Laurel Ridge Educational Foundation again receives generous contribution from Axalta to support STEM education

For Immediate Release:
May 4, 2023

Primary Media Contact:
Sally Voth
Public Relations Specialist
[email protected]
Phone: 540-868-7134

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The gift will help support scholarships and the Building the Future Fund.

In support of the STEM education Laurel Ridge Community College provides to area students, the Axalta Coating Systems manufacturing center in Front Royal recently donated $20,000 to the Laurel Ridge Educational Foundation as a continuation of the Axalta Bright Futures Scholarship first established locally in 2021 with a $40,000 gift. Axalta’s Front Royal plant mainly manufactures car paint to auto repair centers.

The donation will benefit student scholarships, as well as the Building the Future Fund in support of skilled trades education on Laurel Ridge’s Middletown Campus, said development officer Andy Gyurisin.

“It has been an honor to work with Axalta Coating Systems, one of Warren County’s leaders in manufacturing, to develop the Axalta Bright Futures Scholarship in 2021,” he said. “Seeing them invest in our Laurel Ridge Community College students a second year only underscores their dedication to developing future leaders and economic success within our community.”

When it comes to the scholarships, preference is given to students who live in Warren County, are employed by the company or have parents employed there, to students enrolled in STEM (science, technology, engineering or math) programs and to first-generation students.

Axalta is committed to furthering STEM and vocational education, as well as the health, safety and environment in its communities. The company, which also produces coatings for a wide range of industrial applications; light and commercial vehicle coatings; and refinish surface preparation and coating systems for autobody shops, has more than 100,000 customers across more than 140 countries.

“We are supporting Laurel Ridge because of their academic investments in STEM, which is helping to support the future leaders in our industry and beyond,” said Jessica McDuell, Axalta’s director of external communications. “Laurel Ridge is close to one of Axalta’s manufacturing centers, Front Royal, which allows for networking, internship opportunities and other interactions between the college and the company.
“For our more scientific roles, an array of STEM degrees is helpful, including engineering, chemistry, computer science and information technology.”

Axalta employs 1,300 scientists, engineers around the globe and other technical experts, and has four major research and development centers.

Learn more about scholarship opportunities, or how your gift can help a student in need, at


Founded in 1970, Laurel Ridge Community College is a multi-campus public institution of higher education. With three locations — Middletown, Warrenton, and Luray-Page County — the College serves eight localities in the Shenandoah Valley and northern Piedmont regions. The localities are the counties of Clarke, Fauquier, Frederick, Page, Rappahannock, Shenandoah and Warren and the city of Winchester. Laurel Ridge offers more than 75 associate degree and certificate programs in a wide variety of disciplines, in addition to providing access to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs offered on site by a four-year institution. Laurel Ridge also serves the business community by offering workforce preparation programs for employees and employers. Laurel Ridge serves more than 9,000 unduplicated credit students and more than 11,000 individuals in professional development and business and industry courses annually.

Laurel Ridge Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate degrees. Laurel Ridge Community College also may offer credentials such as certificates and diplomas at approved degree levels. Questions about the accreditation of Laurel Ridge Community College may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (

Laurel Ridge Community College is an equal opportunity institution providing educational and employment opportunities, programs, services, and activities. Laurel Ridge shall promote and maintain equal employment and educational opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, marital status, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions including lactation, age (except when age is a bona fide occupational qualification), status as a veteran, national origin, or other non-merit factors. Laurel Ridge also prohibits sexual misconduct including sexual violence or harassment. Inquiries may be directed to the Associate Vice President, Human Resources, [email protected]173 Skirmisher Lane, Middletown, VA 22645, 540-868-7226.

Laurel Ridge Community College was known as Lord Fairfax Community College until June 2022. For consistency purposes, the college will be referenced as Laurel Ridge going forward.