Alpha Natural Resources makes $100,000 gift to Miners’ Family Scholarship fund at UVa-Wise

Alpha Natural Resources recently presented The University of Virginia’s College at Wise with a $100,000 gift in support of a scholarship program for coal miners and their families.

Alpha Natural Resources is a generous supporter of UVa-Wise and the College’s athletic program. The Abingdon-based company’s support of the Miners’ Family Scholarship fund will enhance the lives of coal mining families for years to come.
The fund, created through the UVa-Wise Alumni Association, provides scholarships each semester to several qualifying students who are coal miners or who are dependents of men and women who make their livings mining in the region.
The gift was presented at Coal Miners Appreciation Day during halftime at the Feb. 5 basketball game between the UVa-Wise Cavaliers and the Georgetown College Tigers. Dozens of Alpha Natural Resources employees were in the stands to support the Cavaliers and the UVa-Wise community.
“Supporting our communities and working to improve the lives of those around us is a key component of Alpha’s ‘Running Right’ culture,” said Gary Duncan, director of human resources for Alpha’s Virginia/Kentucky Division. “Alpha’s Community Involvement Program gives emphasis to education, arts and culture, social development and human services organizations.”
The generous $100,000 gift reflects the two-year commitment Alpha Natural Resources has made to the Miners’ Family Scholarship fund.
UVa-Wise Chancellor David J. Prior said Alpha is an ardent supporter of the College.
“Please know we greatly appreciate your loyalty, your confidence is us and your continued generosity,” Prior said.
UVa-Wise had 35 students apply for the Miners’ Family Scholarship this year, but enough money was available to provide scholarships to only four students.  Alpha Natural Resource’s gift will enable UVa-Wise to award the Miners’ Family Scholarship to more students.
This year’s scholarship recipients are: Autumn Chisenhall of Wise, Jesse Smith from Clintwood, Kayla Masters of Wise and Paige Tiller from Rosedale.
“I am excited about starting in the nursing program here at UVa-Wise,” Tiller said. “With this scholarship, I can achieve my dream of becoming a nurse. I am truly grateful for the Miners’ Family Scholarship.”
Chisenhall, whose father is a section foreman for Alpha Natural Resources, said many local students would benefit greatly from the Miners’ Family Scholarship.
“To know that the company Dad works for cares about education enough to make a $100,000 gift to the scholarship is remarkable,” Chisenhall said. “The scholarship means a lot to me and to the other students who will benefit from Alpha’s generosity.”
The only branch campus of the University of Virginia, UVa-Wise is ranked among the nation’s top ten public liberal arts colleges by U.S. News and World Report. UVa-Wise offers Virginia's only undergraduate degree in software engineering, among 29 other degrees and professional programs in the liberal arts tradition of Thomas Jefferson.

About Alpha Natural Resources

Alpha Natural Resources is one of America's premier coal suppliers with coal production capacity of greater than 90 million tons a year. Among U.S. producers, Alpha is a leading supplier and exporter of metallurgical coal used in the steel-making process and is a major supplier of thermal coal to electric utilities and manufacturing industries across the country. The company, through its affiliates, employs approximately 6,500 people and operates approximately 60 mines and 14 coal preparation facilities in Appalachia and the Powder River Basin. More information about Alpha can be found on the company's website at
For more information, contact the Office of College relations at 276-376-1027.