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UVa-Wise receives $185,000 from Slemp Foundation

The University of Virginia’s College at Wise received a $185,000 gift from the C. Bascom Slemp Foundation to support undergraduate research, an innovative opera program and to enhance study of the Civil War’s unique impact on Southwest Virginia.

“Through its longstanding and ongoing partnership with the college, the C. Bascom Slemp Foundation continues to transform lives in the region,” UVa-Wise Chancellor David J. Prior said.  “This year’s gift is another example of the foundation’s support of our upward trajectory, and I am delighted that the trustees have invested in three of our most innovative and important programs.”

A $100,000, Slemp Foundation gift will fund the college’s “Appalachian Warfare” program.  As Virginia celebrates the 150th anniversary of the Civil War through 2015, the funds from the Slemp Foundation will allow the college to create a series of academic and public programs that reflect the uniqueness of the region.  “Appalachian Warfare” will engage faculty, students and community members residing in the coalfields about the Civil War as it transpired in southwestern Virginia.  Over the five- year commemoration, the college will annually bring preeminent scholars to campus to discuss the lasting outcomes of the Civil War in the region.

The foundation also provided $60,000 to create the C. Bascom Slemp Fund for Undergraduate Research.  The college has students completing substantial undergraduate research projects in various disciplines, and this new fund will allow it to enhance and expand its existing program to include software engineering, social sciences, math and the humanities.  Creation of the C. Bascom Slemp Fund for Undergraduate Research will enable more field research in archival and scientific settings, provide resources for students to present the outcomes of their research at academic conferences and provide support for faculty members to mentor and guide the research of UVa-Wise students.

Finally, building on two years of success, the Slemp Foundation awarded $25,000 to support the college’s Southwest Virginia Summer Opera Company.  This gift will transform the program and allow it to perform entire operas throughout the region, including in the Tri-Cities and in Abingdon.  It will also provide the essential funds necessary for the Southwest Virginia Summer Opera Company to allow students from local schools that participate in the annual Summer Arts Academy to sing in the chorus, introduce them to a new genre of music and give them the opportunity to perform with UVa-Wise undergraduate students.