Global biotech leader Novozymes endows VGCC scholarship


Global biotech powerhouse Novozymes recently endowed a new scholarship to support students enrolled at Vance-Granville Community College, continuing their longstanding history of investment in local higher education.

Considered a world leader in their field, Novozymes’ biosolutions enable everything from more drought tolerant crops to cold water laundry washing to advancements in renewable energy. The company has expanded to serve 30-plus industries across 130 markets with enzymatic, microbial, advanced protein and digital solutions.

While the roots of international parent organization Novo Group reach back a century to the 1920s, Novozymes has had a presence in Franklin County since 1979. That’s when the company arrived to establish its North America headquarters along with a manufacturing plant in Franklinton. Novozymes quickly formed a relationship with VGCC when its Franklin Campus opened at its current location, and the company was instrumental in the construction of the campus’s biotech lab in 2001.

Darren Alfano, Head of People & Organization for Novozymes North America, visited the VGCC Franklin Campus to present the donation in the very building the company helped establish two decades ago. On hand to receive the generous donation were Dr. Rachel Desmarais, VGCC President; Tanya Weary and Sheri Jones of The VGCC Foundation; and Stewart Lyon, Program Head of Bioprocess/Biotechnology for the College.

“The biotechnology industry is growing at a record pace as biosolutions continue to be developed for more applications every day,” Alfano commented. “From the food you eat to the clothes you wear, biosolutions are part of all of our daily lives. We are excited to partner with Vance-Granville Community College in providing high quality education to the future biotech workforce in our local communities.”

By donating $15,000 to VGCCF, the company has established this scholarship at the “Academic Achievement” level. Recipients of Academic Achievement Scholarships may be either current or newly enrolled full-time students at VGCC with high scholastic ability or graduating high school seniors selected by their counselors or principals. Currently, the scholarship award may be up to $500 depending on the investment income earned the prior year.

“This scholarship presents another wonderful opportunity to expand resources that will allow us to educate, inspire, and support a diverse community of learners to achieve professional and personal success,” Weary remarked.

About The Vance-Granville Community College Foundation

The VGCC Foundation offers over 300 endowments for scholarships VGCC students, more endowed scholarships than any other program of its kind in North Carolina. Numerous individuals, industries, businesses, civic groups, and churches have endowed scholarships, as well as the College’s faculty and staff. Tax-deductible donations to the VGCC Foundation have often been used to honor a person, group, business, or industry with a lasting gift to education. For more information, call 252-738-3409.

Representatives of Vance-Granville Community College and the VGCC Foundation receive an endowment donation from Novozymes North America