seated by, but the many other donors who will be present.

Many come from different occupations, and that exposes students to people who could benefit them in the future.

And the college’s scholarship base contributes to UVa-Wise’s national reputation as a low student debt institution.

“One of the reasons that we do have a low student debt is because of the scholarship program,” said Lawson. “Last year we awarded over $2.5 million in scholarship funds. That’s a huge investment to the students.”

The luncheon will be held at 11:15 a.m., March 26 at the Prior Center.

Invitees can RSVP with Valerie Lawson at

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