A Perfect Venue for a Second Act So why would a veteran college president choose as her “second act”
the Hampton Roads Community Foundation? A good question, to be sure, embedded as much in the stories that define the Foundation as in the personal journey that brought me to it.
n February 29, I closed the door to my office after 14 years at the helm of Tidewater Community College–
launching the very next day my second act as president and CEO of the Hampton Roads Community Foundation. My tenure as TCC’s president was the capstone of a career in community colleges that spanned two college presidencies (the other at Piedmont Virginia Community College in Charlottesville for nine years) and a succession of administrative positions that included department chair, dean and provost. The beginnings of this truly rewarding
journey were firmly planted in the classroom where I taught English before going over to— as my faculty colleagues would often remind me—the “dark side” of administration. In fact, even today, some 35 years later, I remember as if it were yesterday my first day on the job. I was 23 years old, looking more like one of my students than the learned professor, lighted with the fire of idealism and boundless energy, and quietly reflecting on what a gig this was—getting paid to think big thoughts while contributing to something far grander than I. Time and experience have smoothed out the rough edges of my youth over the years, but I have never lost that deep- seated commitment and drive to making a difference for the greater good.
Which brings me to our Foundation and the stories that This issue of Good Tidings offers inspiring vignettes that, taken
together, sketch out the good work of this community’s foundation. For example, did you know that the Hampton Roads Community Foundation played a pivotal role in laying the initial ground work
Deborah DiCroce President and CEO
in the late 1960s to preserve the history of General Douglas MacArthur so succeeding generations might learn from it?
Did you know that, through the Batten Educa- tional Achievement Fund, our Foundation has awarded challenge grants valued at more than $14 million over the past nine years to non-profits that focus on children and youth? The grants both fuel the good work of these strategically important community organizations while positioning them to create sustainable business models for the future. I could go on. When officials presented the idea of a new family YMCA as a building block for revitalizing Norfolk’s Park Place neighborhood, our Foundation supported that vision with a $500,000 grant. Through the legacy of Mary Ludlow, a Norfolk native who became a European baroness some 100 years ago, the Foundation created a
permanent endowment to benefit ForKids – yet another of our strategically important nonprofits that provides the most basic of sustenance to homeless families. Thanks to Ettie Fearing Cunningham, a Norfolk math teacher who died in 1989, this year 22 students received Cunningham Scholarships through a gift that Ettie made to our Foundation as a part of her will. I could go on. And on. And on. To wax a bit nautical, the Hampton Roads Community
Foundation is a keel in the ship that helps make Hampton Roads float. It is framed by the challenges and opportunities that define our region and fueled by the generosity of donors from all walks of life who want to do good to benefit those in need. The Hampton Roads Community Foundation. It is the perfect
venue for my second act. I could not be more grateful to the board for providing me with the opportunity. I look forward to connecting with you personally in the coming months. s
You can reach Debbie DiCroce at (757) 622-7951 or DDiCroce@hamptonroadscf.org
. By the Numbers
$12.7 million amount of grants and scholarships awarded by
the Foundation in 2011.
number of students being helped this year by more than $930,000 in scholarships.
2 H A M P T O N R O A D S C O M M U N I T Y F O U N D A T I O N
Nearly 400 total number of named charitable funds started by donors from all walks of life
Over $162 million total amount of grants and
scholarships awarded since 1950.
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