William “Bill” Van Arnam Honored with 2023 Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy

For more than 40 years, Van Arnam has been a dedicated supporter of the college.

Primary Media Contact: Holly Walker, Director of Communications and Public Relations, 804-594-1530

Secondary Media Contact: Heather Busch, Director of Marketing and Brand Strategy, 804-594-1532

CHESTER and MIDLOTHIAN, Va. – William “Bill” Van Arnam received the 17th Annual Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy in honor of his work with Brightpoint Community College. Nominated for the award by the Brightpoint Community College Foundation, Van Arnam was recognized during a luncheon ceremony in Richmond on April 18, 2023.

The annual Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy luncheon, hosted by the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education, honors leading philanthropists from each of Virginia’s 23 community colleges as well as the statewide foundation. Recipients are nominated for their outstanding commitment to the growth and development of Virginia’s community colleges and their respective foundations. Dr. David Doré, the new chancellor of the Virginia Community College System, delivered this year’s keynote address.

“It is a privilege and an honor to be in the company of such an esteemed group of philanthropists,” Doré observed. “Were it not for your generosity, some of our students would have to put their hopes and dreams on hold, while others might have to abandon them altogether. Thanks to you, however, our students will be able to work in an environment that is relatively free of the kind of financial pressures that can paralyze or even derail their forward progress, and for that, we are extremely grateful.”

This year’s class of distinguished philanthropy leaders has collectively contributed $14 million dollars to Virginia’s Community Colleges.

For more than 40 years, Van Arnam has been a dedicated supporter of the college. He possesses a passion for the institution’s mission and for promoting the college’s skilled trades programs. Van Arnam served on the Brightpoint Community College Foundation Board and was chair for several years. He also served on Brightpoint’s College Board. In addition to strengthening the college’s Foundation through his board service, Van Arnam helped foster a strong partnership between Brightpoint and Altria that still exists today. He also has personally invested in a wide range of initiatives at Brightpoint, including the annual fund; faculty and staff professional development; and student services. Most recently, he established an endowed scholarship for Brightpoint students. 

The Brightpoint Community College Foundation secures resources that provide scholarships for students; fund academic programs, student support services, capital projects, and renovations to modernize classrooms and labs; and stimulate innovation within the college faculty and staff. This work ensures the college continues its pledge of providing academic excellence to students while expanding the services it offers to meet the community’s workforce requirements. Since most of the college’s graduates live and work in the area, gifts to the Foundation are an investment in both students and the community.    

Brightpoint Community College, formerly John Tyler Community College, offers more than 80 majors that provide pathways to careers in high-demand fields; transfer opportunities to four-year colleges and universities; and industry credentials and licensures. The college, with campuses in Chester and Midlothian, online classes, and off-campus classrooms, served more than 11,400 students during the 2021-22 academic year. It also assisted approximately 5,700 learners, including more than 2,700 job seekers, through its workforce development division, Community College Workforce Alliance, a partnership between Brightpoint and Reynolds community colleges.