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SCC Foundation Announces New Executive Director


Sheila Franklin of Sparta has been named the Executive Director of the Surry Community College Foundation. Franklin assumed the position on Feb. 1.

“I am excited to serve as the Executive Director of the Surry Community College Foundation. It is an honor to continue our mission of providing support to the students of Surry and Yadkin counties,” said Franklin.

Franklin has been the Support Specialist of the SCC Foundation since 2019 and has more than 18 years of experience in accounting and administrative roles for public agencies including the Elkin City Schools, the River North Correctional Center in Independence, Va., and the Surry County Health & Nutrition Center where she was the Assistant Finance Director. She previously worked for Surry Community College in the Health Sciences Division as the Administrative Assistant for the Associate Dean from 2011 to 2013. She graduated from Gardner-Webb University in 1998 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.

“I am excited that Sheila will be leading the SCC Foundation,” said Dr. David Shockley, SCC President. “She is already actively involved in the daily operations of the Foundation, and her leadership skills and financial knowledge will create a smooth transition into her new role.”

She replaces Marion Venable who was an employee of Surry Community College since 1984 and served as the Executive Director of the Surry Community College Foundation for 20 years. Venable leaves the Foundation in excellent financial standing with $9 million in 250 endowed scholarship funds. The investment portfolio was worth $11 million at the close of 2020.

Each year, approximately $225,000 to $260,000 in scholarships are awarded by the SCC Foundation to students including endowed and pass-through scholarships. Money is also set aside to help students through the Student Emergency Fund. The SCC Foundation has held a golf tournament for 24 years to raise money for student scholarships, netting more than $1 million. The 25th Annual Woltz-Harold Golf Tournament will be held Sept. 16, 2021, at Cross Creek Country Club in Mount Airy.

During Venable’s tenure, SCC developed the Yadkin Center to become a multi-campus center with the addition of the Yadkin Valley Agriculture and Education Center and the G. Allen Mebane IV Industrial Training Center. In 1999, SCC acquired 36 acres of property along Highway 601 in Yadkinville, while plans to develop a Yadkin Center were in the initial stages. The Yadkin Center, a 25,000 square foot educational facility opened in 2003. In 2007, the Yadkin Early College was established, which now enrolls 230 students at the Yadkin Center.

The Yadkin Valley Agriculture and Education Center, a cooperative effort between Yadkin County Commissioners and Surry Community College, opened in 2016. It is a 34,000 square foot facility that provides shared space for county offices, as well as classrooms, training areas, and lab space for the college.

In 2014, SCC Foundation launched a successful capital campaign with a goal of $4.2 million. The monies went to build an industrial training center on the Yadkin Center campus and develop 62 acres of property on the Dobson campus.

The G. Allen Mebane IV Industrial Training Center, a 12,450 square foot facility was built in 2018 and opened for advanced manufacturing classes in Mechatronics, Computer-Integrated Machining, Electrical Systems, and Welding. A new Truck Driver Training range, which was Professional Truck Driver Institute certified, was built the same year.

SCC has plans to expand its educational training in Agricultural Science with the 62 acres of property on the eastern side of the Dobson campus, now home to the college’s five-acre Surry Cellars vineyard and a new Sustainable Agriculture Building, which opened this spring. It features a hydroponics lab for growing fruits, vegetables and industrial hemp along with classroom space for Viticulture and Sustainable Agriculture students. A heritage apple orchard, an outdoor event venue, and additional educational training space will be developed in the future on the tract where visitors can also see a beautiful view of Pilot Mountain State Park. A second entrance to the Dobson campus will be constructed from South Main Street leading directly to this developing property. The SCC Foundation has played a critical role in the expansion of this area for educational training.

During Venable’s time at the SCC Foundation, two of the college’s largest gifts were bestowed to SCC. In 2016, Vannie Allred Rouse, a former resident of Mount Airy and later a resident of Winterville, N.C., bequeathed $400,000 to establish a nursing scholarship at Surry Community College for first-year Associate Degree Nursing or Practical Nursing students who are graduates of a North Carolina high school and demonstrate financial need. In 2020, Gilmer W. Hinson of Jonesville donated $1.427 million to the SCC Foundation to support Surry Community College students and educational programming. The Hinson donation was the largest gift in the history of Surry Community College.

“Marion provided the leadership in the fundraising efforts and wrote grants to pay for acreage, construction and classroom equipment for these new educational facilities,” said Dr. David Shockley, SCC President. “She has touched the lives of thousands of students through her efforts as the SCC Foundation Executive Director, and her legacy will continue in SCC Foundation’s daily mission to support Surry Community College students.”

Surry Community College opened in 1964, and the Surry Community College Foundation was established in 1966 to provide financial support to students and the college at-large, promoting educational opportunity for students. As a part of its mission, the SCC Foundation administers numbers of student scholarships sponsored by individuals, civic organizations and business/industry partners. SCC serves 3,200 curriculum students and 12,000 Workforce, Technologies and Community Education students annually. SCC enables students to follow their educational dreams through transfer to four-year colleges and universities, as well as technical programs leading directly to the workforce.

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