The National Capital Area Chapter of the West Virginia University (WVU) Alumni Association recently surpassed the $60,000 mark with a $10,000 donation to the Col. John F. Nicholas Jr. Memorial National Capital Area Scholarship.

Alumni and friends of the National Capital Area Chapter continue to provide academic opportunities to students choosing West Virginia University,said Lyn Dotson, vice president for development at the WVU Foundation.

With average student loans surpassing $15,000 upon graduation, scholarships are more important now than they ever have been. We appreciate the hard work and generosity of our alumni and friends in making more scholarship opportunities available to deserving students.

The announcement was made last month at WVU s State of the University Address on Capitol Hill, hosted by the National Capital Area Chapter. The scholarships will be awarded to deserving students from the Washington, D.C., metro area through the WVU Scholars Office.

More and more of our chapters are taking the lead from chapters like the National Capital Area Chapter by providing scholarships to students in their respective areas,said James Gardill, chair, WVU Alumni Association Board of Directors.Their hard work and dedication are commendable, and we certainly are proud of their efforts.

The NCAC scholarship was named in memory of Col. Nicholas who was a distinguished WVU alumnus and former chapter leader. The endowment is funded through individual contributions and the proceeds of successful events, including the State of the University Address on Capitol Hill and the D.C. area Crab Feast.

With the support of our sponsors, alumni and friends, we will continue to do more so that we can provide additional scholarships to out-of-state students who choose WVU ,said Scott Bosley, president of the National Capital Area Chapter.

We would especially like to acknowledge BearingPoint, EMC , Foundation Coal, GolinHarris, Information Manufacturing Corporation, Key Staffing Solutions, McEnearney Associates, Inc., and Spilman, Thomas&Battle, PLLC , our corporate sponsors of this years State of the University luncheon. In addition, we would like to thank WVU s colleges and schools for their continued support of this event.

For more information about the National Capital Area Chapter, visitwww.wvualumni.org/.

The WVU Alumni Association, chartered in 1873, represents more than 165,000 University graduates residing in every county in West Virginia, every state in the union and approximately 60 foreign nations. With nearly 100 registered chapters and constituent groups, the Associations 26,000 dues-paying members support Homecoming Weekend, the WVU Academy of Distinguished Alumni and dozens of other social and philanthropic programs. For more information about the WVU Alumni Association, visithttp://alumni.wvu.edu.