DUDLEY — Nichols College has received a $25,000 gift that will be used to endow a scholarship for undergraduate students at the college who are from the local area. The generous commitment was made by James L. Dunbar, founder and chairman of The Dunbar Companies of Maryland.

“Jim Dunbar is a highly respected leader in his field, and we are proud to count him among our success stories,” said Nichols College President Susan West Engelkemeyer, Ph.D. “He has also been a generous supporter and enthusiastic advocate for Nichols. We thank him for this latest gift of an endowed scholarship which will open doors for many students.”

A 1951 graduate of Nichols College, Dunbar is founder and chairman of The Dunbar Companies — the largest independently owned armored transport, cash vault services, and full-service security firm in the United States. Throughout his more than 60-year career, he has been the nation’s most respected authority on matters involving the armored car industry and a frequent advisor to law enforcement agencies, industry associations, and the U.S. Congress. He has published articles on security for industry magazines and is author of the book BULLETPROOF: A History of Armored Cars and the Colorful Characters Who Ran Them, Rode Them, and Sometimes Robbed Them, the only comprehensive history of the American armored car industry currently in print.

Dunbar’s reputation as one of the nation’s most noteworthy entrepreneurs has been the focus of attention on both the local and national levels. In 1998, he received the “Entrepreneur of the Year Award” for Business Services in Maryland recognizing his distinguished career in the armored car industry.  And his tales of success have been featured stories of both local and national broadcasts. He has appeared as a featured entrepreneur on the CNNfn cable TV broadcast Entrepreneurs Only, and his armored car mini-museum—located at his corporate headquarters in Hunt Valley, Md. — has been the subject of the Baltimore television program Coffee With (WJZ).

When it came to contributing to Nichols, Dunbar — who was awarded an honorary degree from Nichols College in 2004 and the college’s first President’s Medal for Distinguished Business Leadership in 2008 — said he wanted to give back to his alma mater in a meaningful way by endowing a second scholarship. The first, made in 2003, in honor of the College’s criminal justice management program, which he helped create.

“As a former student and longtime supporter of Nichols College’s mission to transform today’s students into tomorrow’s leaders, it has been my pleasure to help establish and support the Nichols criminal justice management program and sponsor educational events with ASIS International, the New York Police Department, and Federal Bureau of Investigation,” said Dunbar, who served honorably in the U.S. Army Reserve Unit formed by then-Nichols College President Col. James L. Conrad Sr. “Today, I am delighted to expand my support to Nichols College by way of contributing a general scholarship to help further career-focused business and professional education and develop well-educated citizens.”

The Dunbar scholarship is one of 39 new endowed scholarships created during the College’s Bicentennial Campaign.

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