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Emory & Henry College Receives Transformative $5 Million Gift from One of the Netherland's Wealthiest Families, Aims to Make Impact on Region

EMORY, Va., Nov. 14, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Emory & Henry College has received a gift of $5 million from The van Vlissingen Student Foundation to create The van Vlissingen Center for Career and Professional Development at Emory & Henry College located in Southwest Virginia.

Atlanta, Ga. and Netherlands Businessman John van Vlissingen pledges $5 million to Emory & Henry College in rural Southwest Virginia to support a transformation Career and Professional Development Center to support the region and economic growth. Seen here at May 2019 commencement in Emory, Va. accepting Honorary Doctorate.

Funds will support a visionary Career and Professional Development Center that will support students and even alumni toward their professional path. Through Emory & Henry's new connected liberal arts curriculum, the program will be integrated with academic departments to offer a personal experience for each student to integrate toward the world of work.

"Mr. van Vlissingen has great empathy for students who thirst for the guidance and skills that will lead them to the working world. His support to build and staff this professional development center will leave a legacy to the college and the region," said President John W. Wells.

Van Vlissingen is the founder and chairman of the board of BCD Group, the third largest business travel company in the world. BCD Group employs over 14,500 people, fills 360 airplanes full of travelers daily, and operates in 109 countries with total annual sales of over $27 billion. He was named one of the 25 Most Influential People in World Business Travel in 2018 by Business Travel News, a leading industry publication. Since 1974, he has been a significant investor in U.S. real estate through NORO real estate and early on was lead investor in the region's Roanoke's Valley View Mall. The van Vlissingens are a well-known Dutch family who founded one of the world's largest private trading groups, SHV, in Utrecht, in 1896.

The Career and Professional Development Center is the first initiative of many. A School of Business and Entrepreneurial Incubator will launch by Fall of 2020 to help support the region and its economic growth.

Emory & Henry College, a private connected liberal arts college of 1,300 students founded in 1836, is in Southwest Virginia, offers a community filled with engaged students who choose to contribute to society and make a difference. E&H is among only "40 Colleges That Changes Lives" in the United States, is a College of Distinction and is ranked in the top 150 of national liberal arts in the U.S. colleges by U.S. News and World Report. For more information please visit www.ehc.edu.

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