Big Stone Gap – The Mountain Empire Community College Foundation recently received a $30,000 gift from the Kline Foundation, a long-time supporter of the college and student scholarships.
Over its 63-year history, the Kline Foundation has made grants to primarily benefit individuals in the market area of the former Coca Cola Bottling Company of Norton, Inc. Education has been the primary emphasis of giving throughout its history, with Mountain Empire Community College and the University of Virginia’s College at Wise receiving the largest gifts from the Kline Foundation in recent years.
Since 1983, Mountain Empire Community College Foundation has received cumulative gifts in excess of $275,000 from the Kline Foundation primarily to support scholarships. The Kline Foundation was formally established in 1952 by Mr. Ferdinand Bert “F. B.” Kline. Mr. Kline was a 1910 stockholder in the Norton Coca-Cola Bottling Works, and by 1917, was the President of the Kline Corporation, which operated the bottling company. By 1942, the corporate name changed to The Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Norton, Inc. at the request of the parent company.
F. B. Kline died in 1970, and since that time, the Kline Foundation has been governed by a board of trustees, most of whom have served for many years. The Kline Foundation’s current trustees include George Culbertson, Chair; Harold Armsey, Glenn Teasley, Charles Lawson, Stewart Spradlin, Byron Cantrell and Fred Ramey.
In 2014, the Kline Foundation funded the MECC Foundation endowed Kline Foundation Scholarship. The scholarship was created in memory of F. B. Kline and is restricted to benefit residents of the Virginia counties of Lee, Scott, Wise, Dickenson, Russell or the City of Norton.
“MECC is grateful for the long partnership that MECC has enjoyed with the Kline Foundation in supporting student scholarships,” said MECC President Kris Westover. These funds will be used to assist current and future students in achieving their educational and career goals. The Kline Foundation’s faith in MECC to carry on the legacy of F.B. Kline and family in building educational opportunities for the Southwest Virginia region is recognized and much appreciated.”
In recognition of the Kline Foundation’s many decades of support of MECC, the boardroom at MECC’s Dalton-Cantrell Hall was renamed the Kline Foundation Boardroom in 2016. The Kline Foundation Boardroom is the primary meeting space used by the college’s Advisory and Foundation Boards. It is also used to host special guests and many outside groups.
For more information on the MECC Foundation, or to learn more about supporting student scholarships, please visit our website at www.meccfoundation.org.