In the third largest contribution ever made to Patrick Henry Community College, the family of Anne Bassett Stanley Chatham has donated a house and property valued at approximately $1 million. Anne Bassett Stanley Chatham was the daughter of the late Virginia Governor Thomas B. Stanley and his wife Anne Pocahontas Bassett Stanley, and the granddaughter of John David Bassett, the original founder of Bassett Furniture.
The “Stanleytown Estate,” as it is known, is approximately 11,000 square feet on a little over one acre and includes a greenhouse in addition to the home, which was constructed in 1991. According to PHCC Foundation Executive Director Christopher Parker, the decision by the Chatham family to donate the property was in recognition of the college’s 50-plus years of dedication to the community.
PHCC is the recipient of the Stanleytown Estate, donated by the Chatham family. Pictured are (L-R) Christopher Parker, PHCC Vice President of Institutional Advancement Christopher Parker, Stan Chatham, PHCC President Angeline Godwin, and PHCC Foundation Chair Gary Collins.
“We may not be living in the community, but we are still very connected and passionate about the community and are honored to give Patrick Henry Community College this gift,” said Stan Chatham, son of Anne Chatham. “Mom and Dad were very passionate about education. They set up scholarship programs in Stanleytown and at the Stanleytown Church. Education has always been near and dear to them. It’s very nice to be able to make this happen.”
Chatham noted that the making the gift to the college was facilitated and made easy by working with Parker, PHCC Foundation Chair Gary Collins, PHCC President Dr. Angeline Godwin, and local businessman James “Nubby” Coleman. “It’s a way to give back to the community and back to the county. With the business connections my family has in the area, it’s an automatic fit. The first time I drove up to the college, through the beautiful trees and scenery, it reminded me so much of our grandparent’s home in Stanleytown and our home. It just makes sense; the more we thought about it, the better we felt about giving this gift.”
In addition to the home, the family left a number of antique furniture pieces and collectibles, as well as an art gallery full of historical memorabilia, which includes photos of Governor Stanley, Winston Churchill, and many other elected state and federal officials. Even the original canvas print of Governor Stanley that hung in the Governor’s Mansion will remain in the living room of the property. The value of these pieces has not yet been established, but will be added to the total contribution once an official appraisal has been made.
The donor’s intent of this gift is for the college to use the home to host events and functions for community outreach. According to PHCC President Angeline Godwin, the types of functions held in the home will include appreciation and celebration events; donor dinners and receptions; meetings and networking for the college and the Foundation; a venue for special continuing education programming; and accommodations for invited guests of the college as appropriate.
“As the president of the college, I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to use this incredible home for the benefit of the college and the community. Our goal is to leverage this asset for the good of our students as we support the college and the community that it serves,” Godwin said.
Parker said he and PHCC Foundation Chair Gary Collins worked with the Chatham family on the gift and said it will be put to valuable use to enhance and broaden the PHCC’s Foundation ability to fundraise and friend-raise.
“We are so grateful for the Chathams rekindling old ties to keep this history in Martinsville and Henry County. This will be here for another 50 years,” said Collins, referring to PHCC’s recent celebration of 50 years of serving the community.
“The PHCC Foundation is thrilled to accept such a wonderful gift from an amazing family. This property will be a huge asset to the college, the foundation and its overall mission,” Parker said.
The two largest gifts made previously to the college are $3.7 million from L. Dudley Walker and his sister Spotswood Walker Box used to build the Walker Fine Arts/Student Center in 1990 and $1.5 million from Kathryn N. Frith to build the J. Burness Frith Economic Development Center in 1999.