Page 4

A MESSAGE FROM OUR CHANCELLOR History, they say, is a story well told. So where do we begin in sharing with you the tale of our first 50 years? Do we open by sharing the stories of individual triumph? This might just be my favorite story because this is my story. Virginia’s Community Colleges have served more than 2.6 million people since our doors opened in 1966. How many of those people, like me, walked into a classroom or laboratory unsure of who they were, what they could do, or who they could be? Where would they be today and how different would our communities be without their contribution? Thank goodness we’ll never know. Do we start by telling you about our role in economic development and partnering


with Virginia businesses? The endless push of technology, in every area of our lives, inspired our creation. What would those business leaders say about the hundreds of industry-recognized certificates and credentials for which we are training people today? What would they think about the customized training we provide more than 13,000 companies every year? Do we lead off with a reminder of the incredible vision and courage it took to build Virginia’s Community College System? A young governor, 50 years ago, convinced Virginians to take a chance. Through a referendum, they accepted a tax they didn’t want for a promise of something they had never had: a comprehensive community college system. What would Governor Mills Godwin, Chancellor Dana Hamel and all those who

worked with them say today about the crowning achievement of their life’s work? Or should we simply focus on the future, describing the Virginia we hope to see, and build, over the next 50 years from our busiest urban centers to our bucolic rural regions? Earning a postsecondary credential is no longer optional for those who pursue their American Dream. Our colleges strive to triple the number of credentials our students earn over the next six years – a down payment, if you will, on our larger aspiration of seeing a college graduate in every Virginia home over the next 50 years. What will they say when we reach that goal? I can’t wait.

VCCS 50th Anniversary Annual Report