Almost two years after starting the job, Angeline Godwin will be formally installed as the new president of Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) next month.
An inauguration ceremony is set for 2 p.m. April 25 in Stone Hall on the campus. Former Gov. Gerald Baliles, a native of Patrick County, will be the keynote speaker.
Such ceremonies usually occur at least a year after college presidents start their jobs, said PHCC Public Relations and Marketing Manager Kris Landrum.
During the first year, Landrum said, presidents are busy getting to know their new colleges and communities.
Godwin became PHCC’s president on July 1, 2012. Her inauguration originally was planned for November 2013, but Longwood University President W. Taylor Reveley IV was installed that month.
PHCC decided to postpone Godwin’s event, Landrum said, because inaugurations are attended by presidents from other colleges along with state officials. Two inaugurations in a month might have been too hard on their schedules, she indicated.
Presidential inaugurations are important events because, for instance, they allow a college to celebrate its history and reaffirm its mission, enable a new president to publicly establish his or her goals for the college and provide an opportunity for the college to reach out to its community, Landrum said.
“We invite the community to come and join us” for Godwin’s inauguration, she said.
PHCC is designated by the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) to serve Martinsville, Henry and Patrick counties and southern Franklin County. Officials from those localities will be at the inauguration, Landrum said.
Inaugurations have been held at four-year colleges and universities for many years. Landrum said. However, “it’s only been in the past few years that (Virginia) community colleges have started having” the events “to show the importance of the services they offer to their regions and the state,” she added.
Godwin wanted Baliles to be the main speaker for her inauguration because they have worked together on projects and “she has great respect for him,” Landrum said.
“He has been a true champion for people in (PHCC’s) service region,” she said, such as by starting the Patrick County Educational Foundation, which helped people improve their education levels by earning GEDs, accessing job training programs and finding ways to go to college.
Other speakers during the inauguration will be:
• PHCC Board Chairman Eddie White, who will welcome attendees.
• John Downey, president of Blue Ridge Community College in Augusta County, who will introduce Baliles.
• Bronte Miller, PHCC’s associate professor of developmental math, who will speak on behalf of the college’s faculty members.
• Brenell Thomas, PHCC’s workforce programs coordinator, who will speak on behalf of other employees of the college.
• Brian Luckett, a student at the University of Virginia and former PHCC student, who will speak on behalf of the college’s alumni.
• Gary Collins, representing the PHCC Foundation, the college’s private fundraising arm.
• VCCS Chancellor Glenn DuBois, who will install Godwin as president. He will present her a presidential medallion and a ceremonial gavel.
• Godwin, who will deliver her inaugural address, and
• Lucas Prillaman, who will deliver closing remarks, representing PHCC students.
Landrum said Luckett and Prillaman were nominated by PHCC employees to speak because they are “examples of successful students,” both now and in the past.
The inauguration will last about 90 minutes, she estimated.
Although she does not yet know how much the inauguration will cost PHCC, Landrum said expenses will be paid through “a variety of sources,” including local, state and foundation funds.
“We’re trying to be conservative (on expenses) and do the event justice at the same time,” Landrum said.
Some items being bought for the inauguration, such as a new speaker’s podium, will be used repeatedly in the future, she added.
PHCC’s Note: Public is invited and sign language interpreter will be provided. Contact Scott Guebert if you have questions.
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