Birdsong philanthropy honored

Published 7:49 pm Saturday, May 14, 2011

George Y. Birdsong was honored with the Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy. Presenting the award were Dr. Glenn DuBois, left, chancellor of the Virginia Community College System, and Dr. Paul Conco, right, president of Paul D. Camp Community College. Sue and George Birdsong are in the center.

George Y. Birdsong of Suffolk has earned the 2011 Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy on behalf of Birdsong Corp., where he is chief executive officer. Paul D. Camp Community College nominated him for the award, which was presented on April 19 at a luncheon ceremony at the Country Club of Virginia in Richmond.

Birdsong Corp. is the second largest peanut sheller in the country and the largest that is privately owned. Birdsong Corp. and the Birdsong Trust Fund funded technology upgrades for two classrooms at the Hobbs Suffolk campus.

George Birdsong is involved with numerous organizations, including serving as chair of the Obici Healthcare Foundation; founding director and vice president of the Suffolk Foundation; president of the Tri-County Area chapter of Planned Parenthood; founding director of the Suffolk YMCA; and secretary of the board of directors for the Suffolk Community Health Center.

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Birdsong has been a long-term member and recent chairman of Virginia Wesleyan College’s Board of Trustees and serves on the board of the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges.

He has earned a number of awards, including the Suffolk Jaycees Distinguished Service Award and the First Citizen of Suffolk.

The Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy is hosted by the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education to honor the leading philanthropists from each of Virginia’s 23 community colleges, as well as the statewide foundation. This marks the sixth year the awards have been given.

This year’s class of distinguished philanthropy leaders has contributed a combined total of $11 million dollars to Virginia’s community colleges.

“Each of these supporters personifies the theme of this event, ‘Living Philanthropy,’” said Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges. “For those of us here today, living philanthropy is the promise that our impact will live on; it will blend with those who came before, creating a larger and larger living tapestry of good will, benefiting and elevating those who come next.”

Award recipients will have a scholarship named after them, which will be awarded next fall to a student attending their community college. The scholarships are funded largely by the Wachovia Wells Fargo Foundation.