PVCC Celebrates Mrs. Ethyle Giuseppe’s 100th Birthday

(piano music) – Good evening. my name is Harry Stillerman. I am the Vice President for Institutional
Advancement and Development here at Piedmont Virginia
Community College, and on behalf of President
Friedman, our college board, administration, faculty,
staff, and students, it’s my pleasure to welcome
each of you here tonight to campus. We are delighted that
you could be here tonight to help us celebrate the 100th birthday of
Mrs. Ethyle Giuseppe, and to celebrate the positive
and significant impact that she’s made
for so many folks here in our
community and beyond. If you will indulge me, I wanna begin this evening by taking a brief stroll
down memory lane. Join me, if you will,
in the year 1918. 1918 was a year filled
with significant events. Armistice Day on November 11th marked the end of World War I. President Woodrow
Wilson’s attendance at the Paris Peace
Conference in December marked the first
time a U.S. President had traveled to Europe
while in office, and in March of that year, the U.S. Congress
established time zones and approved
Daylight Saving Time. Americans in 1918
were driving Model T’s to see Charlie Chaplin movies, Irving Berlin composed God
Bless America that year, the average price of bread,
or a loaf of bread, was .10, and the Boston Red Sox won their last World Series
with the great Babe Ruth. Most notably, on September 27th, right here in Greene County, the world welcomed the
arrival of Ethyle Cole, and in the 99 years and 364 days that have passed since
that special day, she has enriched the lives of countless individuals
and families, including all of us
gathered here today. We are here tonight to celebrate the rich benefits that
Missus Giuseppe has provided to our community
through her generosity, and her service to others. Her gifts of
philanthropy have enabled amazing things to happen
right here in Greene County, including making this facility, the Eugene Giuseppe
Center, a reality, enhancing facilities at
William Monroe High School and the Greene County
Community Park, supporting the Greene
County Historical Society, and providing scholarships
for countless local students. Our community and our world
are indeed a better place, because of the love,
caring, and wisdom she has shared with each of us. Over the last few months, I’ve had the chance
to visit frequently with Missus Giuseppe as we
planned tonight’s event. We’ve talked a lot
about her church, we talked about the best
way to make pickles, and the weather, and we talked about
how hard it is to imagine any prettier
view on this Earth than the one she can see
from her front porch. I’ve learned a lot about the remarkable life
that she’s led. She’s shared about her childhood growing up on South River Farm, her time in college at
Strayer in Alexandria, her work with the
federal government, and her work as an
accountant with UVA. She told me about how she
met her husband, Eugene, about the 50 years of
marriage they shared together, and how they got to
travel the world, and she shared about how much they both believed in
and valued education. I know it’ll come as no surprise to each of you that
are here tonight to learn that Missus
Giuseppe was the salutatorian of William Monroe High School’s
Graduating Class of 1936, and thanks to the Greene
County Historical Society, we have access to some of
her earlier words of wisdom. In a speech she delivered
to her classmates, Missus Giuseppe said, if we
give voice to our principles, we will never be
ashamed to know that the boys and girls of
the school are watching the career of this
class to follow in the steps of us
who lead the way. Missus Giuseppe, I
think it’s fair to say that you most definitely
have succeeded in leading the way. Thank you for
setting the example for all of us to follow. Your acts of kindness, your
love of this community, and your tireless efforts
to help your neighbors are truly inspiring. (applauding) This evening we’re gonna
hear from several individuals who are gonna talk
more specifically about the meaningful
impact that Miss Giuseppe has made in our community, but before we move
on with our program, Miss Giuseppe has asked to
begin with some remarks, so please join me in
welcoming Missus Giuseppe. (applauding) – Thank you. I don’t know why I’m
here but I’m here. This is boring,
because I wrote it, but I will read it to you. – Could we, yeah. – Can you hear me now? – Yeah.
– Okay. I was born a hundred years
ago, September the 27th, at the foot of a mountain
on South River Road. I was so small that the
doctor told my mother that he did not think
I would make it, so my birth certificate was
submitted as unnamed child. See, I wasn’t even
worth anything then. Somewhere along the line, I thought I should have
a birth certificate, so I got the form and
sent in Ethel Evelyn Cole. I thought, that was a
pretty good sounding name. That’s E-T-H-E-L. I was in grade school
when I heard about a man on South
River named Ethel, and he spelled it E-T-H-E-L. I thought, well that
one’s not gonna work, so I changed my
name to E-T-H-Y-L, and later on, I saw
that the spelling was for a name of a gasoline, (audience laughing)
so I thought that sounded like I
was about to explode, so I changed it again. I added an ‘e’ too, in making
my name as it is today. E-T-H-Y-L-E, which is
on my birth certificate. In my family, we’d have year
round dessert was apple butter, ’cause we made it. We didn’t eat anything
that we didn’t grow or come from the farm, which we ate as a treat
at most of our meals. It was a dish laid on
the table all the time. It never got washed, it just
kept getting added to it. My mother told me that one day when I was about two years old, after I had eaten my breakfast, and then had apple
butter all over my face, that she put me outside in the
washtub to get some sunshine, because she knew
that I needed that. As my mother watched me
from the kitchen window, she watched with horror
as a bear sneaked up, licked the apple
butter off of my face, and then calmly sauntered away. (audience laughing) She about died right
there with a heart attack. (audience laughing) When my oldest sister
finished the seventh grade, I saw that the
school had an ad up at the mountain
where I was born. We decided to move
out to the mountains, so that all of us could
walk to Stanardsville to attend the new high school, and we were the first ones that graduated when women started
in kindergarten at that school, and we sat in the
auditorium until Christmas, because the first grade
wasn’t completed then. I could not walk to
school until I was seven, because I wasn’t big enough. Boy, I am now. Finally, the bus came
as far as our entrance, and all the kids
in the neighborhood walked to our gate
to ride the bus. That bus was something
unusual and great. They all walked, if they
lived two miles away, they still came to ride the bus. I graduated my high
school in 1936, and in order to go to college,
I made a deal with my sister, who was working for the telephone company
in Washington D.C., that she changed her hours from
first shift to second shift so that I could stay with her child while she
worked the second shift. This allowed me to
attend classes at
Strayer College, then, it’s now Strayer
University, in the mornings, and the tuition was $25 a month. I took the Civil Service exam when I finished and
made a high number, so I was called immediately
to work for the government. I met Eugene Giuseppe, and
we moved to Greene County. I worked in the
accounting department at the University of Virginia, and Eugene, as everyone knows, was a school principal and
coach in Greene County. On our South River farm,
we raised chickens. I would come home from
work and grade eggs. We had 5,000 hens at one
time in the brood houses. On Saturdays, I would
carry the eggs to the hatchery in McGaheysville
every Saturday, so it could be hatched,
sat and hatched. We also raised thoroughbreds. I never knew until I
got into the business, a horse, only one can
be a thoroughbred, and that’s the
thoroughbred breed. You can’t say my horse
is a thoroughbred if it’s a pony or something. We also raised thoroughbreds. When one of our mares
was ready to foal, I would spend the night in
the barn beside her stall to make sure the birth
was without complications. I could use my arm
to go into the mare and help her out if
it was backwards, but my husband’s arm was too
big, so I was the doctor. Eugene and I traveled a lot throughout the United
States in our RV. We especially enjoyed
going on cruises, and went around the world twice. I have enjoyed doing things for the benefit of the
children of Greene. The first big donation was
for the Giuseppe Center. Then I made it possible
to have a basketball court and bathrooms at
the community park. A clock in the school gym and the greenhouse nursery
for agricultural students. My brother and I
gave all the proceeds from our farm to the
Historical Society, and they have done
well with the donation. I have also helped my
church over the years, and I think I have
not missed a Sunday in over 50 or 60, 70 years. I am very healthy, and a strong believer
in divine intervention. I have felt divine
intervention all my life, and when I feel I have, I’m losing my spot,
when I feel I have, I make this sign, which is,
thank the Lord for this. Whenever you see me doing
that, that’s, thank you Lord, and I do it for everything, ’cause divine intervention
is very important to me, and it happens every day. I don’t take the shots, either. None of this flu shots, I’ve
never had one, never will. I feel as if I am putting
more germs in my body that’s only effective
24% last year, so why should I have
seven different germs put in my body every year? Don’t do it. I have often said this, old accountants don’t die,
they just lose their balance. (audience laughing) I’m not gonna die, but
I’ll lose my balance; in fact, I’m already losing it. Anyway, it’s so nice to be here, and so nice to see
all of you all. I remember faces but I
don’t remember your names, so then I look, I peep around, and I see what name’s
written on your tag, so that’s how I
know who you are. So nice to see all of you here. Thank the Lord. That’s a habit. You gotta thank
him for everything that you see that he does,
especially divine intervention. It happens every day. Things could not happen to me that are not divine
intervention. There’s no way in the
world it could happen. You see me doing that, that’s it, thank you,
Lord, thank you, Lord, thank you, Lord. Don’t forget, I’m still around. (audience applauding) – Missus Giuseppe,
thank you so much. And I’ll do that,
too, thank you. At this time, I’d like to
introduce Doctor Frank Friedman, President of PVCC, who’s
gonna make some remarks. (audience applauding) – First, I want to
welcome everybody. I must tell you, we had
the program all arranged, everything was gonna
go in an order, and we were gonna have the
big closing with Ethyle. Well, when Ethyle decides
she’s gonna do something, you can’t get in the way. I heard from a
couple of members of your Board of Supervisors,
past and present, who said that she just
calls ’em up and says, this is Ethyle, this
is what you need to do. That’s about what
she did to Harry. This is Ethyle,
and I’m going next. You can’t argue, right? I give a lot of remarks
at a lot of events. What I need is a 100
year old speech writer to write all those for me. They would come out a
whole lot better, I think. Ethyle, did you know that
there are 80,000 people in our country age 100 or more? There are, and I know that
you think you’re special because you are 100 years old. Well, that’s nonsense. You’re special all the time. (applauding) When someone turns 100, you start to ask
some big questions, and one of the
questions I ask is, what’s the measure of a life? How do you measure a life? Winston Churchill, I
think, said it the best. Churchill said, we make
a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give. Does that describe this person? Now she’s given a lot, but I’m just gonna
talk about one thing, and that’s her gift that
helped make this center, the Giuseppe Center, a reality. This started back in,
around 2010, 2011, and, when we first looked
at this facility, it was no walls,
just a big open area, and it was county storage. Old furniture, old
computers, filing cabinets, and a whole lot of dust. That’s what it was the
first time I was up here. Our agreement with the county was that they would lease
it to us at a fairly generous amount that
we could afford, that’s a dollar a year. I thought that was a
little high at the time, but a dollar was okay. But the agreement was that Piedmont Virginia
Community College would need to renovate
and outfit the place, and that was our agreement, and we set about trying to
raise the money to do it. The people of Greene County are an incredibly
generous group, and they are a group that
really care about their youth, and about their fellow citizens, so over 100 individuals
and businesses contributed to that
fundraising campaign to make it possible for us
to finish out this space, and create this beautiful
center that we have now. But there are two very
large significant gifts without which we really
couldn’t have done it. One was by Barbara
Freed, in honor of Mark, and this facility here,
the community room, is named for Mark Freed, and then there was the
incredibly generous
gift by Ethyle. Without that, we might
still be out raising money trying to open this place up. What did she make possible? Let me give you an idea. Since we opened, we have
offered 269 courses here, we have enrolled 2,701
individuals in those courses, and we have used
this community room for all sorts of events. We’ve had weddings here, we’ve
had birthdays, like this, the art guild has used
it, we’ve had job fairs, blood drives, health services, church events, and on and on. This has become a
part of the community, and a resource
for the community. And most notably, this
facility made possible the early college program
and the partnership we have with William
Monroe High School, and that is the
crown jewel, I think, in what we’ve been doing here. 49 students so
far have graduated from William Monroe High School, and at the same
time they graduated, they earned an Associate degree from Piedmont Virginia
Community College. 49, and we’re looking at
probably another 20, 30 a year, hopefully, for the
foreseeable future. Those kids have gone on to the, really, the top
universities of their choice. They’ve gone on to UVA, they’ve
gone on to William and Mary, James Madison, even, we’ve had one go to
Harvard, and one go to Yale, and I just talked to
a young man tonight whose goal it is to go to MIT. Not bad, huh? Not bad. All because this
facility exists; otherwise, we could
not do that program. And why does the facility exist? The generosity of
Ethyle Cole-Giuseppe. I would say Ethyle has
truly made a life by giving, and we have all benefited
tremendously from her giving. I wanna close with a
couple of quick toasts, I know we’re gonna have
an official toast later, but I have an
unofficial toast to do. One, Ethyle, may you
live as long as you want, and may you never want
as long as you live. (applauding)
Wait, one more, one more. I’ve always wanted
to do this one. In the words of Mister
Spock, live long and prosper. (applauding) – Thank you, Doctor Friedman. At this time, we’ll hear
from delegate Rob Bell, of the 58th District of the
Virginia House of Delegates. (applauding) – It’s one of the
benefits of my job is I get to attend
community events where, not just, we go to
funerals, of course, but where good things happen, and this is one of them. It’s profoundly humbling to follow Miss Guiseppe
to the microphone. First, of course, she’s
healthier than I am today. I’m 51, it’s pretty
clear she’s more likely to reach 200 than I am to reach
100, but you’re doing great. The second is those of us
who aspire to public service hope that if we
work very very hard and get everything right
and get a lot of support, maybe when we’re done the place, the place will be better
off than when we arrived, and I think without any doubt, Ethyle has already
accomplished things that will put her
in the highest stead of anyone that has ever
come from Greene County. I think Frank touched
on some of the issues. The legacy of this building
is extraordinary because most of us, especially
those of us over 50, there was a time
when you could get by in American without
a college degree. It was nice to have it, it
made certain jobs possible, but it certainly was a perfectly acceptable
successful life path to say, I got a plan, I
don’t need college. Those days are gone, just gone, and if you look
at our community, UVA is what’s famous, it’s the top public
institution in the country, arguably, the world, but it’s impact here
is not UVA, but PVCC. Frank touched on it. I can think of three groups
of Greene County residents who are directly
helped by this school. The first would be, and if you
don’t know about this group, it’s mind boggling, but
the students who graduate high school at William Monroe, and on the same couple of weeks they graduate with their
high school diploma, they walk across and
have a college degree at the PVCC graduation. The first time I heard this, I think it was a Fluvanna kid,
I said, that’s impossible, he’s a college
graduate at age 18, and they explained
that it was very hard to try and make
the classes work. Now it’s not even unusual. Last year, I wrote it down, it was 18 of William Monroe
High School’s graduates walked the stage here and
also got a PVCC degree, 18. The class of 2021, they
were explaining in the back, it’s 34 students. 34 students will
graduate William Monroe as college graduates. Goodness gracious. They either can just go to
work, as college graduates, or, as Frank said, many of them will then go on to
a four year degree, they got two years
already finished, whether they finish in two more, or use it to get
an advanced degree, it’s a great start,
could never do it without having this
building right here. This is absolutely because
of, you built this, Ethyle. It could not happen otherwise. Simple proximity
makes a difference. That’s the first category,
we all know about them. The second category are all of those students
who just aren’t sure. Miss Whitmarsh and I were
speaking about this earlier, you got a kid, he’s kinda
tired of going to school, but he kinda wants to
give college a try, but he doesn’t want
to make the investment of moving to Longwood
or Radford or UVA. This gives them a
chance to try it out without the massive
debt that comes with it. They can do it part time,
they can live at home. Some of us, when we
first got to college, frankly, weren’t
ready for it at 18, a little more parenting
would be helpful. This lets that happen. PVCC was too far from Greene. If you look at a map of
what’s close and what’s far, we were losing kids just because it was too far and
too much trouble. This gives us a chance
to catch those kids, it gives us a chance
that if they liked it, they can go on to college. And then the third group,
if you’ve ever been, who’s been to Frank’s
graduation at PVCC? Has anyone been
there besides me? The neatest moment is when he goes through those
students and says, tell me about yourself, how
many of you are parents? And it’s not one or two. It’s, you could
tell me, a fourth. He said a third, a third
of them are parents. You’ve got the people that went and worked for a while
and decided later, yes, I do need that
college degree, or they’re at a job that finally will let
them have some time. These are the late bloomers. There is no chance
that they would be able to get a college degree
if they had to travel all the way to the campus
south of Charlottesville. It’s just too far. Those are three groups of
Greene County residents, all of them helped
because of this building, all of it made possible
because of you, Ethyle. I’m just here to say thank you. I spend most of my
time with politicians, as most of you know, and there’s statues and
monuments and walls and plaques, but the legacy of a
life well led here is gonna be those students
who go on to college degrees, make a successful living,
raise their children, because of this building
and I think that’s a legacy anyone who’s elected
would be honored to have. Ethyle, thank you
very much, thank you. (applauding) – Delegate Bell, thank you. At this time, we’ll hear
from Doctor Andrea Whitmarsh, the superintendent of the
Greene County Public Schools. (applauding) – Good evening. I am Andrea Whitmarsh, and I have the honor of serving as superintendent for
Greene County Schools, and, as others have said, we’re here tonight to celebrate
a very special birthday for a very special
friend of mine, and a generous friend
of our community, Miss Ethyle Giuseppe. Mister Stillerman talked about what it was like a
hundred years ago. I kinda find that
hard to believe. As I was reading
those same things, I saw that the modern inventions were the zipper and the toaster, and I don’t know if you
guys can imagine that but, anyway, that was kinda
hard for me to believe. Thank about that, a
hundred years ago. All of the things that Miss
Giuseppe has experienced, has seen in her lifetime. It’s pretty amazing. Also, I’d like to think
about how Greene County has changed in that time,
in Miss Ethyle’s lifetime. Picture our school gymnasium
without scoreboards, an agriculture program
without a greenhouse, a park without basketball hoops, concessions, no
restrooms at our park, no place for the
Historical Society to house the past
treasures of our community, and definitely no
PVCC Giuseppe Center. You see, these are just a few
gifts Miss Giuseppe has given to our community that
have changed us forever. As a school system, our goal is to empower
our community’s children for lifelong success. We want our students
to be educated in a manner that allows them
to experience personal success, whatever that happens to be, and to serve as
productive citizens who can give back
to their community. Miss Giuseppe, who epitomizes
what we strive for, is a 1936 graduate
of Monroe High, who went on to
experience personal and
professional success, and then use that success as a vehicle to give
back to our community. She is focused on giving
items that benefit our youth, and I can say, without a doubt, that she has positively impacted
our community’s children. If you’ve had the opportunity
to sit and talk with Ethyle, you not only know she’s
a very passionate lady, who is strong willed, and dedicated to her
church and community, but you also know
instantly how strongly she feels about the
value of education, and her passion for our youth. Her actions each day
will tell you that. She takes time to congratulate
parents and children on their accomplishments, she cuts articles
out of the newspaper and sends them along, she passes out information she thinks might be
helpful to you in some way, or that you might enjoy, she anonymously assists others, and she always wants to help. She’s in the know about what’s
going on in our community, and if she thinks
something isn’t right, she is not afraid to
share that opinion, especially if it
helps someone else. Ethyle’s mother, she has shared, dwelled on the
importance of education, and she has done just the same. She’s given numerous
scholarships to students over the years to
pursue their education at Piedmont Virginia
Community College, long before the Giuseppe
Center was ever here. In order to bring the
college opportunity to even more students
in our community, she donated half
a million dollars to make this center possible. If you haven’t had the
opportunity to be here before, and I know many of you
have seen the facility, but if you haven’t, take a minute to check
it out while you’re here. It is incredibly impressive. Better yet, if you check it
out on any given afternoon, you’ll find lots of our students
over here enjoying classes. This center has made it possible for students at William
Monroe High School to earn an associate’s degree
before leaving high school, as has been shared, and while all school divisions in the Commonwealth
have the opportunity, the proximity of this center makes it a reality
for our children. Currently 10% of our students are pursuing their Associate’s
degrees while in high school, and at the end of this
school year, this year, our fourth cohort of students
will finish their degrees before graduating
from William Monroe, and most will go on, if not
all, to four year colleges. Students are able to
do this because of their hard work and
the efforts of many, but Ethyle’s donation
to the center is what put it all in motion. This gift has completely changed the trajectory for
many of our students who would not have had the
opportunity to do so otherwise. Ethyle continues to have
a passion for education. When she saw that we had
another project at the schools, she once again wanted to donate and to give another $100,000
to the students of Greene, so tonight, to celebrate Miss
Giuseppe’s 100th birthday, I’d like to thank her for the gifts she’s given to our
community and the young people. Ethyle, through your efforts, our children have more places
to learn, enjoy, and play, enhancing not only
their experiences, but their opportunities
for the future. Amen. The gifts you’ve
given us will continue to give for decades to come, your legacy is in place,
it’s what we all want, and the impact, and
you have had an impact. You’ve made our
community a better place, especially for our children,
and for that, we thank you. Today, we celebrate you, so
happy 100th birthday, my friend. (applauding) We do have a few of
our students here, but I’d like to invite Cindy Gonzales and
Jerry Morris forward. They have a couple of comments. – Happy 100th birthday. We made you a gift. It’s a birthday card. (audio static drowns
out Missus Giuseppe) Missus Giuseppe, we cannot begin to tell you
how much you mean to us. You’ve given us opportunities that we could have
never had without you. You’re making our
future possible. Thank you from your kids. – [Andrea] If you’ll turn
it around just a second, everybody can see just
how many students, if you take a second, how many
students have signed that. They care deeply about the impact that you’ve
had, Miss Ethyle. (applauding) – Thank you so much,
Doctor Whitmarsh. If I could, I know there a bunch of
our early college students from William Monroe High
School here this evening, would you all stand
and be recognized? (applauding)
Thank you. Thank you. This evening, we’re gonna hear
from one of those students, Kamden Early. Kamden, can you make
your way to the front? As you’re coming, I’ll
give an introduction. Kamden is a senior at
William Monroe High School, he’s enrolled in the
early college program, and will be graduating this May with an advanced diploma
and an Associate degree. I’m told that he will
graduate Summa Cum Laude from PVCC with a 4.0 GPA, so I guess he still has
some work to do but… (applauding) He’s also one of the recipients of the Greene County
Early College Scholarship, and he plans to study
Political Science and Pre-Law. He’s on the Scholastic Bowl
and the Forensics teams, and what I found
most fascinating is that he also writes poetry and he performs in poetry
competitions he says out loud, so, Kamden, welcome.
(applauding) – Thank you for the
generous introduction. Esteemed guests, family,
friends, students, it is with great pleasure that
I stand before you all today as living, breathing
evidence of the generosity, dedication, and good will
of Miss Ethyle Giuseppe. Again, my name is Kamden Early, and I am in this year’s
graduating cohort of Early College Scholars, and I represent the
fourth year of students to earn the dual credentials of advanced diploma
and Associate degree. This early college
scholar identity is a tag I’ve come
to be very proud of, wearing it as a policeman fresh from the
academy would a badge, or a graduate a cap and gown, an emblem of the
countless days learning and sleepless nights studying. There are certain
components to the title. Early, signifying prematurity, and college, referring to
post-secondary education, or synonymously I
assume, student debt, so an equivalent
statement would be, I’m getting a headstart
on student debt, I guess. I guess that doesn’t have
a good enough ring to it, so they call it the Early
College Scholar Program. No, I’m just kidding,
but seriously, we scholars are not exempt from the financial
burden of attending a post-secondary four
year institution, and without Missus
Giuseppe’s scholarship fund, my parents simply
would not be able to afford my studies and the
numerous expenses associated with raising a family
of seven, which we have, so, for that, I sincerely
thank you, Missus Giuseppe. However, as the
lavishly affluent John D. Rockefeller once said, charity is injurious unless it helps the recipient to
become independent of it. I do need the money
I have received, but I am not ashamed of it, for in the vein of
Mister Rockefeller, I consider the whole ordeal
as an investment in my future, utilizing the financial
resources I have now to soak up as much
educational value as I can, and moving on with my life, doing the same there
at different colleges until I can join the work force with ample skills necessary
to change the world. Notice my word choice there. Skills, as opposed to facts. Computers know facts, but it takes skill
to build a computer programmed with such facts. Therefore, I learned to
become the programmer, architect, designer
of a better future, better possibility for
people such as myself, and more importantly,
return the investment bestowed upon me back into
the Greene County community, and it’s all thanks to
Missus Ethyle Giuseppe. Continuing, not only
did she provide me with the fines necessary to
pursue my Associate’s degree, but also a home in
which to complete it. Clearly, the purpose
of this namesake center is to eliminate the
necessity of traveling the near one hour commute to the main campus
at Charlottesville, but it has come to mean
so much more to me. Not having internet service
or the like at my house, I initially saw a Blackboard, the online platform for
submitting homework, quizzes, tests, et cetera, as
an insurmountable obstacle. I was delighted to
soon find out that Missus Giuseppe not only
provided the students with designated work stations, necessary to complete
my assignments, but also internet
service, free of charge, so that I could do my
assignments there on time and have a place to do them. For example, Latin was probably my favorite subject
in middle school, but I stopped taking
it a few years ago, because it was solely
offered online at school, and I feared not having
sufficient resources to perform my absolute best. I soon realized, though,
that under no circumstance will the Greene
County School System deny a student an
opportunity to learn, thanks to gracious donors
like Missus Giuseppe. Since my realization, I’ve taken, and or plan to
take, 14 online classes, all of which I’ve received
a grade of A or higher, without internet
service at my house. Is that not a miracle? (applauding) So far, I’ve elaborated
on how Missus Giuseppe has financially supported
me individually these
past four years, but I’ve neglected to mention
how her financial support of the greater Greene
County community has further impacted me
in a positive manner. Not only does her work translate directly into my
academic performance, but also in my
general experiences and perceptions of
Greene County as a whole. Now I might seem
like somebody with a book in his face all the time, just waiting for
somebody to pass by and ask for the first
24 digits of pi, I don’t know ’em,
but people ask. That’s simply not me. I like to be active, and get
involved in my community. Nearly all the first bunch
of friends I made here came on the heels of
playing basketball at the community park
funded by Missus Giuseppe. Currently, I’m
there every weekend, shooting hoops with
friends, winning, of course. As a safety net to the social interactions I foster
and relax away from school, and it’s all thanks to her. She’s providing me the
financial resources, the material resources,
and social centers that I need to obtain the
best education I possibly can. Ironically, I’m
speechless at this point, so I’ll just leave
it at thank you, and happy birthday,
Missus Giuseppe. God bless you all and have
a good rest of the night. Thank you.
(applauding) – As Missus Giuseppe
and I were driving here this afternoon to come
to tonight’s event, she mentioned to me how
excited and proud she was of the investment that
she made in PVCC, and I think after
hearing from Kamden, and Doctor Whitmarsh,
and Doctor Friedman, and Delegate Bell, that reinforces what a
wonderful investment you’ve made in this school,
in this community, and we’re so grateful for
all that you’ve done for us. As we think about what
we can do here at PVCC to continue Missus
Giuseppe’s legacy, one of the places that
we’ve turned to is the scholarship program for
our early college students. As you’ve heard, Kamden has
been a beneficiary of this, but since it was
started in 2013, PVCC has awarded more than
$111,000 in scholarships that have made it possible for early college students at
William Monroe High School to complete 657
credit hours at PVCC. As you heard from
Doctor Whitmarsh, today, our program is serving
more than a 100 students, and as the enrollment
continues to grow, the need for scholarships
is even greater. To honor Missus Giuseppe, we have set a goal of
raising an additional $50,000 this year for scholarship funds to help meet the growing
demand of our students. To date, we’ve been able to
meet about 30% of that goal, but I’m here tonight to
ask you and talk to you, to say that if you wanna
honor Missus Giuseppe, and you believe in education, then I hope that you will
join us in this special cause. I invite you to consider
making a gift or pledge today, and we have information
on the tables to tell you how you can do that, and also, encourage you to
share this special opportunity with your friends and your
neighbors in the community. Your support will
make it possible to provide all students
in Greene County with the opportunity to reach
their fullest potential. Thank you in advance
for partnering with us in this special way to
help honor Missus Giuseppe. A couple remarks I wanna make
before we end with a toast, that is, if you haven’t done so, please take time to sign the card and picture
for Missus Giuseppe, and, in just a few moments,
we’re gonna have cake, but I’d like to ask
if you all will stand, those that are able,
and join me in a toast before we cut the cake. Missus Giuseppe, on
behalf of everyone here, I’d like to say that if
we lit a birthday candle for every life that
you’ve enhanced, your birthday cake would
light up the entire sky. Happy 100th birthday. We hope that on your special
day that you are honored, and that everything
that you have done to make the world a better place than the last
century comes true. Thank you so much. – Here here.
(applauding) – You’ve done 99
of these already, so you know that we
can’t really cut a cake without singing Happy Birthday, so that’s the only thing holding
us between there and cake, so won’t you join me in a rousing rendition
of Happy Birthday. ♪ Happy birthday to you ♪ ♪ Happy birthday to you ♪ ♪ Happy birthday, dear Ethyle, ♪ ♪ Happy birthday to you ♪ (applauding)

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