About the Orange County Education Foundation
During the 1992-1993 academic year, the Orange County Chamber of Commerce organized a group of business people and educators for the purpose of building a closer partnership in support of education in our community. The group focused on Orange County’s public schools, its private schools and higher education. It was called the Business & Education Alliance (BEA) and its motto was: “Building Bridges Between our Business Community and our Educational Community.” The BEA proceeded to create career day programs, guest speaker rosters, and business shadowing opportunities and internships for students and teachers. As the program evolved, the partner organizations felt that a fundraising mechanism would be needed to sustain the programs they were creating. A vision for an education foundation emerged from their discussions.
Three key members of the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors convinced their fellow Board members that a foundation could have long-lasting benefits for the youth, the education systems and the businesses of our community. The three key Board members included: Ray Hugo of Virginia Power; Sean Gregg, Attorney, and Bill Carrington, Headmaster of Grymes Memorial School. Mr. Hugo was Chamber President, Mr. Gregg was the Chamber’s legal counsel, and Mr. Carrington chaired the BEA. In 1994, the Chamber Board approved the creation of the Orange County Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation. Its mission was to serve all students and education facilities in Orange County.
The Orange County School Board also established its own Orange County Education Foundation in 1994 on behalf of just the Orange County Public Schools. By 1996, however, the two Foundations merged into what we now call the Orange County Education Foundation. While it retained the name of the organization established by the School Board, it was built on the article of incorporation and by-laws that governed the Chamber’s foundation. Therefore today’s Orange County Education Foundation continues to serve the needs of Grymes Memorial School, Germanna Community College and all of Orange County’s public schools.