The Board of Directors of the Oxbow Corporation was named the 2017 Benefactor of the Year during the annual Benefactors Celebration at The University of Virginia’s College at Wise. The Board donated real estate valued at nearly $1 million to UVa-Wise.

“The Board of Directors of the Oxbow Corporation made a decision a couple of years ago to gift what was then known as the Oxbow Center in St. Paul,” Vice Chancellor of Development and College Relations Robert Bragg said. “The facility had served a variety of health care and human services organizations since the mid 1990s. The Oxbow Board said they wanted to support the College’s economic development efforts and felt the facility could provide an excellent home for such work.”

Bragg explained that the facility would be used as an ecological center to bridge environmental education and economic development efforts by serving as a hub for environmental education.

“This is ideal because the facility is located on the Clinch River,” Bragg said. “The College was eager to have such a facility that could provide space for laboratories, classrooms, offices and meeting space.”

The facility is integral in launching emerging technologies and cybersecurity accelerators that would allow companies to co-locate their corporate researchers and to develop collaborative initiatives with UVa-Wise faculty and students, Bragg explained.

“This venture is the first of its kind and once renovations are complete, it will be full of opportunities to inspire UVa-Wise students to pursue their dreams,” Bragg said.