LaVonne Ellis retired after more than three decades as a faculty member at Tidewater Community College. But, for Ellis, retirement was only the beginning. Ellis was appointed to the State Board for Community Colleges in 2012 and used her tenure to visit nearly all 23 community colleges. “I don’t have a favorite college because each campus is different. Each one has different programs,” she said.
A LIFELONG COMMITMENT TO
In 2015, inspired by her visits across the VCCS, Ellis endowed a scholarship through the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education. “I felt it was worth it. I’m not a rich person. However, I enjoy giving and helping.” Though her state board tenure has ended, Ellis remains focused on the VCCS, cheering on efforts to reach the Complete 2021 goal of tripling the number of credentials annually awarded statewide. “We have a lot of good faculty members and people who work very hard. I think the approach that’s being taken is a good one.” Ellis says she holds high hopes for what Virginia’s Community Colleges will accomplish over their next 50 years. “I just hope we as an organization continue to flourish and continue to do a great job in educating people.”