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Gifts Support Scholarship and Health Sciences Initiative

January 31, 2012

As Averett continues its efforts to grow and expand its academic offerings as well as help relieve the financial burden a higher education can bring, two area organizations have offered their support of these endeavors. The Charles B. Keesee Educational Fund of Martinsville has committed $200,000 to the University for student scholarships beginning this fall. The E. Stuart James Grant Charitable Trust awarded $500,000 for the University's expanded health sciences initiative.

The scholarships provided by the needs based Keesee Scholars Program will be awarded to students who are U.S. citizens and residents of Virginia, North Carolina or South Carolina. Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher. First preference will be given to Baptist students who are planning to enter full-time Baptist religious work. Second preference will be given to other Baptist students. The remaining scholarships will be awarded to eligible students who are not Baptist.

"We are humbled and grateful to the Keesee Fund for their faith in Averett, and their support of students achieving their dreams of higher education," said Averett President Dr. Tiffany Franks. "Making education attainable and affordable is vital to the long-term success of our region and our nation."

A University supporter since 1993, the Grant Trust's gift will allow the University to continue its efforts toward its expanded health sciences initiative. This follows a gift of the same amount that the Grant Trust awarded in late 2010 for the initiative. This brings the total donations to the expanded health sciences initiative at Averett to more than $2.6 million.

"Through our expanded health sciences initiative, Averett hopes to meet the needs of our students, and prepare graduates who will, in turn, improve the quality of life in our region as members of the health profession and citizens of southern Virginia," said Buddy Rawley, vice president of institutional advancement. "Our vision for the future includes Averett as a leader in revitalizing our region, and it is the generous support of community partners like the Grant Trust that will make that vision real."