April was a busy month as we near the end of a very successful spring 2023 semester at Danville Community College.
We have been working hard to advance the educational opportunities for our students and enhance our partnerships with the community.
One of the highlights of the month was filming DCC’s episode of “Viewpoint with Dennis Quaid,” a documentary series that will air nationally on PBS, CNN and MSNBC. They selected Danville Community College to be featured as “Leaders in the Future of Community College Education.”
We are grateful for the support of our partners Caesars Virginia, the city of Danville and Dan River Falls, who allowed us to showcase the up-close and personal developments going on in Danville. This documentary will air on national television later this year, and we are excited to share our story with the world.
As a parent-to-be, I was also delighted to attend a beautiful baby shower on April 4, where the DCC family of faculty and staff gifted my daughter Kennedy Marie Wallace her first books as a start to her personal library. The shower was a heartwarming celebration and I am grateful to everyone who gifted, set up, or attended the event.
Another significant event this month was the city of Danville Economic Development Tour of Facilities on April 5, where we explored possible facilities to expand course offerings — specifically in construction trades. We understand the need for affordable housing options and are committed to responding to the construction industry needs and the community housing shortage.
On April 6, we hosted the DCC Thirsty Thursday Workforce Event in Halifax County in partnership with the Danville Community College Educational Foundation. Employers and industry leaders came out to Factory Street Brewing Company to learn more about what DCC has to offer in terms of customized training and workforce development.
I had the privilege of presenting to up and coming leaders in the region during a Leadership Southside session hosted on the DCC campus on April 11. It was an engaging and reflective conversation about leadership strategies and our changing workplace environments.
We were honored to host Chancellor Dr. Dore on April 13, where he participated in multiple sessions with faculty, staff, and students and toured our campus. It was an exciting day of showing off all of the amazing things that DCC is doing for our students and our community. I also had the pleasure of presenting to the Danville Kiwanis Club the same day, sharing updates about Danville Community College. The Kiwanis Club is a valued partner of the college and has made contributions to sponsor scholarships and support capital campaign projects.
I want to extend my most sincere congratulations to Dr. Greg Hodges, president of Patrick & Henry Community College, on his investiture ceremony on April 14. His journey and commitment to his community are truly inspiring, and we look forward to working together to enhance the educational opportunities in our region.
April 15 was an especially fun day for me as Allyson and I participated in the Old Dominion Classic Sports Car Club Cars & Coffee event at Crema & Vine. We had a blast bringing out our 1976 Thunderbird, drinking coffee and meeting new people. We also look forward to participating in the Riverview Rotary Car Show on May 20.
Following the DCC Educational Foundation board meeting on April 17, Allyson and I were surprised yet again with more beautiful gifts for our daughter Kennedy. Thank you to all of the DCCEF board members, Shannon Hair and Cheryl Hill for thinking of our growing family.
On April 18, we recognized George and Leah Shields’ donation to the DCC HVAC program and the naming of the George and Leah Shields Student Center at the Chancellor Philanthropic Luncheon. We are so grateful for their generous gift to our students and were proud to be there as the Shields family was officially recognized.
We attended the VCCS Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Luncheon on April 19 where we recognized the accomplishments of our Upsilon Phi Chapter. We are so proud of all of our PTK members and work they put in to make our campus a better place for everyone. I am also especially thankful for Mary Motley and Jonathan Evans, two members of our faculty who commit their time and talents to ensuring we have a robust PTK chapter here on campus.
U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine hosted a Business Development Round Table at the Southern Virginia Mega Site on April 21. The senator’s office invited key leaders in the community to collaborate and share current practices to support business and industry, and we are proud to lead in providing programs and services to enhance the region.
The DCC Executive Cabinet traveled to South Boston on April 24 to meet with the leadership of the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center (SVHEC) and to discuss the strengthening of our partnerships. We had the unique opportunity to tour their facilities and get a first-hand look at all of the amazing things students are doing at the SVHEC. I want to give Dr. Betty Adams a huge thank you for hosting us and for personally leading our tour.
On April 25, we had a fun and exciting time observing our precision machining students competing in the Third Annual Derby Racing event. It was fascinating to watch the many different derby cars race down the track for the win. I had a chance to cast my vote for the “coolest design” category, too. It was a difficult vote because each car was unique and a reflection of our individual students’ personalities and interested. Congratulations to the winners.
We hosted the DCC Career Fair on April 26 to provide our students with valuable networking opportunities and potential employment. More than 50 employers came out to Oliver Hall to meet with our students and discuss opportunities for employment and professional development.
As we look forward to the future, we are excited to celebrate our students at the DCC Commencement Ceremony on May 13. McKenzie Snow, deputy secretary of education for the commonwealth of Virginia will serve as our keynote speaker as we recognize the hard work and accomplishments that culminate in this wonderful celebration of our graduates.
As always, I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to serve DCC and the surrounding region. Allyson and I have been regularly dining at Stateline Diner in the Schoolfield neighborhood and we love the family atmosphere of the restaurant. “Strawberry” is our favorite waitress so stop by Stateline Diner, you might catch us there. I cannot express how inspiring the outpouring of support has been these last nine months. The next time I write, I will be a new father and I cannot wait for Kennedy to know about the wonderful community she will be joining.