Artist's rendering of the first priority in Virginia Tech's series of mobility and accessibility capital projects: a pair of elevator towers in the North Academic District. Rendering by Virginia Tech Capital Construction.

Here’s a roundup of education briefs from around Southwest and Southside:

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Accessibility-focused construction projects kick off at Virginia Tech this month

Construction on the first of a series of mobility and accessibility improvements will begin on Virginia Tech’s Blacksburg campus this month, the school has announced.

The project is intended to improve mobility, access, inclusion and collaboration in some of the campus’ most heavily traversed areas, according to a news release.

“Ensuring accessibility across the campus environment is critical not just to the long-term success of Virginia Tech and its service to the commonwealth, but to the daily interactions of thousands of Hokies traversing campus,” Liza Morris, assistant vice president for planning and university architect, said in the release. “These projects are crucial components of a larger solution set which aims to create new, or link existing, accessible routes in this topographically challenged area of campus.”

The first piece of the project will create an accessible pathway in the North Academic District using two interconnected elevator towers. One tower will be located at the north side of Derring Hall and will carry users from the Perry Street level of campus to the Derring and Cowgill Hall intermediate level. The second will be located at the northwest side of G. Burke Johnston Student Center and will take users from the intermediate level to the Burruss Hall level and Burchard Plaza. 

Construction on the elevator towers is targeted to be complete in early spring 2024.

The remaining mobility and accessibility priorities include two additional Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant pathways from the Multi-Modal Transit Facility to Cowgill Hall, and on the east side of Burruss Hall to the Drillfield, and from the Drillfield to Holden Hall.

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Patrick & Henry Community College Foundation opens applications for scholarships

The Patrick & Henry Community College Foundation is accepting applications for the Patrick & Henry Scholars and Commonwealth Legacy scholarship.

Each year, up to 10 local high school graduates are chosen to become Patrick & Henry Scholars, who receive a scholarship to cover tuition, textbooks and fees for up to two academic years.

To be eligible for the scholarship, students must have a high school grade point average of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale. They must be graduates from an area high school or have completed a homeschool program of study. Scholars are chosen for their superior academic achievement, civic involvement and leadership potential. Graduates of homeschool programs must be 17 or older at the time of the application and must live in the P&HCC service region.

Once accepted, the scholars must maintain a 3.0 GPA and be full-time students (enrolled in at least 12 credit hours) at P&HCC. They also will be expected to participate in two extracurricular activities per semester and accrue 10 volunteer service hours each semester.

Students who apply for the Patrick & Henry Scholars award will automatically be considered for the Commonwealth Legacy Scholarship. One outstanding student from each community college in Virginia is selected to receive this award, which was created by the Virginia Community College System and sponsored by the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education.

Students can apply online at For additional information, contact Letitia Pulliam in the Patrick & Henry Community College Foundation office at 276-656-0250 or

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Liberty University reopens Chaplains Museum at new location

The Liberty University Chaplains Museum, which was founded in 2005, reopens to the public in a new location on Friday.

The museum will host an open house from 1 to 5 p.m. at its new site on the terrace level of the Jerry Falwell Library.

Since the museum was founded by the late English professor Kenny Rowlette and a group of interested community members, it has occupied several different locations around campus. While it was originally focused solely on Civil War chaplains, its scope has grown.

“We’re retaining the themes from the original museum and adding new material to include chaplains from all U.S. military conflicts,” said Donna Davis Donald, a history professor and Liberty’s director of public history initiatives. “We’ll have a lot of Civil War items and Civil War stories, but we are working on adding more items and developing interpretations for other wars.”

Visitors will find displays on the history of chaplaincy; documents and items related to chaplains, including Bibles, hymnals, tracts and photographs; and information on chaplains’ battlefield service, diversity in chaplaincy, and ministering in hospitals and prisons.

Students from the history department and other academic programs have been involved in creating the displays and conducting research through class projects or individual work. The museum is staffed by student workers.

The Chaplains Museum is open from noon to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. For more information, visit, call 434-582-7090 or email For information on donating photographs or documents related to chaplains, email

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Roanoke library hosts HBCU college fair

The Melrose Branch Library in Roanoke will host a college and resource fair focused on historically Black colleges and universities on Feb. 4.

The event will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will feature Roanoke native Robert Mason, the author of “Get Educated: The Man Behind the Common Black College Application.”

The fair will begin with a reception featuring guest speakers. Attendees will then have time to visit with HBCU representatives, community partners and city representatives. The first 100 in attendance will receive a free copy of Mason’s book.

Students who attend will receive a promo code that will allow them to apply to 67 HBCUs at once, and they will be able to complete the application at the library for no fee.

For more information, call 540-853-2648.

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NRCC offering free health screenings, COVID shots

New River Community College practical nursing students will hold a “Love Your Health” event on Feb. 15 and 17.

NRCC practical nursing students will run several stations offering health information, educational games for kids, vitals checks and COVID-19 vaccinations.

The event is free and open to the public and will be held each day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Uptown Christiansburg Mall. For more information, contact Misty Rice, associate professor of nursing, at or 540- 674-3600, ext. 4349.