Luray Caverns receives 2016 Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy

Page News and Courier

LURAY ― John and Rod Graves, who serve as president and senior vice president of the Luray Caverns Corp., respectively, were recently recognized for leadership in philanthropy by the Virginia Community College System.

The brothers were recognized with the 2016 Chancellor's Award on April 19 at the Country Club of Virginia in Richmond. The 11th annual event was hosted by the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education, and recognized philanthropy leaders receiving the award from 24 community colleges across the state. Collectively, award winners contributed more than $11 million to Virginia's community colleges.

For more than a decade, the annual Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy recognizes contributions made to the growth and development of Virginia’s community colleges and their respective foundations. Eligible candidates for the award include current and former foundation board members, community volunteers and benefactors.

The Graves brothers were recognized for their contributions to Lord Fairfax Community College. John, who additionally serves as CEO of the Luray Caverns Corp., and Rod are the fourth generation from their family to own and operate the Caverns.

“John and Rod Graves recognize that the future of Page County will depend on a skilled workforce and more educational opportunities for residents,” said an LFCC spokeswoman in an April 20 news release issued by the community college.

More than two decades ago, in 1993, Luray Caverns established a scholarship at LCFF that continues to support Page County students.

In September, the Graves brothers hosted the third installment of the foundation event “Evening with the Stars” at the Burner Barn at the Caverns. The event raised funds for new science programs in the county. Through a partnership with Page County Public Schools, the community college plans to equip a 9,000-square foot health and science center at the Page County Technical Center. Work on the building began last year, and the shell is currently completed.

During September's event, John urged a crowd of more than 100 to continue supporting higher education opportunities in the history-rich Shenandoah Valley.

“My parents often told us that to understand where you're going in life, you must understand where you come from,” he said, citing the inspiration for the Caverns' Luray Valley Museum, where the event was held at the Burner Barn.

The Graves will host the fourth annual Evening with the Stars fundraising event this fall at the Burner Barn, as LFCC's Luray-Page County Center celebrates its 10th anniversary.

During last month's awards ceremony in Richmond, keynote speaker and CEO of Huntington Ingalls Industries Mike Petters said donors play a critical role in Virginia's workforce development.

“By supporting the foundation, you support access, affordability and student success ...” said Petters.

John and Rod were also recognized last Monday for their recent award during LFCC's President Luncheon in Middletown.

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