2018 Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy


Richmond – The Virginia Space and Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (represented by Aaron Kupers and Luis Arroyo), has received the 13th Annual Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy. This nomination came from Eastern Shore Community College.

More than two dozen individuals, families, and businesses from around Virginia have earned the 2018 Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy. The awards were presented at a luncheon ceremony in Richmond on Tuesday, April 17th, 2018.

Hosted by the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education (VFCCE), the 13th annual event honors leading philanthropists from each of Virginia’s 23 community colleges as well as the statewide foundation. This year’s class of distinguished philanthropy leaders has contributed a combined total of $6 million dollars to Virginia’s Community Colleges.

The Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority (VCSFA), also known as ‘Virginia Space,’ is a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Virginia Space owns and operates the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) located at NASA Wallops Flight Facility on the Eastern Shore of Virginia.  MARS is a fully operational and dynamic spaceport. Since its establishment in 1995, five missions have launched from MARS Pad 0A and six missions have launched from MARS Pad 0B.

In 2014, ESCC and MARS formed a partnership focused on providing internship opportunities for ESCC Electronics Technology students.  MARS contributes to the ESCC Foundation so that the students can receive stipends during the internship period.  To date, 11 students have participated in internships, 8 were hired into full-time positions, and all 8 are still employed and truly love their jobs.  Working with MARS, ESCC has been able to refine and improve on the processes surrounding our overall internship program.  In addition, MARS is a partner in developing ESCC’s new Technical Studies curriculum.   The partnership with MARS is invaluable to both parties and is a win-win for both parties and the Eastern Shore through education and job opportunities for students on the Shore.

Keynote speaker Paul Koonce, executive vice president & president and chief executive officer with the Power Generation Group, Dominion Energy, called the community college system “one of Virginia’s greatest inventions.” He also borrowed a passage from a 1903 Teddy Roosevelt speech to underscore the invaluable connection between higher education and opportunity.

Philanthropy Awards 2018

VCCS Chancellor Glenn DuBois, Luis Arroyo, Eve Belote (ESCC Foundation) and Aaron Kuipers.

“’Far and away, the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing. Our purpose (as donors) is to make sure that prize – meaningful work – the best prize that life offers, remains within reach of every Virginian.’”