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FIRST VIRGINIA WESTERN GRAD CAME TO COLLEGE AND STAYED FOR A CAREER Charlie Newell still has his original diploma — and the program — from his graduation from Virginia Western Community College. There were six liberal arts majors and 18 business majors (including Newell). The rest of his credentials were in engineering technology. “If it had not been for the community college system I probably would not have gotten an education,” says Newell. “I was raised by a single mother – and money was a rare commodity.” But after a short stint in the U.S. Marine Corps after high school and a job back home in an auto parts store, Newell knew he wanted more out of life. At $45 per credit hour, the newly opened Virginia Western Community College fit the bill. Newell graduated in the first class after VWCC opened as part of the community college system. After graduating, he took a job in the business office – and stayed until his retirement in 2000, ultimately obtaining an MBA from Averett Unviersity. His master’s thesis was creating the first accounting automation system ever used at Virginia Western. Says Newell, “The community college system was one of the best things that happened to many Virginians, including me.”

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VCCS 50th Anniversary Annual Report