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Awarded DSLCC Medallion of Merit

Dr. John Grimes Named DSLCC Medallion of Merit Recipient

Clifton Forge, VA (July 15, 2020) - Dr. John Grimes, a well-known educator and philanthropist who returned to his home town of Clifton Forge several years ago, has been named the 2020 recipient of the prestigious Medallion of Merit Award by the Dabney S. Lancaster Community College Local Board.

A 1967 graduate of Clifton Forge High School, Dr. Grimes was a member of the CFHS basketball team that won a state championship. He later played collegiate ball and served in the United States Army.

“John is such a quiet, unassuming individual who wants his frequent gestures of generosity to remain anonymous that few know how much he cares for and supports the Alleghany Highlands,” commented former Clifton Forge Town Manager Darlene Burcham, who submitted the nomination. “He has spent most of his time helping others.”

Dr. Grimes, an avid supporter of DSLCC, has established four scholarships at the College: One is for a nursing student, in the name of his late sister, Ethel Mae Grimes Dorsey, who was a nurse; another in the name of the late George Goode, who served as Clifton Forge’s mayor; a third is in the name of the late Colin B. Ferguson, who was Grimes’ high school basketball coach and remained a close friend; and the fourth is for employees or family members of employees of the town of Clifton Forge. Mrs. Burcham noted that recently a public works employee took advantage of the scholarship to become more technologically proficient.

“The town employees deserve appreciation and support because without them we could not have a town,” says Dr. Grimes.

In addition to extensive scholarship support for DSLCC students, Dr. Grimes has supported College Advancement initiatives through contributions to DSLCC Athletics, the DSLCC Library, and the College’s Buildings and Grounds department.

"John Grimes is the epitome of this award,” noted DSLCC President Dr. John Rainone. “He has made a significant contribution to the betterment of life to the world, region, and DSLCC’s service area. We are proud of and honored by his support, and we could not be prouder to award him this recognition.”

Dr. Grimes also has established and administers a self-funded foundation (the Grimes Family Foundation) to help with the educational and welfare needs in the U.S. and Latin America.

He holds an Associate Degree in Business, a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics, and a PhD in Rehabilitation Psychology from the University of Georgia. He was a university professor for more than 30 years, with academic appointments at the University of Tennessee, the University of Hawaii, the University of Louisiana, and the Ave Marie University in Nicaragua.

Dr. Grimes can often be seen on his almost daily, long walks through the town, where he encounters many local residents and usually gives them his undivided attention. Incidentally, he says, his walks closely parallel the route he took when he was a newspaper carrier for the Daily Review as a teenager.

He purchased land in Clifton Forge 40 years ago, with the intention of building a home, which he did. He says although he’s lived in many different places, he always wanted to come back to Clifton Forge. “I’ve always felt that Clifton Forge is a special community,” he says. “It was a wonderful place to grow up, and it’s a great place to live.”

The Medallion of Merit was established in 1979 to recognize individuals or organizations that have made a significant contribution to the betterment of life to the world, nation, Commonwealth, region, or DSLCC’s service area.

Other recipients of the Medallion of Merit Award have included Senator Buzz Emick of Fincastle, Elizabeth Scott of Clifton Forge, Mr. & Mrs. Charles Stumpp of Covington, Christine Herter Kendall of Bath County, the City of Lexington, Norman C. Scott of Clifton Forge, Dr. Mary A. Thayer of Botetourt County, Lily M. Albert of Covington, Dr. James C. Bradford of Buena Vista, Wilford P. Ramsey of Buena Vista, Adelaide (Bari) Ballou of Clifton Forge, Bernice Ford of Clifton Forge, G.C. Thompson, Jr. of Botetourt County, Hugh S. Gwin of Bath County, DeWitt S. Worrell of Lexington (posthumously), George R. Goode, Sr. of Clifton Forge, Kathryn C. Buhrman of Botetourt County, Harry A. Walton, Jr. of Alleghany County, Nadine Paxton Rankin of Botetourt County, Donnie Wheatley of Alleghany County, Ruth Middleton of Covington, Jack A. Hammond of Alleghany County, Harold F. Kidd of Buena Vista, Betty Carpenter of Covington, Linda Law Krantz of Rockbridge County, Joseph H. Carpenter, III of Alleghany County, Irma Blake Thompson of Buena Vista, and Eddie Graham of Clifton Forge.

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