Virginia Natural Gas contributes $20,000 to establish the Virginia Natural Gas Scholarship at Radford University

Virginia Natural Gas, a subsidiary of Southern Company Gas, recently contributed $20,000 to the Radford University Foundation, Inc. to establish the Virginia Natural Gas Scholarship. The scholarship assists high-achieving Radford University junior or seniors studying accounting, finance, information technology or STEM related fields who hail from the company’s service area.

The Virginia Natural Gas Scholarship will provide $1,000 per semester or $2,000 per year to one or two students each year, renewable for up to two academic years. Recipients will be from the Virginia Natural Gas service areas of Chesapeake, Hampton, Hanover, James City, New Kent, Newport News, Norfolk, Poquoson, Suffolk, Virginia Beach or York.

“There are more than 1,000 undergraduate students from our service area enrolled at Radford University. This is an important way that we can support our communities as well as Radford University,” said Jim Kibler, JD, President of Virginia Natural Gas and member of the Radford University Board of Visitors.

“The Radford University family greatly appreciates Jim Kibler’s service as a member of the University’s Board of Visitors and Virginia Natural Gas’ dedication to our students’ success through their philanthropy with the establishment of the Virginia Natural Gas Scholarship. Because of this gift, deserving students from the Virginia Natural Gas service region will receive the encouragement and financial assistance they need to reach their academic goals and realize their dreams of a college education,” said President Brian O. Hemphill.

L-R Radford University President Brian O. Hemphill and President of Virginia Natural Gas Jim Kibler

L-R Radford University President Brian O. Hemphill and President of Virginia Natural Gas Jim Kibler

Kibler said this scholarship would support and encourage students, who may be struggling financially, to continue their coursework and graduate. “Our goal is to reward students who performed well in their first two years and provide a bridge to stay at Radford University and graduate. We hope to provide internships to those students as well,” said Kibler.

A large percentage of the energy industry’s workforce is approaching retirement age, and he said this scholarship is an opportunity to encourage and support the next leaders in energy.  “This is an opportunity for us to build our talent pool and assist men and women who may want to come back home after graduation. We want to provide opportunity for high performing students to come back to our service area and stay in Virginia,” said Kibler.

Virginia Natural Gas has a lasting legacy of serving its communities through charitable giving. The company supports programs that focus on the following areas: children and education, energy assistance, environmental stewardship, military and veterans and community enrichment.

“One of the values at Virginia Natural Gas is ‘total commitment’ to serve our communities with time, talent and resources,” said Kibler. This is an extension of that commitment.”

In addition to this contribution being a part of Virginia Natural Gas’ commitment to its community, it personally resonates with Kibler. “I’m honored that the Governor selected me to serve on the Radford University Board of Visitors. Supporting Radford University, both with my time and making this scholarship possible, is a part of my service,” Kibler added.

Kibler, a Craig County native, also has connections to the Highlander family within his own extended family. “My great-aunt Neva Hutcheson Farrier ’63, who was my kindergarten teacher, was the first in her family to attend college, and she graduated from Radford. Four of my aunts and six cousins are Radford graduates -- one cousin is a current student. Also, many of my high school teachers were Radford graduates,” said Kibler.

“Radford University has a great legacy of service to our region and the Commonwealth,” said Kibler.

Feb 7, 2018
Joe Carpenter