Alumna’s Commitment to John Tyler Community College to Benefit Students
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Released on June 04, 2014
CHESTER and MIDLOTHIAN, Va. – When Margaret Lewis, FACHE, prepared for her retirement after an illustrious career in the medical field, she did not realize that her friends and colleagues were hatching a plan that would honor her service and her commitment to our area’s future nurses. Quietly, friends and colleagues collected funds to expand a scholarship that Lewis established at John Tyler Community College in 2007 to support students in the College’s Allied Health Preparation, Pre-Nursing program. Since its inception, the scholarship has been awarded to deserving students to help them pursue their educational dreams.
Lewis, a John Tyler alumna, created the scholarship because she understands what it’s like to need support as you work to become a nurse. She says that’s why she became a student at John Tyler Community College more than 35 years ago. At that time, Lewis was new to Virginia, had limited means and needed to work full time while pursuing a nursing degree. For her, Tyler ended up being the perfect fit. It offered her flexible scheduling; guidance and support; and the academic rigor she needed to excel in her field.
Lewis graduated summa cum laude from John Tyler with an Associate Degree in Nursing in 1978. She went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1988 and a Masters in Business Administration in 1996. At the same time, her career blossomed as she moved from nursing to hospital management and eventually multi-facility management as the division president for Hospital Corporation of America’s (HCA’s) Capital Division. During that time, Lewis never forgot the place where it all started – John Tyler Community College. In addition to establishing an endowed scholarship, Lewis has served on the John Tyler Community College Foundation Board, including a term as chair. She is currently a member emeritus of the Board. She was also the architect behind the $1.7 million gift of the nursing facility located on the CJW Johnson Willis campus. The facility allowed the John Tyler Community College Nursing program to move its classes to one location, create a state-of-the-art simulation lab, and expand its program.
Earlier this year, as Lewis stepped down from her role as division president for HCA’s Capital Division and entered retirement, she received a big surprise. Thanks to the generosity of her friends and colleagues, a donation of $11,331 was made to the John Tyler Community College Foundation and was targeted to Lewis’ scholarship, creating even more opportunities for students pursuing health careers by helping them pay for tuition, books and fees.
“Even in her emeritus role on the Foundation Board, Margaret continues to work hard for the College,” says Beverley Dew, executive director of the John Tyler Community College Foundation. “Always eager to help, Margaret walks the talk and puts her resources, energy and star-power influence where her heart is – at John Tyler. We are so grateful to the HCA family of friends who honored her in this meaningful way.”
To learn more about the John Tyler Community College Foundation’s scholarship program, visit www.jtcc.edu/scholarships.
The John Tyler Community College Foundation relies on the generosity of the community to continue its work in securing the future of the College, its students, its faculty and its staff. Since most of the College’s graduates live and work in the area, gifts to the Foundation are an investment in the future of the community. Through donations, grants and endowments, the Foundation is able to provide scholarships for students, to fund academic programs and capital projects, to renovate and modernize classrooms and labs, and to encourage the professional development of John Tyler Community College’s faculty and staff. This work ensures the College continues its pledge of providing academic excellence while expanding the services it offers to fulfill escalating workforce requirements.
John Tyler Community College is a two-year, public institution of higher education and is the fifth largest of the 23 community colleges in Virginia. With campuses in Chester and Midlothian and off-campus classrooms throughout the area, John Tyler offers quality and economical opportunities for students who want to earn a degree or certificate, transfer to a four-year college or university, train for the workforce, or switch careers. The College, which served more than 14,000 students during the 2012-13 academic year, offers 17 associate degrees, seven certificates, and 34 career studies certificates. The institution also serves more than 13,000 non-credit trainees and over 1,000 companies and government agencies annually through the Community College Workforce Alliance. The College also is committed to sustainability. In July 2010, it received a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certification for Hamel Hall on its Midlothian Campus, becoming the first in the Virginia Community College System to receive such recognition.
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Holly Walker, Public Relations Manager