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Governor Ralph Northam Presents Chairman Sharon Bulova With ‘Distinguished Alumna Award’

The Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) Educational Foundation hosted its 40th Annual Dinner at the Marriott Fairview Park on November 13, 2019. The event highlighted a range of impactful work from students and faculty with the theme, ‘Strong Roots, Bright Future.’ More than 460 attendees from government, business, education, and the local community joined NOVA faculty and staff in support of the NOVA Educational Foundation. Student ambassadors from a variety of disciplines shared their personal stories with donors and guests. 

Governor Ralph Northam honored Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova, a NOVA alumna, as one of this year’s honorees. She delivered a moving honoree speech stating, “really, it has been NOVA that has prepared me for what I’ve done working for Fairfax County. I was eager to work; I was eager to realize my full potential. I’m grateful for the Foundation here at NOVA. I am a proud alumna.” 

Chair of the NOVA Educational Foundation Board, Ellen Dyke, and former Virginia Secretary of Education, Jim Dyke, emceed the event. As lifelong advocates of education, the Dykes, spotlighted NOVA’s continuing public and private partnerships. 

“Tonight’s event played a big part in continuing the NOVA Foundation’s mission of supporting the College and its students,” said Kelly Persons, executive director. “I look forward to the next 40 years of helping NOVA students succeed and become a part of our thriving community here in Northern Virginia.”

Virginia State Senator, and incoming Majority Leader Dick Saslaw presented the ‘Distinguished Corporate Partner for 2019’ award to Northrup Grumman. Northrup Grumman was one of the founding partner companies to help launch the ‘ADVANCE’ program at NOVA. ‘ADVANCE,’ a national recognized program propels students onto their graduation at George Mason University for a four-year degree after completing two years at NOVA. Corporate Vice President and President of Northrop Grumman Enterprise Services, Shawn Purvis, accepted the award on behalf of the company. 

Founder and Chairman of Ramsey Asset Management and former Chair of the Board of Trustees of The George Washington University (GWU), Russ Ramsey, presented the ‘Distinguished Academic Partner’ award to GWU. GWU’s Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP) partnered with NOVA since its inception to offer eligible students scholarships to study at GWU’s School of Medicine and Health Sciences. Professor and Senior Associate Dean for Health Sciences at GWU and Principal Investigator, GW Health Careers Opportunity Program, Dr. Reamer Bushardt, accepted the award on behalf of the University. “Public-private partnerships are integral to tackling complex problems in our community, such as health equity, and GW is proud to have strong partners who are also passionate about this work, such as Northern Virginia Community College,” said Dr. Bushardt.  

A moving story from embryologist, April Brisky, a NOVA, GWU, and Eastern Virginia Medical School graduate – made real the profound impact a NOVA education plays in career success. Brisky is currently a staff member at George Washington University’s Medical Faculty Associate. The Foundation’s first-ever ‘Live Appeal’ raised more than $30,000 to fund scholarships and student emergency aid while generous donors pledged additional funding for endowed scholarships. 

NOVA and the NOVA Educational Foundation appreciate the continuous support of donors and community members over the decades. Impactful philanthropy has allowed the NOVA Educational Foundation to continuously give scholarships and emergency funds to students so they can be successful in the community.



Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) is the largest public institution of higher learning in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 80,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield (Medical Education Campus) and Woodbridge, through NOVA Online and high school dual enrollment. We offer more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs to help our students reach their academic and professional goals through university transfers and access to the most in-demand careers. At NOVA, we strive to ensure that every student succeeds, every program achieves and every community prospers. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, visit our website, www.nvcc.edu, or call 703.323.3000.