Although he’s not a stranger — he’s been sitting in the chair since March — Dr. L. Marshall Washington became better known to southern West Virginians Saturday as he was inaugurated as the third president of New River Community and Technical College.
As he was lauded by New River officials and others at the ceremony — and through his actions since his spring arrival — it is apparent Washington is the right person to lead the college into its second decade.
In his previous position as vice president and CEO of Harrisburg Area Community College in Pennsylvania, Lancaster Campus, Washington led a successful accreditation process for two occupational programs, developed and established campus planning strategies that resulted in a facility master plan and improved the campus scholarship campaign.
David Nalker, president of the New River Community and Technical College Board of Governors, said that the board selected Washington for his intelligence, foresight, dedication, humanity and humility.
All of those qualities can be seen in his actions and in his speech.
He gives credit to great-grandparents who settled in this area years ago. His grandfather was a coal miner for 30 years. Surely some of his perceptions were formed by those associations and should give him insight into some of the special circumstances of New River’s nontraditional students.
Last week as he spoke to a congregation at Heart of God Ministries in Beckley, he said it is important to be open and transparent to the public because he works to serve people.
A refreshing outlook, we believe.
He said he wants people to know that he is a real person, that even though he is the president, he still goes through struggles just like everyone else.
In order to help, he said at Saturday’s event, sometimes it takes someone to look at things differently.
With his roots in West Virginia and his stellar education background, he is that person.
Yes, we agree with Saturday’s inauguration speakers — Dr. L. Marshall Washington is the person to guide New River Community and Technical College into its second decade.