PDCCC supporter Herb DeGroft honored with award

Published 5:46 pm Saturday, May 13, 2017

Herbert W. DeGroft, of Smithfield, was nominated by Paul D. Camp Community College to receive the 12th Annual Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy. DeGroft was honored recently during a special luncheon ceremony at the Country Club of Virginia in Richmond.

“Herbert DeGroft proves himself a devoted supporter for Paul D. Camp Community College time and time again — and has been doing so for three decades,” said PDCCC President Dr. Dan Lufkin. “As a past member of the Local College Board and past president of the College Foundation, he has served tirelessly, taking a genuine interest in assisting and participating in the majority of the college’s events and fundraising activities, namely our gala and annual golf tournament.

“Herb has also reached into his own pockets on many occasions to ensure that our students have the resources they need to be successful. The college considers itself fortunate for Mr. DeGroft’s friendship and many contributions.”

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In his 30 years serving PDCCC, DeGroft began as a member of the Local College Board in 1986. He spent two years serving on the legislative advocacy committee before joining the Foundation Board in 1996. He served as vice president of the Foundation Board from 2012 to 2014, and as president from 2014 to 2016. He served on numerous committees during this time as well.

He planned and organized PDCCC’s first gala held in April 2016, which raised more than $35,000 for the foundation to help students, and has consistently lent those talents to the annual golf tournament fundraiser since its inception in 2004. The activities and events DeGroft attends even include small internal celebrations for colleagues. In addition, he has always been on hand to accompany the students and staff to the Virginia General Assembly in Richmond.

Hosted by the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education, the annual luncheon 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 more than $10 million dollars to Virginia’s community colleges.

Chancellor Dr. Glenn DuBois expressed his gratitude in his address to the crowd. “You are difference-makers. You are opportunity-creators. We thank you, not just for the dollars donated, but for the standard of leadership you represent. Your example motivates and challenges us all to do more to ensure that opportunity is there for those who come next.”

Keynote speaker John O. “Dubby” Wynne, chairman of GO Virginia and Reinvent Hampton Roads, said he was honored to be a part of the event, and he emphasized the generous donations he and others have made are having a positive impact on the communities Virginia’s Community Colleges serve. “In many instances, your gifts are the difference between average or good and excellent in student performance,” he observed.

Wynne also issued an appeal to members of the audience to increase their level of support to help train and educate Virginia’s workforce for economic growth.