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NCI reaches goal
Capital campaign surpassed after $775K in donations

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Three gifts totaling $775,000 have been made to the Building on Baldwin Capital Campaign of the New College Institute.

“Today we are delighted to announce three local individual and corporate gifts that led the way and have made a significant difference in the success of our campaign,” said Debbie Lewis, development officer with the New College Foundation. “Totaling $775,000, these leadership gifts were the first commitments and created the early momentum for our Building on Baldwin capital campaign. Recently, these major donors were given the opportunity to tour the new building and designate their prominent naming rights within New College Institute’s new building.”

These gifts and others have put the $2 million campaign over its goal by $400,000.

The gifts announced Friday were made by:

• The Bassett Furniture Industries Foundation, together with the Robert H. Spilman Jr. family, who made a commitment of $275,000 to the campaign.

• Mr. and Mrs. Frank M. Lacy Jr., who have donated $250,000 toward the new building.

• Virginia Walker Hamlet, former New College Foundation board member, and her husband, Butch, who participated in a gift of $250,000 along with her parents, Elizabeth and Dudley Walker.

“NCI’s vision, with new initiatives in advanced manufacturing, telemedicine training and entrepreneurship, is extraordinary,” said Rob Spilman, Bassett Furniture Industries CEO and former NCI board chairman. “This is a world class facility, but more important than the bricks and mortar is the ambitious work that will happen within the walls of the new building. We strongly believe that our investment will help ensure a bright future for the people of Martinsville and Henry County and will positively impact the economic strength and vibrancy of our home region.”

Suzanne Martin Lacy, New College Foundation board member, said the project already is “creating tremendous positive energy in our community.”

“Rusty (Frank M. Lacy Jr.) and I have been staunch supporters of NCI since its inception and we feel fortunate that we were able to play a leadership role in this capital campaign,” she said.

Lewis praised the Lacys’ gift.

“Suzanne not only serves as a devoted NCI advocate, she and Rusty have impacted this entire community with their long history of philanthropy. All of the citizens of Martinsville and Henry County have benefited from their generosity and community spirit,” she said.

Virginia Hamlet also noted her family’s support of education.

“Our family has a long tradition of supporting increased educational opportunities in Martinsville and Henry County,” she said. “We are certain that the completion of NCI’s new building will herald a new era of optimism and growth for our city and county."

Naming designations for these major gifts and others will be unveiled during the grand opening weekend. In addition to prominent naming opportunities throughout the building, a donor wall, located in the second floor lobby of the building, will list the names of donors who have contributed $1,000 or more. All gifts to the capital campaign will be listed in the program for the building dedication.

The New College Foundation officially launched the capital campaign in October 2012 with the goal of raising $2 million from private donors, corporate gifts and additional grant funds. With the recent announcement of grant awards totaling $850,000 and a large group of strong supporters, the foundation has raised about $2.4 million.

“This is an exciting time for NCI,” said William Wampler, executive director of the New College Institute. “This achievement would not be possible without the involvement of our entire community and the generosity of a large network of supporters, and I am grateful to each and every one of them.”

Fund-raising will continue, he said.

“Although the campaign has met its initial goal, the New College Foundation will continue with our fund-raising efforts to meet expenses for certain upgrades in classroom technology. We are not building technology and classroom infrastructure for today, but optimizing the opportunities to evolve and grow so that we lead the changes that are inevitable in education,” Wampler said.

“As we continue to reach out to larger groups of individuals throughout the community, we see that there is still a lot of opportunity that has not been realized. The people in Martinsville and Henry County are excited about this project and they want to show their support and be a part of it,” said capital campaign co-chairmen Marty Gardner and Thurman Echols.

The fund-raising will continue until September.

“This is a milestone that is worthy of celebration, but we will continue our efforts for the Building on Baldwin capital campaign until the building is officially dedicated in September,” said Lewis. “Both large and small gifts are important for every capital campaign and we are grateful for gifts of any amount. Even a small donation is a show of support for this project, one which offers tremendous potential for the future of our community.”

The dedication of NCI’s newly constructed building will take place in mid-September, with grand opening events to follow throughout the weekend. Details of these events will be announced in June.

For more information on the New College Foundation Building on Baldwin Capital Campaign, call Lewis at 403-5623 or visit the website


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