Corron Community Development Center Grand Opening Video
Good morning everyone. I'm Cheryl Thompson-Stacy and I'm the fourth president of Lord Fairfax Community College and this year happens to be the College's 40th anniversary. What a wonderful way to help celebrate that 40th anniversary. It's an honor to welcome you here today to this special event and I'm so pleased that all of you could come. Ribbon cuttings are so much fun – ground breakings are fun, but ribbon cuttings are even better. Someone asked me a couple of days ago 'well, when did the building open?' the answer, this morning so it's a true, true grand opening. Well, we've had a few issues that came up in construction and you are well aware and today we really are allowing the first group of people through so you you're the first customers that will see it. You'll notice some of the rooms don't even have furniture in there but let me assure you we do have enough money to purchase furniture even after paying for this building and it's just beautiful, you will love it. I do want to thank a few people who have worked extremely hard over this last week. I really didn't think we'd get it to this point. I was worried that you were all going to have to just look through the windows to see what it looked like, but Chris Boies and Bruce Armstrong and their entire group worked extremely hard throughout the week to get the finishing touches on and did a tremendous job. So, so thanks to them and all of the work from facilities and maintenance, planting, landscaping and everything else – we really appreciate it. This building is a thirty thousand square foot building that will support our Workforce Solutions and Continuing Education, our Small Business Development Center, the LFCC Educational Foundation and, in addition, Old Dominion University is partnering with LFCC to occupy a portion of the building which will allow us to expand our distance learning opportunities. There's classrooms, office space a 500-seat conference center inside the building that you will soon see, and this will allow us to help meet the needs of our students in our service region and enhance the skills of our regional workforce. This will help us also position LFCC as a quality provider of educational programs and workforce and customized training in the area. I did want to share some information about the wonderful couple that this building is named after, Mr. and Mrs. Corron. In December 1999, Mrs. Corron supplied the largest gift in the College's history when she made a substantial contribution to this facility. Why would she give such an important gift? Well, her and her husband have very strong ties to Warren County, having lived in Front Royal his entire life, and their strong belief in the value of education and how educational attainment can improve the quality of life for all of us – not only the students who attend here. Mr. LeRoy Corron was born and raised in Front Royal, and graduated from Warren County High School in 1923 and then attend UVA to receive his law degree from there. He then chose to come back home to Front Royal to practice law. A few years later, he met his wife, Shirley, while she was visiting the Shenandoah Valley for her best friend's wedding. When she came back the next summer, she met up with Mr. Corron again and they had a date every night as she said. The next year after that, in 1939, they were married and enjoyed 59 years of wedded bliss. I think that is just wonderful. Shortly after their marriage he joined the military and served in World War II. After his military service, he returned to Front Royal and went on to serve as a judge in Warren County for 26 years. Starting a family was a priority for them so they adopted a daughter, Francis Corron Jones, and she blessed them with three grandchildren – one of whom will speak a little later on in the program, Lauren Jones. I conclude with this, the Corrons will be forever known for their quiet generosity, their love of Front Royal and their desire to help those in need. This Center will stand as a reminder of their beautiful hearts and giving spirit. For two people who gave of their time and their money to make the community a better place to live, it is very fitting that an important community-oriented building will bear their names forever. I will now turn the program over to our speakers. If you can please follow along in your program, we have David Chase from Old Dominion; Peter Blake, Vice Chancellor of Virginia Community College System; Sharon Johnson, the Workforce Investment Board, Deb Taylor from Mercury Paper and Lauren Jones, the granddaughter of the Corrons. David? Thank you very much President Thompson Stacy. It's a pleasure to be here this morning representing the "Monarchs" of Old Dominion University. I'll keep my remarks brief this morning and trim some of the prepared remarks I had knowing that probably – it just got a lot shorter right there – knowing that it's a lot warmer where you are than I am. But, I do want to express on behalf of President Broderick, our pride in the long and successful relationship that we continue to enjoy with Lord Fairfax Community College. And let me say sincerely, it's a privilege for us to be on your campus and to feel at home in this marvelous new Center where we can continue our work together serving the needs of this community. Let me just say a few words about this partnership that began in 1994, almost 16 years ago. The goal then--as it is now, was to make it possible for people to earn a four-year degree without having to leave their home communities. Lord Fairfax was among this initial group of thirteen community colleges, or as we sometimes like to say back at campus — "it was one of the original thirteen colonies". ODU and Lord Fairfax were in the forefront of innovation then, just as we are today with the opening of the Corron Community Development Center. Our relationship has survived the test of time because it works. Nearly one fifth of ODU's student body attends classes at locations other than the main campus. In 1994, the focus was on degree completion programs at the bachelor's level. Today, our students are aiming higher for masters and even doctoral degrees. There are now 21 master's programs and five doctoral programs available through distance learning. Enrollments are growing as are the number of programs. At Lord Fairfax, we have graduated over 300 students with degrees in education, engineering technology, business, nursing, health sciences, and human services. These graduates come from all walks of life, but they share a common bond : a belief in the value of education. As I conclude, I want to acknowledge the great support that is rendered by ODU's leadership team here on campus. Their dedication and commitment are truly commendable. To Nancy Rudolph and Barbie Miller, I say thank you for all you do on behalf of the university and our students. Nancy couldn't be with us today, but Barbie Miller could. Thanks very much, Barbie. Last, but not least, I want to offer President Thompson Stacy a special note of thanks and appreciation. Her vision, her leadership, her commitment to this relationship will keep it vibrant and strong. I'm also grateful for the role she has played on the joint working group between VCCS and ODU and the contributions that you have made to that group that will keep the partnership healthy and relevant. So, let me dispense with other remarks here and just say the future is brighter now with the opening of this center. As Einstein said, he was a pretty bright guy, "imagination is more important than knowledge." We're just beginning to imagine the wonderful possibilities that are now before us with the new Corron Center. I look forward to meeting as many folks as I can during the self-guided tour. Thank you and congratulations to everyone involved in the project. Good morning. My name is Peter Blake. It's a pleasure to be here. Dr. Thompson-Stacy, congratulations. This is a wonderful day for you and for the whole Lord Fairfax Community College service region. I bring greetings from Chancellor Glenn Dubois, who I'm sure would like to be here but was unable to make it so I'm happy to represent him today. And I tell you it's inspiring to look around and see this facility... not because it's beautiful and functional which you will soon learn when you take your tours, but because it illustrates broad community support.
And recognizes the central role the community college - this community college in particular - plays in regional economic development. Four years ago - five years ago - then-governor Tim Kaine said that he thought community colleges should be the central leader in workforce development across the Commonwealth and he made fiscal policy changes to bring that about. And it turns out that he was ahead of his time, just as this community - with the development of this facility - is way ahead of its time. Look around at what's going on at the federal level up at the state level and the major educational foundations right now. In so many places, they're developing policies and initiatives that place the community college right in the middle of the community economic workforce development. So, congratulations on this accomplishment here today and on your vast success up to this point and best wishes as you embark on future challenges. Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here. Good morning! Thank you Dr. Thompson-Stacy for the opportunity to be part of the grand opening for the Corron Community Development Center. The Shenandoah Valley Workforce Investment Board began working closely with Workforce Solutions here at LFCC two years ago. The objective was to identify a high growth industry sector and develop a strategic regional workforce plan. Under the leadership and with the vision of Jeanian Clark, the ideas were really flowing. Now – here we are two years later. We are working diligently with fourteen partners, including education and training providers, the public workforce system and one-stop centers, economic development, and countless employers. And we have a $5M budget to provide skill development for greening of our workforce. We are successfully working to aggressively address emerging workforce needs. Anyone who partners with LFCC understands that synergistic activities abound on and off of this campus. Through the synergistic actions of many, this magnificent new building symbolizes the vision of a college that is strongly, steadily, and confidently moving forward to meet and surpass the current and emerging needs of employers, workers and the community. On behalf of the Shenandoah Valley Workforce Investment Board and the 16 localities we represent for workforce development, we congratulate you, Dr. Thompson-Stacy and your outstanding team on this accomplishment and the many successes that lie ahead. Thank you! Good morning, almost afternoon. My name is Deborah Taylor. I am the human resource manager for Mercury paper in Strasburg. Our company started operations in April of this year. When we started recruiting and identifying the skill set of the folks we would need to staff our facility, I turned to LFCC for assistance. Jeanian, Larry Baker and I sat down to talk about the skill assessments; the training needs the developing – determining how LFCC would be able to assist us in building our people through a foundation and training. Since that time, the Workforce Solutions group has instructed numerous workshops for our management staff and our employees. Through these workshops we've been able to build upon the skill set of the already experienced leaders that we've been able to recruit through the community. We passed on the knowledge of our HR laws, recruiting and interviewing skills, teamwork and HR concepts, to those leaders that are involved in and making decisions regarding the hiring of their staff on a day-to-day basis. We recruited and hired 107, 127 employees to date and will continue along this journey as we grow and expand our operations. We developed a culture and environment that is team centered and employee focused. We train our operators in hard skills and soft skills from anywhere from four to six weeks. At Mercury Paper we are centered and focused on the development of our people and it's through our people that you become and remain successful and we will continue to utilize the resources at LFCC, along with our pathway to success, so that we remain successful together. I'd like to thank Dr. Thompson-Stacy, Jeanian Clark and their commitment to not only Mercury Paper, but also to the businesses in the region for their ongoing support and their interactions with our businesses on a day-to-day basis to assist us in remaining successful as we expand. So, congratulations on your expansion as we expand along with you. Thank you very much. I'd like to start by thanking everyone for being here today and introducing my niece, Nicole Jones, who is also here with me today. She would have been the great granddaughter of the Corrons. I have many memories of my grandparents: we used to take Christmas presents to local businesses; I've never seen my grandfather without a coat and tie, and my grandmother never rode in the front seat of a car; they always had burnt toast for breakfast. But, the one thing I'll always remember is their love for education. This love is now carried through me. Not only did I develop this passion, but I learned how valuable and how it affected the community whether it was tutoring at local schools, volunteering at events, or making a small donation. Every little bit helps to make a strong community. These small gestures help shape our future leaders. My grandparents felt it was important to give back so the future generations had a place to share their passion for education and begin building a strong successful community. Although I'll never eat burnt toast with them again, I'll continue to carry their love for education with me. Because of my grandparent's values and passions I am pursuing a career as a teacher. It is my hope that the Corron Community Center will provide a place for Lord Fairfax students to learn to grow and build their future so they can give back to the community like my grandparents did. Thank you. At this time I want to introduce three other people who are sitting up front. We have John Vance, the Lord Fairfax Community College Board Chairperson; Peter Heffern from Lantz Construction, who built this beautiful building and Benjamin Keeney from Burt Hill Architects who designed it. Thank you. I'd like to ask everyone seated up front to join me - there's only one pair of scissors and I get them. I want to make just a couple more remarks. There's one other person I want to introduce you to, Dr. Marilyn Beck. Marilyn, where are you? Marilyn back there. I'd like to say a few words about Marilyn Beck. Marilyn was president of Lord Fairfax Community College from 1988 to about 2003 – do I have that right Marilyn? And this building was a gleam in her eye when she was here and she started the first step toward achieving this great accomplishment. So, it might have taken 22 years, Marilyn but we're here. As you take tours of the building, I wanted to point out just a couple more areas to please look at. These areas are named after other significant donors who made today possible. In the main lobby we have the Marion Lewis Atrium. The multipurpose room on the first floor is for Carl and Emily Thompson. The conference room on the first floor is the Henkel Harris Conference Room. The executive board room on the second floor is the American Woodmark Foundation Boardroom, and the conference room on the second floor is the BB&T Blue Ridge Region Conference Room. And, we thank all of those individuals and businesses for helping to support education in our community, and now you can get out of the hot sun. Please go forward into the building. There's refreshments in the conference room and thank you once more.