Followups - November 2018

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Baliles proposes a ‘Marshall Plan’to assist Virginia’s rural areas
Former Gov. Gerald Baliles has proposed a “Marshall Plan” aimed at improving the economy of rural Virginia.

In a September speech to the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, Baliles, who served as governor from 1986 to 1990, said that, while the urban “Gold Crescent” stretching from Northern Virginia to Virginia Beach has prospered, the “rural horseshoe” has not.

“If you were to take the ‘rural horseshoe’ and hold it up against the Golden Crescent, the contrasts are stunning. Two Virginias!” Baliles said. “Moreover, according to our community college system officials, if the ‘rural horseshoe’ region were considered a separate state, it would be tied for dead last with Mississippi and West Virginia for educational attainment levels” in percentage of residents with high-school diplomas and college degrees.

He proposed creating an educational trust fund for rural areas using money now held by the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission. The commission provides grants for projects throughout Southern and Southwest Virginia using money from a 1999 settlement between 46 states and major tobacco companies. The commission has about a half billion dollars remaining in its account.

Virginia Business discussed the economic disparities of the “Two Virginias” in its March cover story.

W&M president’s home gets national exposure
The president’s home at the College of William & Mary received star billing in an early October issue of The Wall Street Journal. William & Mary President Katherine A. Rowe and her husband, Bruce Jacobson, live in the 5,763-square-foot brick house, which was built in 1732. Its visitors have included George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and every president from Woodrow Wilson to Dwight Eisenhower.

The WSJ story, which appeared in its weekly Mansion section, also featured the homes of the presidents of Harvard, Cornell, MIT, Salve Regina University, the University of Alabama and University of Washington.

Virginia Business interviewed Rowe for its August issue after she became the first female president of William & Mary in its 325-year history.

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