Scholarships to be awarded to 25 area students

Founders College today announced that it intends to purchase a 660-acre resort in South Boston, Va., providing first-class, customer-ready classroom, conference and campus facilities when the innovative, residential liberal arts and business school welcomes its first students in the fall of 2007.

The plan to purchase Berry Hill Plantation, in southern Virginia’s Halifax County close to the North Carolina’s Research Triangle Corridor, follows a vote last Monday by Campbell County Planning Commission to reject the College’s efforts to purchase, rezone and improve property in Lynch Station, Va., about 50 miles northwest of the planned campus in South Boston.

“The South Boston site is exciting not only because it keeps us on schedule for opening next September, but also because it preserves moneythat can be invested in faculty and staff recruitment,” said Tamara Fuller, the College’s chief strategy officer. “The Berry Hill property is already zoned for academic use, requires little investment to be ready for next fall, and provides a spectacular and accessible setting. South Boston is by far the superior campus site.”

South Boston Mayor Carol Thackston said: “With this announcement, this is truly a historic and monumental day, not only for South Boston, but also for Halifax County and Southside Virginia. As I understand the plans and objectives of Founders College, we will not only preserve the beautiful Berry Hill Estate, but will benefit from huge economic impacts. Several hundred jobs, eventually 1,500 students, and hundreds of visitors and parents will all have a very positive effect on our business community. I know that all of our citizens will recognize the importance of this announcement and stand ready to make these folks feel welcome.”

Founders also announced today that 25 high school and junior college students from the South Boston area will each receive a $4,000 scholarship for each of their four years at Founders as long as they maintain proper academic status. In addition, non-area students accepted into the first Founders class will be eligible to receive a $2,500 scholarship for each of their four years at Founders. The College also has waived the $35 application fee for interested applicants.

“We’re pleased to be able to offer these scholarships as sincere evidence of our goodwill toward the parents and students of the Halifax County area. We look forward to a long and mutually constructive relationship with the community,” said Founders Chief Executive Officer Gary Hull, currently a professor and director of the Program on Values and Ethics in the Marketplace at Duke University.

“We are very pleased with the announcement of Founders College to locate in Halifax County,” said William Fitzgerald, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors. “Berry Hill will provide an excellent setting for the students to learn, and having a four year institution of higher education will be an excellent asset to the growth, prosperity, and economic climate of the county.” College officials promise to revolutionize higher education by returning real value to a liberal arts degree. Rather than simply offering a smorgasbord of contentless courses, Founders teaches students the meaning of important ideas and their consequences through a revolutionary curriculum assuring that courses build upon each other, culminating in a cohesive body of important knowledge. The Founders’ approach emphasizes the thinking and communication skills that all students need, regardless of their chosen profession.

The College’s new home at Berry Hill Plantation is near the intersection of U.S. Highways 58, 360 and 501 and is easily accessible from points north and south. It is within a one-hour drive of Raleigh-Durham and within a two-hour drive of Richmond, Va., and Greensboro, N.C.

Chairman of the Industrial Development Authority of Halifax County, Larry McPeters said: “This is one of the most significant projects ever announced in Halifax County. This was truly a team effort on the part of Founders College officials, the Industrial Development Authority, Town of South Boston, Halifax County, Virginia Economic Development Partnership, Delegate Clarke Hogan and many other people.”

Once the home of Virginia’s largest tobacco plantations, the South Boston site features beautifully manicured grounds, 92 guest rooms, 5,000 square feet of superior meeting space, a fitness center, an indoor pool with saunas, tennis courts, bike trails and fishing. Students of Founders College will enjoy a beautiful, safe campus; food prepared by chefs trained in the culinary arts; exciting cultural activities; and unparalleled customer service, including fully furnished private rooms each with a private bathroom.

“It is unfortunate that our effort to site Founders in Lynch Station did not work out, but the financial and regulatory advantages available at the Berry Hill site are overwhelming in terms of our need to stay on plan and avoid unnecessary expenses,” Fuller said. “We look forward to generating significant new jobs and long-term economic growth for the Halifax County community.”
Founders College received degree-granting authority from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) in September 2006.

“With the regulatory hurdles to opening our campus behind us, we can focus on admitting students to the Class of 2011 and on recruiting the top-notch faculty that will keep delivering an intellectually challenging and inspiring education,” Hull said.
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