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John Fentener van Vlissingen (pictured at the College’s 2019 Commencement)

Cover Story Background: John Fentener van Vlissingen

The cover story this issue features The van Vlissingen Center for Career and Professional Development, which supports the College’s new strategic initiatives, Pivot Toward the Future, 2020-23, approved by the Board of Trustees in March 2020.
Posted October 01, 2020

The Center is made possible by a gracious gift of $5 million from The van Vlissingen Student Foundation. John Fentener van Vlissingen (pictured left at the College’s 2019 Commencement) is the founder and chairman of the board of BCD Group, the third largest business travel company in the world.

The van Vlissingens are a well-known Dutch family who founded one of the world’s largest private trading groups, SHV, in Utrecht, in 1896. Originally coal traders, today their interests include transport, animal feed, oil and gas exploration and financial services. Van Vlissingen made a career outside of the family business when he formed BCD Group. Originally established in 1975 as a real estate investment company, van Vlissingen expanded the company’s interests into travel and travel-related services.

“We are fortunate for the van Vlissingen family’s interest in Emory & Henry students,” said President Wells.

“John van Vlissingen has great empathy for students who thirst for the guidance and skills that will lead them to the working world. His support to build and staff this professional development center will leave a legacy for the College and the region.”

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