Dennis Witt has been named chairman of the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center’s Board of Trustees. He was unanimously selected to the position at the Friday board meeting. Witt will replace Mattie Cowan who has served as chairman since 2017.

“The SVHEC has been blessed with superior board leadership, and Dennis Witt certainly fits that mold,” said Dr. Betty Adams, SVHEC executive director. “From chairing the Southern Virginia Higher Education Foundation to serving on the SVHEC Board’s Executive Committee, he has been intimately involved in the center’s growth and development for the past five years. Furthermore, Dennis’ steady hand is exactly what we will need to navigate the challenges of COVID-19.”

He was first appointed to the SVHEC’s Board of Trustees by Gov. Terry McAuliffe in October 2017 and was reappointed to the board in December by Gov. Ralph Northam. Witt also is a member and former chairman of the Southern Virginia Higher Education Foundation board.

A resident of the town of Halifax, Witt brings 40 years of public service experience to his role as board chairman. He is a retired educator who served as a superintendent for 19 years, the last seven years as superintendent of Halifax County Public Schools. Witt was recognized for his school leadership on multiple occasions, including being named the Virginia Region VIII Superintendent of the Year in 1999.

Having held multiple elected positions, Witt is recognized as a dedicated public servant. He is a past member of the Halifax Town Council, GO Virginia Region 3 Council and past member and chairman of the Halifax County Board of Supervisors.

In remarks to the board following his selection as chairman Witt stated, “It’s an honor and a privilege and is humbling to be chairman of this distinguished board. I want to thank this board and all previous boards for the vision, dedication and commitment to expand post-secondary opportunities for Halifax County and Southside Virginia.”

Witt also extended thanks to outgoing chairman Cowan for her “steady hand and outstanding leadership over the last two years,” and to Adams and the SVHEC staff “for their tireless efforts to continue providing services for our citizens and students.”

The board is made up of business and community leaders who are devoted to Southern Virginia and to the belief that education is the catalyst for change.

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