The MECC Foundation, Inc., is a non-profit organization that supports the mission of Mountain Empire Community College in Big Stone Gap, Virginia. Foundation projects include scholarships, faculty and staff development and recognition programs, cultural programs and events, campus improvements, educational programs, and other projects.


The Mountain Empire Community College (MECC) Foundation was established in 1982, ten years after students from Lee, Scott, Wise, Dickenson Counties and the City of Norton entered Mountain Empire Community College for the first time.  The MECC Foundation’s mission is to foster and promote growth, progress, and the general welfare of Mountain Empire Community College.

Since its inception, the highest priority of the MECC Foundation has been providing scholarships and other financial assistance to enable more MECC students to achieve their educational dreams.  The MECC Foundation distributed almost $3.1 million in student scholarships between 1987 and 2014. Over the years, the MECC Foundation has also provided financial support for facility enhancements, academic programs, professional development for college personnel, as well as other cultural and humanities programs that benefit students and the community.  The MECC Foundation annually sponsors the John Fox, Jr. Literary Festival, which brings acclaimed regional and national authors to the MECC campus for free literary programming and recognition of local writers.

Many students would not know about the college’s programs, or have support for academic success, were it not for programs that are funded by the MECC Foundation. The MECC Foundation has supported free tutoring and supplemental instruction for students since 2009.  In 2015, the MECC Foundation became the sole sponsor of the Career Coach Program and a joint sponsor of the Great Expectations Program.  The Career Coach Program provides high school students throughout the college’s service region individualized assistance in career and post-secondary planning.  MECC’s Great Expectations Program, which was created by the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education (VFCCE) to benefit community college students who were formerly foster care youth, is now jointly sponsored by the VFCCE and the MECC Foundation.

The MECC Foundation could not have grown and contributed to the important mission of MECC for over three decades without committed volunteers and donors who care about the educational opportunities that are available to residents of Lee, Scott, Wise, Dickenson Counties and the City of Norton.  We invite you to become a part of our mission and future by donating or volunteering.  Your involvement will change the lives of countless students by expanding access to MECC’s diverse educational opportunities.