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The 2016 Commonwealth Legacy Scholars

Patrick Henry Community College selected the following first-time college students to receive the PHCC Foundation legacy scholarships. This year, the college awarded three legacy scholarships in honor of the donors: The Honorable Gerald L. Baliles Commonwealth Legacy Scholarship established in 2007 in honor of the former governor’s commitment to public service, education, and leadership; The Eleanor Saslaw Commonwealth Legacy established in 2015 in honor of her leadership in education as well as her current service as PHCC’s liaison on the State Board for Virginia’s Community Colleges; The Thomas P. Dalton Family Commonwealth Legacy Scholarship honors the philanthropic commitment to education of Martinsville native Thomas P. Dalton.

The recipients are:

Honorable Gerald L. Baliles Commonwealth Legacy Scholarship –

 Ryan Byrd graduated from Basset High School with an advanced studies diploma with a 3.64 GPA and earned a 3.7 GPA in dual enrollment classes. While a student at PHCC, Byrd was a member of the National Honor Society, National Technical Honor Society, and BETA club. His community service and volunteer activities include timing school swim meets, the Bassett Buddies Baseball program, church dinners, and serving at the Horne Home for developmentally disabled adults. Byrd was a member of the Bassett High School baseball and swim teams. Byrd is earning his associate degree in General Studies and plans to transfer to Virginia Tech to complete a bachelor’s degree in business management with a specialization in human resources.


Stephanie McAlexander is an honor graduate of Patrick County High with a 3.78 GPA. While at PCHS, McAlexander was a member of the Praise and Worship team and the Health Occupations Students of America Club, serving as treasurer in her senior year. She was in the marching band color guard and served as captain her senior year. McAlexander completed the Certified Nurse’s Aide (CNA) program and has worked with Team Nurse for over a year. She volunteers regularly with the American Red Cross and at Pioneer Community Hospital. McAlexander chose to enroll at PHCC to stay in her community while continuing her education in a smaller, more affordable setting. McAlexander plans to enter the registered nursing program to obtain her licensure and work at Brenner’s Children’s Hospital in North Carolina as a pediatric nurse.


Eleanor Saslaw Commonwealth Legacy Scholarship -
Ariel Turner graduated from Franklin County High School with an advanced studies diploma with a 3.97 GPA and a 4.0 GPA in her dual enrollment classes at Virginia Western Community College. She received the Governor’s Academic Excellence Award and the Board of Education Scholastic Excellence Award. Turner was a member of the National Honor Society. While enrolled at FCHS, she earned her Emergency Medical Technician Certification through dual enrollment classes and is a volunteer EMT with the Fork Mountain Rescue Squad as well as working a full-time job in the food service industry. Turner chose to attend PHCC to complete the nursing program at an affordable cost as she pays her own college expenses. Turner plans to complete the registered nursing program at PHCC and transfer to Jefferson College of Health Sciences to obtain her bachelor’s and master’s degrees and become a certified registered nurse anesthetist.


Thomas P. Dalton Family Commonwealth Legacy Scholarship -
Adam Fain is an honor graduate and class salutatorian of Patrick County High School. Fain earned an advanced studies diploma with a 4.47 GPA and a 3.9 GPA in dual enrollment classes at PHCC. Academic honors include the Superintendent’s Scholar Award; Calculus Award; Honors English Award; Honors Biology Award; Honors US History Award; and Advanced Chemistry Award. Fain was a member of the Beta Club and Future Farmers of America, attending national conventions with both organizations. He received the DAR Good Citizenship Award and served as a teacher’s aide at a local elementary school during his senior year. Fain earned his Eagle Scout award in January 2015 completing the renovation of a fire safety trailer for the Patrick County Fire and Rescue Association. Fain chose to attend PHCC because of the affordability, smaller class sizes, and ability to learn and interact with professors. He wants to transfer to Virginia Tech in the fall of 2017 to obtain his Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering and become a mechanical engineer in the automotive industry or a similar field.

Scholarship applications for the 2017/2018 PH Scholars will open on February 1, 2017 and close on March 31, 2017.