Bluefield College students taking advantage of the school’s Academic Center for Excellence are doing so with a bit more comfort and ease these days, thanks to a grant from the Community Foundation of the Virginias to purchase new outdoor furniture.
Designed to provide resources and services that promote a culture of academic success among all Bluefield College students, the BC Academic Center for Excellence (ACE) is equipped with tutoring, testing and other academic amenities that help foster the skills, strategies, habits, and character necessary for students to succeed in the classroom. The services and facilities on site include tutoring, testing services, math and writing labs, academic coaching, and disability services. And now, thanks to the grant from the Community Foundation of the Virginias, whether studying or just hanging out with friends, the students are enjoying ACE’s new outdoor furniture.
“Back when Rish Hall was completed in September of 1960, I’m sure the architect thought that lower level portico would be the perfect place for students to study, for parents to enjoy the view when they visit, and for anyone to enjoy a moment of solitude,” said Wayne Pelts, assistant director of the Academic Center for Excellence. “Fifty-seven years later, this is becoming a reality.”
Even students in a Regional and Ethnic Literature course have been able to use the furniture outside for a class session, said senior Laura Kincer. She said that the best time to use the area is during the middle of the day and preferably when it’s warm outside.
“These tables and chairs provide more space for the ACE to provide services to students,” added senior Matthew Owen. “Mentoring and tutoring can be very productive at these locations, especially since the ACE can get very busy some days.”
Owen said that students can utilize the outside areas with the new furniture to work on a project or assignment. With the new tables and chairs outside, he added, the atmosphere can be a very calming place to focus on those more difficult tasks.
“Whenever BC admissions reps take prospective students and their families on a campus tour, this area is one where they stop to highlight characteristics about the two Bluefields that make it such a great place,” said Pelts. “This is ‘the place’ where Mud Pig Day begins and where sleigh riding brings great delight for students and the community.”
Pelts said that he is very thankful for the Community Foundation of the Virginias for providing the funds to purchase the quality furniture for outside. Founded in 2002, the Community Foundation of the Virginias strives to meet the needs of communities in Mercer County, West Virginia, Tazewell County, Virginia, and surrounding areas. The foundation promotes philanthropy by charitable giving and serving the interests of its donors. Matching the generosity of the people of the area, the foundation awards scholarships and grants in the areas of education; arts, culture and the humanities; health; and human services.