wine and winners – vino and vittles

At the September 15 international wine sampling and silent auction the venue, the libations, the scrumptious treats and silent auction items are donated.  So, 100% of every dollar you give for tickets, sponsorships and auction items goes to support learning!

it’s official – valencia is smoke free!


Monday, August 27, 2012 not only marked the start of fall classes, but it was also the day that Valencia officially implemented the smoke-free campus policy. In taking this step, Valencia joins more than 580 college and university campuses around the country in providing for healthier academic environments.

In partnership with the Quit Smoking Now program, Valencia will provide free on-campus tobacco treatment programs for students, employees and members of the community who wish to quit smoking. Curriculum for the program is developed by ex-smokers for those who want to become ex-smokers themselves. The five week program usually includes six sessions.To register today for free, call 1-877-848-6696.

FALL 2012

Winter Park Tuesday Sept 11-Oct. 9, 1-2pm – Every Tuesday for 5 weeks

CJI Tuesday Sept 11-Oct. 9, 5-6pm – Every Tuesday for 5 weeks

West Tuesday Sept 11-Oct. 9, 3:30-4:30pm – 4-204 -Every Tuesday for 5 weeks

Osceola Tuesday Sept 11-Oct. 9, 5:30-6:30pm – Every Tuesday for 5 weeks

Winter Park Tuesday Oct 16-Nov 13, 1-2pm – Every Tuesday for 5 weeks

CJI Tuesday Oct 16-Nov 13, 5-6pm – Every Tuesday for 5 weeks

West Tuesday Oct 16-Nov 13, 3:30-4:30pm – 4-204 -Every Tuesday for 5 weeks

Osceola Tuesday Oct 16-Nov 13, 5:30-6:30pm – Every Tuesday for 5 weeks

For more information about Smoke-Free Valencia, visit

valencia college day in the city of orlando

Valencia President Sanford Shugart accepts a proclamation from Mayor Buddy Dyer marking Aug. 27, 2012 as “Valencia College Day” in the City of Orlando.

defying the odds: angel’s story

Another amazing student story!

get started

In honor of the first day of class, please enjoy this video:


silent auction donor spotlight


With a gracious donation from the Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association (CFHLA), this year’s silent auction is sure to be jam-packed with one of a kind hotel stays that’ll make you wish you saved up more vacation days at work. By donating 20+ hotel stays across Orlando and Central Florida, CFHLA has gone above and beyond in being a true community leader. The mission of CFHLA rings stronger than ever as they truly are advancing tourism and the community through hospitality.

From both the Valencia Foundation and Orlando Health Foundation, we thank you for your ongoing generosity.

For more information about CFHLA, check out their website at:

a taste for learning video

Great work by Valencia student Wally Argueta. Our students are the best!

100 new u.s. citizens sworn in at valencia college ceremony


On August 10th, Valencia College was proud to serve as host when 100 people were sworn in as U.S. citizens.

Kathy Redman, southeast regional director for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, administered the Oath of Allegiance to 100 candidates at the Performing Arts Center on East Campus. Dr. Joyce Romano, Vice President of Student Affairs for Valencia, delivered welcoming remarks, and Major Jay Jeyasingam, a Valencia College graduate and current member of the U.S. Army, delivered keynote remarks.

Nicholle Trapp, a student services specialist at Valencia, sang the national anthem.  The crowd and new U.S. citizens rose to their feet and waved small American flags as Valencia student and disabled Marine Corps vet Brandon Montgomery sang, “God Bless the U.S.A.,” a song written and made famous by Lee Greenwood.

The citizenship candidates hail from 28 countries: Argentina, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Iran, Italy, Jamaica, Mexico, Morocco, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yugoslavia and Zambia. The largest number originate from Haiti, Colombia, and Jamaica.

This ceremony marks the first time USCIS has held a naturalization ceremony at Valencia College.

scholarship recipient thank you letter

I would like to take a moment to personally thank you for providing me with a scholarship to continue my education at Valencia College. This scholarship really means a lot to me because it allows me to pay for my education without putting a financial burden on my family. I feel like I have always been a financial burden to them because I have always had one medical problem right after another. At age three I was diagnosed with asthma, and at age 11 I was diagnosed with leukemia. I battled cancer for two and a half years and chemotherapy isn’t cheap. My father passed away from a heart attack when I was 14 and ever since then it has been really hard on my mom to pay the bills. I got a job at 15 and have been working ever since to help her with the bills. It feels like one thing after another with us because in 2004 when Charlie hit, we had to get a new home. This was and still is a financial burden.

After everything, we still keep a really positive view on life. I volunteer at Florida Hospital in the children’s unit and I play with kids that have a terminal illness. We also participate in American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life raising money for cancer research. Ever since I was diagnosed with leukemia I decided that I wanted to be a nurse. I want to be the nurse that is compassionate to a child newly diagnosed with a disease, I want to be the nurse that can save someone’s father from a heart attack, and I want to be a nurse that can just do it all! I decided to enroll in the nursing program at Valencia and after being accepted into the program, I realized I cannot work a full-time job anymore. My full-time job has to be my education.

My mom understands and supports my education choice but I know the amount of money I make now isn’t helping as much as it used to. She became unemployed during my time completing the prerequisites for nursing and I was starting to get concerned with the fact that I may not be able to afford all the nursing supplies I will need for the program. My mom always tells me, “We will make it work.” And though I am in the nursing program and doing well, I can’t help but feel like you never know what is going to happen to us this year. I got a student credit card and that is how “we have been making it work” so far, but I hate having debt and I just want to know that every time class registration comes up I don’t have to worry about how I will pay for tuition and this year’s set of $80+ books.

With this scholarship I am very grateful and I know it will help a lot. I feel truly blessed to be chosen and accepted in receiving the scholarship and I just want you to know that it is going to a good cause. Thank you again, I wish I could put into words how much this really means to me. I just hope that this letter at least half-way expresses it. I can’t wait to be a nurse and go out into the field and save lives, maybe even save yours.

partner spotlight


This event marks an important beginning in joint philanthropy efforts with the Orlando Health Foundation. A Taste for Learning will benefit BOTH Valencia College scholarships AND Orlando Health’s medical education program.

Orlando Health is one of Florida’s most comprehensive private, not-for-profit healthcare networks. Their facilities, advanced medical treatments and procedures, and highly qualified staff have distinguished Orlando Health as a healthcare leader for nearly two million Central Florida residents and 4,500 international visitors annually.  Their commitment to serving the Central Florida area is long-established and they are constantly investing time, energy and resources to provide the best possible healthcare for our community.

The Orlando Health Foundation is committed to providing the highest level of care available to patients, but also to training the next generation of healthcare professionals.

To learn more about the Orlando Health Foundation visit:

For more information about this event visit:

sponsor shout-out

Thank you to all of the Taste sponsors to date! Your support helps to ensure that 100 percent of all funds raised at A Taste for Learning will go directly to health care scholarships and medical education.

Sommelier sponsors: ABC Fine Wine & Spirits, Rosen Shingle Creek

Champagne sponsor: McCree General Contractors & Architects

First Press sponsors: FREEMAN Co., Orlando Magic, Walt Disney World Resort

Vintner sponsors: Bright House Networks, Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association, CliftonLarsonAllen LLP, Edlen Electrical Exhibition Services of Orlando Inc.

Cabernet sponsors: Charles Perry Partners Inc., Clancy & Theys Construction Company, SeaWorld Parks & Resorts Orlando, Signature Systems of Florida, Skanska USA Building, Universal Orlando Resort

Do you have your tickets yet? Visit today to purchase!

donor spotlight: george and viola mcloughlin

George and Viola McLoughlin with their daughter, Priscilla, at the unveiling of a sculpture in memory of their son, Michael.

Concept, Control and Communication.

A musician, George calls these principles “The Three C’s of Conducting” and they apply to just about any endeavor beyond the symphony. He says, “If you have a concept of where you want to arrive and what needs to be done to reach that goal, then it’s just a matter of communication. Otherwise, you are wasting people’s time.”

And just about the worst thing you can do to George is waste his time. Having celebrated nine decades, he notes with a smile, “The less of it you have left, the more serious it becomes.” His wife adds, “Seize the day. Carpe diem!”

An accomplished pianist and trombone player, George also conducts and arranges music. He has led choirs and still plays trombone with the Maitland Symphony. Receiving his bachelor of music degree from Boston University, he received a doctor of education degree with a minor in music education from the University of Kentucky. Viola earned a secretarial degree and was an executive assistant in New York. When George was teaching at Asbury College, his bride made the decision to return to school. Viola admits it was a struggle, especially with two little children, but she obtained her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Asbury and her master’s degree in education from Rollins College. She taught elementary school in Seminole County, working her way up to becoming assistant principal at Red Bug Lake Elementary

Married since 1953, George and Viola met when they were working at a Massachusetts camp. George served in the Navy’s Amphibious Forces in the Pacific and occupied Japan. While teaching at Asbury, George earned his doctorate from the University of Kentucky, with a dissertation focusing on community college teaching and success

Valencia brought them to Florida during the height of the community college movement, which was transforming the academic paradigm to one of open access. His wife notes today, “George, you’ve always said that the community college is the best idea going.”

He agrees. “The community college is for teaching. It is student oriented rather than research or even sports oriented. It is teaching oriented.” George taught humanities at Valencia from 1969 until 1985, offering the opportunity to touch the lives of many students. Viola recounts a story of two international students he had assisted, who one night, knocked at the door. “Here were these two students, husband and wife, no car. I don’t know how they walked. And they’re holding a complete dinner of Vietnamese food to say thank you. It was a beautiful gesture. They thought of everything, a little dish of this kind of food, even around to the dessert and appetizer. It was very moving to me.” George had the kind of impact in the classroom that merited this sort of gratitude from his students

The McLoughlin’s owned an apartment complex in downtown Orlando. Upon George’s retirement, they donated the property to establish a gift annuity. Through this annuity, they created an endowed Valencia scholarship for non-traditional, disadvantaged students who might not qualify for any other aid

George has described his endowment as a last chance for individuals who might have a spotty academic record, abuse victims, recovering substance abusers, the homeless, those undergoing career change, single parents, victims of tragic circumstances, juvenile offenders and those seeking re-entry to the community after incarceration. The reason for targeting these populations was simple: to fill in the gap, and to offer hope and a hand up for students in whom few others are willing to invest

It is a spirit that they have instilled in their daughter, Priscilla, a professional who assists people in recovery at the Center for Drug Free Living. The couple spent the last 20 years enjoying the serendipity of retirement and celebrating many milestones, like George’s 90th birthday. Their adventures included a spontaneous, free-spirited trip to England for which they purchased only rail and plane tickets, “bumming around with no reservations,” and enjoying plays and local inns. Viola jokes about being on the “Today” show to celebrate her 100th birthday. She says she will share her wisdom for a long, fulfilling existence. “Live a thankful life. Take your religion seriously. And don’t say everything that enters your head! I think that covers a lot.”

And for this delightful pair, there is still a lot to cover, more family celebrations, new journeys, and additional students who just need one person to believe in – and invest in them. In addition to their personal and professional accomplishments and their beautiful daughter, George and Viola have left a legacy at Valencia that will endure forever, in perpetuity.

valencia coming to lake nona medical city

Valencia College will soon open its fifth campus in Lake Nona Medical City, where it will train students for careers in the life sciences, as well as offer traditional coursework toward the associate degree. Although the fall semester officially begins Aug. 27, student services staff will be available to help students starting Aug. 20.

The three-story, 83,000 square-foot building replaces shared space at nearby Lake Nona High School, and is the first of four buildings proposed for the branch campus. This month, the campus received its accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

When the new campus opens, it will feature 18 “smart” classrooms, six science labs—including a biotech lab—a library, a bookstore, small café and student services offices. Sitting areas throughout are meant to encourage studying in groups, catching up with friends, or just contemplating the third-floor view of Lake Whippoorwill.

But the primary focus—at least for campus leaders—will be on math and science. And students seem to be responding, with those courses filling up as fast as the college can offer them.

Teaching part-time are four scientists who work in Medical City labs. Other scientists will be invited to campus to share their research projects with students in a monthly lunchtime series called “Hungry Minds.”

“We are also in the process of developing a Life Sciences Institute,” said Michael Bosley, executive dean of the Lake Nona Campus, “and are exploring opportunities for collaborations with UCF’s College of Medicine, Nemours Children’s Hospital, Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, the Orlando VA Medical Center, and the University of Florida Academic & Research Center.”

Together with Valencia’s Osceola Campus, a new Associate in Science degree in biotechnology is planned for the fall of 2013 and programs in physical and occupational therapy are also in the works.

Valencia has offered college courses in a wing of Lake Nona High School since 2009, both to the general community and through its Collegiate Academy, where high school students can enroll in advanced placement and dual enrollment courses leading to an Associate in Arts degree. As of last spring, there were 400 students enrolled in the Collegiate Academy, up from 33 two years ago.

Built at a cost of $21.7 million by the design-build team of SchenkelShultz Architecture and PPI Construction, the campus features an environmentally friendly design. “Green” features include energy saving lights and air conditioning, reflective roofing materials, recycled construction materials and native landscaping that requires very little piped irrigation. It is slated to achieve a Level 2 Green Globes Certification based on specifications set by Green Building Initiatives, a Portland, Oregon based non-profit.

The Lake Nona Campus website has construction updates and additional information: