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  • Op-ed with Dr. Jerry Wallace

    February has been a busy and rewarding month for Danville Community College (DCC). It has been my pleasure to participate in various visits and community outreach programs to connect with our partners and stakeholders. From touring local businesses to meeting with high school students, our college has been actively involved in engaging with the community.

    One of our highlights this month was welcoming Mr. Mark Funkey as our new Vice President of Workforce Services. Together, we embarked on the People & Places Tours to visit business and industry partners throughout the region. We have been able to share the wonderful things about the southern Virginia region with Mark, and I am glad to see the enthusiasm he brings to our institution. We’ve also introduced Mark to some of my favorite Danville spots: Links, Crema and Vine, and most recently, Joe & Mimma’s!

    Another exciting opportunity for DCC this month was hosting leaders from George Mason University to discuss initiatives and explore articulation agreements for DCC students. This shows that our graduates are prepared to succeed at the next level of higher education, and we are thrilled to work with prestigious institutions like GMU.

    On February 2, we had the opportunity to visit George Washington High School and speak with the 'Gentlemen by Choice' after-school student group. It was a great opportunity to discuss decision-making, values, and future plans with these students, and it gave me insight into what current students are facing in today's world
    I’d like to thank Twyla Grasty and Cory Williams for the invitation to speak.

    On February 7, DCC had a productive meeting with Hargrave Military Academy President Eric Peterson and Andy Sands on the DCC Campus to explore ways to be more visible in Pittsylvania County and provide courses in additional locations.

    In addition to these activities, we continued our People & Places Tour where we visited local businesses like EBI and Intertape on February 6; Sentara Halifax Hospital, Berry Hill Resort and Conference Center, the Halifax County Chamber of Commerce and Scott Simpson, Halifax County Administrator on February 13; and EPL, Danville Church & Community Tutorial Program, and Alliance for Excellence on February 20; Pittsylvania County Schools STEM Academy, Pittsylvania County Economic Development, Habitat for Humanity North Village, and Piedmont Precision on February 27.


    These tours provide insight into the needs of our local business and industry partners and how we can better respond to their training needs. It is wonderful to be engaged in building these relationships.

    On February 15, I was honored to attend an inauguration ceremony in Richmond for myself and two other VCCS Presidents who have come on board in the last year. We received our VCCS presidential medallions which will be worn at academic events, such as the DCC Commencement Ceremony on May 13. It is rewarding and humbling to serve the Danville region in this capacity and I am grateful for the opportunity.

    As a Michigander, I want to express my heartfelt condolences to the families, friends, and students affected by the recent mass shooting at Michigan State University.

    As an institution, we will continue to prioritize the safety of our employees, students, and visitors, and we are committed to preparing for these types of unfortunate events, including hosting a law enforcement active threat seminar for employees in March.

    My goal is always to ensure our employees, students and visitors are safe when they visit DCC.

    Overall, February has been an exciting and enriching month for Danville Community College, and I am thrilled for the opportunities that lie ahead. I am proud of the work we have done and will continue to do in the community to make a positive impact.

    Looking ahead to March, the community will soon see our two new tractor-trailer trucks on the road, marking the March 6 launch of our new CDL program. We are in the process of wrapping our new trailers in vinyl now, so you can’t miss them!

    I also want to announce that our dog Ace, who many of you have seen walking with Allyson and I around town, is becoming ‘Danville Famous’ with his new Instagram account, @DCCPREZPUP. Follow Ace for fun, engaging activities happening on the DCC campus, and even some exciting giveaways!