The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

September 26, 2013

Our Readers Speak — Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013

NRCTC, community will benefit from President Washington’s qualities

I was privileged to attend the recent inauguration of Dr. L. Marshall Washington as president of the New River Community and Technical College. It was a remarkable accomplishment for both Dr. Washington and the school in its 10th year serving southern West Virginia. The synergy of these two milestones strikes a harmonic chord of cosmic proportions and portends greatness for this union in the years ahead.

I have had the privilege of knowing Dr. Washington and his family as members of our church, Rhema Christian Center in Columbus, Ohio, where I serve as an elder under Dr. La Fayette Scales, apostle and founder. I met Marshall as a youth and have followed his academic endeavors. I was elated with his initial foray into the community college world, having served as a former member and board chairman of the Columbus State Community College (1993-99), I knew full well the value of his interest. At an early age, I believe the groundwork for seeking to help others realize their potential and dreams was forged as his personal mission.

Community colleges are world-class learning institutions, leading the way in economic and workforce development in many regions of this country, meeting the training needs of many companies and organizations. Dr. Washington, in his inaugural address, brings welcome news to the area competing for new industries and private investment, assuring a trained workforce for the future of the school’s multi-county service district.

 Community colleges also directly impact the gap in students matriculating to two- and four-year college programs.

As a native of Beckley whose family left the state seeking better employment opportunities in Pennsylvania, I celebrate this event. Seeing the next generation, like Dr. Washington, attain such a high position of leadership in education in West Virginia is gratifying.

Dr. Washington’s qualities as noted by David Nalker, chairman of the NRCTC Board of governors: intelligence, foresight, dedication, humanity and humility are a prescription for a long tenure of success and strategic growth for NRCTC under his leadership.

I know that he will also affirm your vote of confidence as the right man to lead NRCTC into its second decade with excellence!

William A. Dodson Jr.

Columbus, Ohio