A new Vance-Granville Community College scholarship has been endowed by the Henderson-based distribution company, MR Williams. The new scholarship in the company’s name will be presented to a VGCC student each year as a “Presidential Scholar Award,” the college’s largest, most prestigious level of endowed scholarship.
Mike Williams, board chairman and founder of MR Williams, said that his company values education, both for its own sake — to benefit from skilled employees — and for the sake of the entire community. “We know that students who complete a two-year degree at VGCC are better prepared to succeed at the four-year university level,” Williams said. “I grew up in a small town like Henderson, and I want to see this community thrive. Vance-Granville does so much to support our community and our local businesses.”
For over 40 years, MR Williams, Inc., has been selling products and services to the convenience store industry in the Carolinas and in surrounding states, from Delaware to Georgia. Mike Williams purchased the former Watkins-Sydnor Wholesale Distributor in 1976 and changed the company’s name in 1979. Since then, the company has grown considerably and invested in increasingly sophisticated technology.
MR Williams has supported the VGCC Endowment Fund Golf Tournament for several years and was one of the platinum sponsors for the record-breaking 33rd annual Golf Tournament in 2017.
Lawson Williams, the company president since 2009 and Mike’s son, said that the newly endowed scholarship marks another milestone for MR Williams as its first college scholarship. Williams said that his company is pleased to be able to give back to a community that has been so supportive of their business and their hundreds of local employees.
“We greatly appreciate the commitment that MR Williams has made to supporting our community, higher education and economic development,” said Dr. Stelfanie Williams, president of VGCC.
Eddie Ferguson, VGCC’s endowment director, added, “MR Williams is not only a great corporate citizen but also one of our college’s valued community partners, and the company’s generosity will support VGCC students for years to come.”
Through the Endowment Fund, VGCC has awarded more than 9,100 scholarships to students since 1982. Scholarships have been endowed by numerous individuals, industries, businesses, civic groups, churches and the college's faculty and staff. Tax-deductible donations to the VGCC Endowment Fund have often been used to honor or remember a person, group, business or industry with a lasting gift to education. For more information about the Endowment Fund, call (252) 738-3409.
Above: Pictured, from left, at the MR Williams headquarters in Henderson are VGCC President Dr. Stelfanie Williams, company founder and board chairman Mike Williams, VGCC Endowment Specialist Kay Currin and VGCC Endowment Director Eddie Ferguson. (VGCC photo)