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Grand Opening shows off new Kilmarnock Center

RCC Kilmarnock Center Grand Opening

RCC Kilmarnock Center Grand Opening

“We are bringing dozens of colleges to this site,” said Rappahannock Community College president Dr. Elizabeth Crowther at the Grand Opening of the college’s new Kilmarnock Center on January 21. In addition to offering RCC classes and services, and access to its four-year educational partners (Mary Baldwin College, Old Dominion University, and the University of Mary Washington) as well as its Guaranteed Admission Agreements with 38 universities, the new center will literally open up a world of education to local users. “The technology in this building gives our students access to learning worldwide,” said Dr. Crowther, “and allows us to originate instruction, or to share that of other campuses and sites as needed.”

“We have studied the possibility of putting a site in Kilmarnock for some time,” Crowther revealed, “but it took development of local commitment to make this happen.” She introduced a number of dignitaries representing groups that contributed toward the realization of the college’s plan. Among these was Kilmarnock mayor Raymond Booth, who said, “Welcome to the neighborhood!” and affirmed that the Center “will become a great addition to the community. Its presence adds a great dynamic to the town of Kilmarnock,” he said.

Also welcoming RCC to the county—“you have set a new standard for education in the community,” he said—was Dr. Daniel Lukich, Lancaster County’s superintendent of schools. The Lancaster Community Investors were represented by Mike Christopher, who said on their behalf, “We are proud of our new tenants. The Kilmarnock Center will better the lives of everyone in the county.”

“It’s moments like these when community colleges really do shine,” said Virginia Community College System chancellor Dr. Glenn DuBois. “The mission of Virginia’s community colleges is to give everyone the opportunity to learn and develop the right skills so that lives and communities are strengthened. Only education can create opportunities for people who are hungry to learn something new or to acquire a new skill.” He commented that the extraordinary turnout—about 400 visitors during the two-hour reception—was a special compliment to RCC.

“Today is a special day for the educational, economic, and local community,” agreed Congressman Rob Wittman. “This Center will allow the community to respond to companies’ needs for an educated workforce.”

Also attending was RCC College Board chair Joan Faulkner, who has been associated with RCC since its founding as student, employee, and administrator.

Crowther stated, however, that the most important of the dignitaries attending the reception were the college’s own employees. She emphasized that without the weeks of hard work put in by RCC staff—particularly the information technology and building and grounds departments—the creation of the Center would not have been possible.

Many staff members had comments to offer. Faculty member Dr. Karen Newtzie reported that she heard people “making excited remarks about finally being able to take classes close to home—in computer technology, nursing, and business ownership—as well as earning transfer degrees from RCC. I’m looking forward to working with students at the Kilmarnock center!” she added. Student services specialist Ava Lewis was approached by several local citizens who asked about enrolling in information technology classes. “They were impressed by the state of the art technology at the Kilmarnock Campus,” she said.

“There was lots of energy and excitement in the new building,” said Gloria Savage-Early, Old Dominion University’s campus representative at RCC. Administrative assistant Marlene Cralle called the occasion “an all-around wonderful day for RCC. There was such diversity in attendance. In our Workforce Department alone, there were requests and inquiries for a variety of workshops, ranging from beginning computer classes to training opportunities for a boat [ship?] captain’s license.” Assistant professor of English Leslie Norris said, “I look forward to teaching at the Kilmarnock campus because of its computer offerings. I heard several visitors mention that they were impressed with the ‘high-tech’ look and the spaciousness of the Kilmarnock campus.

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Image caption:

Top row, left to right: B.H. Hubbard, Dr. Crowther, Jimmy Carter, John Bott, Vic Clough, Tom Goss, and Myra Palin.

Second row, left to right: Rob Wittman, Vivi Miller with her mother Loftan Miller, Petie Norris, and Dr. Glenn DuBois.

Third row, left to right: Dr. Daniel Lukich, Tom Saunders, Lindsy Gardner, Mike Christopher, Mike Jenkins, Rob Wittman, David Mann, Dr. Glenn DuBois, Raymond Booth, Joan Faulkner, Ernest Palin, Jack Russell, and Bill Pennell.


Fourth row: Night view of the Kilmarnock Center.

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