ROANOKE, Va. — Farm Credit of the Virginias, a regional lending cooperative, announced a new scholarship that will support students in Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and honor the life of one of its esteemed alumni, Brian Wilkerson.
The Farm Credit of the Virginias Memorial Scholarship at Virginia Tech was presented on Aug. 11 to university and college representatives during a special ceremony. The $100,000 endowment will support a scholarship for students majoring in any program within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The first recipients will be announced in fall 2023.
The fund honors the legacy of the late Brian Wilkerson ’06, a graduate of the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics and a 10-year Farm Credit of the Virginias employee.
“Brian began his career at Farm Credit in 2011 and was an outstanding agricultural loan officer in South Boston and Chatham,” said Brad Cornelius, Chief Executive Officer of Farm Credit of the Virginias. “He brought his passion for agriculture and commitment to Farm Credit and our customer-owners with him each and every day, and worked tirelessly to serve ‘his farmers.’ ”
After the passing of Wilkerson in October 2021, the Farm Credit of the Virginias Board of Directors was inspired to establish a scholarship in his honor.
“We know that this investment is one way to further our commitment to the future of agriculture, and to honor Brian’s own passion for his alma mater,” Cornelius said.
“The Farm Credit of the Virginias’ Memorial Scholarship at Virginia Tech will have a profound impact on its recipients, much like Brian Wilkerson had on the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and his colleagues and customers at Farm Credit,” said Alan Grant, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “We are grateful for Farm Credit of the Virginias’ support of the college.”
The scholarship will be managed by the Virginia Tech Foundation, Inc. Future recipients will be residents of Farm Credit of the Virginias’ 96-county service territory, which spans Virginia, West Virginia and western Maryland.
“The Farm Credit of the Virginias Memorial Scholarship at Virginia Tech will help prepare our students to become future leaders in the agriculture industry,” said Matthew Holt, head of the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics. “Brian’s dedication and work ethic will serve as a lasting example to our students and alumni for years to come.”
—Farm Credit of the Virginias