#17 of 30in30: Because helping people is what it’s all about



Ethyle Cole Giuseppe is 93 years old. She loves to make pickles from the cucumbers in her garden and to go on cruises. And she loves giving to Piedmont Virginia Community College.

Her latest half-million-dollar gift will help construct a center in Greene County, right above the library, where residents can access community college services. And her gift will fund scholarships for students attending the center. It will be named for her husband, a long time public school principal in the county.


Ethyle is Piedmont’s nominee for the 7th annual Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy. Twenty-four individuals and organizations receive the award each April, elevating Virginia by investing in their communities – and their community colleges.

What is it?

The philanthropic efforts of these leaders and others like them supports the efforts of Virginia’s Community Colleges to improve both the educational and economic development of their communities.

This year’s class of Philanthropy Leaders as given a total of $47 million to their respective community colleges across the commonwealth.

Says Ethyle,

Community colleges are a perfect place to contribute because it’s a guaranteed investment in the minds of youth.

Who is it helping?

“I am 93 years old and look forward to living to help so many others that are less fortunate,” Ethyle says.

Philanthropy like hers helps community college students across the commonwealth achieve an education that they might not otherwise have been able to obtain. Every college benefits, as well as the entire commonwealth.

What is its future?

Philanthropic leaders have been recognized by Chancellor Glenn DuBois for seven years now. He has also proposed that Virginia’s Community Colleges boost their alternate source of funding through grants and gifts by $550 million by 2015, as part of the ambitious Achieve 2015 strategic plan.

As Ethyle told us, she gives “because helping people is what it’s all about.”


Editor’s Note: 30 Ways in 30 Days Virginia’s Community Colleges are Elevating Virginia is a month-long blog series dedicated to exploring some of the many creative and inspiring ways our colleges are helping people find and create opportunity. The series is part of the VCCS tribute to National Community College Month. To read more of the series just click on the “30 ways in 30 days” category.

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