Slemp Foundation continues support for excellence at UVa-Wise

For more than a decade, the C. Bascom Slemp Foundation has provided substantial private support to The University of Virginia's College at Wise.  This fall, the Slemp Foundation made two important gifts that will have a meaningful impact on the College for years to come.

The Slemp Foundation provided the first private gift to support the College's Appalachian Inter-Mountain Scholars (AIMS) program.  Through the AIMS program, the College is transforming how higher education is administered in Southwest Virginia.  Established in 2002 with only two students, this access and affordability initiative has grown and prospered to include 28 full-time students last fall who attended the College during their junior or senior years at no cost.  These students come from 13 school districts in Wise, Lee, Scott and Dickenson counties.

Eligibility for the AIMS program requires students to successfully complete work in 17 approved college preparatory courses, maintain a 95 percent attendance rate and complete community service work during high school.  More than 70 percent of these students are the first members of their families to attend college, and their retention rate at UVa-Wise is 93 percent.   

The College also received support from the Slemp Foundation to enhance its developmental biology program.  The Slemp Foundation funds were used to purchase eight new stereomicroscopes for student research in teaching laboratories. Four of the microscopes have cameras, which allow students to take pictures of their experimental work. The Slemp Foundation's generosity allowed the purchase a new color printer so the photographs can be printed for further scientific analysis.  Funding from the Slemp Foundation enhanced work in the Department of Natural Sciences by enabling the purchase of a powerful new lens for its Leica microscope, along with a new state-of-the-art computer equipped to process the work done using the microscope's camera and software.  With these innovative new tools, students who take developmental biology will better understand the underlying mechanisms that regulate such processes as fertilization, embroygenesis, differentiation and morphogenesis.   

The gifts demonstrate dedication of both the College and the Slemp Foundation to excellence in learning.  The University of Virginia's College at Wise is extraordinarily grateful to the C. Bascom Slemp Foundation for its ongoing collaboration that assumes major responsibility for the economic and social vitality of the communities in the region.  The work being done by the AIMS students and in developmental biology bolsters the College's academic enterprise and is crucial to its mission of establishing a culture of higher education in Southwest Virginia.