By Taylor Boyd
Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) President Dr. Angeline Godwin gave her final report to the board at the May 17 meeting.
“It takes more than a global pandemic to stop Patrick Henry Community College from maintaining and moving forward in its number one goal and vision, and it is always about student success,” said Godwin, who became the college’s third president in 2012. She will retire July 1.
Given all the challenges and all the circumstances of this year, “I think you’re going to see that while the world somewhat froze and paused, our college realized that we had students to take care of. We had a community to serve, and that we could not be stopped or halted in anyway because we were in the middle of a pandemic,” Godwin said.
As the campus was closed last year, Godwin said she expected it would take about two weeks for classes to fully transition to virtual instruction.
“Within less than four days, our faculty stood up a 100 percent remote environment, even in the most challenging, hands-on classes,” she said.
Since announcing her retirement earlier this year, Godwin said students have shared amazing stories about the impact of PHCC on their lives.
“You really may not realize that this college is not just a part of getting an education or degree, or something that you put on the wall, and it’s not about just getting a certificate,” nor is it about getting a job or starting a new career, she said.
Rather, Godwin said PHCC represents a life change and a complete transition for an entire family by providing one person in a family the opportunity to see “Patrick Henry Community College as the tool they can use to put that family on another” level.
In many cases, the college becomes the pivot point for an entire family as “one person’s education changes the course of that family,” she said.
As she prepares to step down, Godwin said her mother always said two things about retirement.
“Number one, retire when you absolutely love what you’re doing. Retire when you still have that passion burning for you of what you’re doing,” Godwin said.
“She also said you’ll know when it’s time, and now it’s time. Serving as your president has been the greatest honor of my life. I love it. I love this community, and I love this college. Nothing’s going to change about that, I’ll always be your greatest cheerleader,” she said.
To commemorate her retirement, the PHCC board of directors issued a resolution and recommendation “to the Chancellor of the Virginia Community College System and to the State Board of Community Colleges that effective upon her retirement,” Godwin be honored for her “meritorious service and significant contributions with the distinction of the title President emeritus of Patrick Henry Community College with all rights and privileges as established and conveyed by the chancellor and the state board.”
In other matters, the PHCC board:
*Approved the local funds budget for FY 2022.
*Approved an additional $500,000 be given to for the renovation of PHCC Manufacturing and Engineering Technologies Complex.
John Hanbury, vice president of Financial and Administrative Services, said $3.8 million was the initial estimate years ago.
“We secured a grant from The Harvest Foundation, $3.2 million, and that grant from the Tobacco Commission was $600,000,” he said. Last year, the board also approved an additional $500,000 in local funds be added to renovation project.
“In April we opened bids for the project, and we were somewhat stunned that the low bid was about $800,000 more than what we had budgeted, including the $500,000 in local funds,” he said.
The increase, Hanbury said, was primarily due to the increase in material and labor costs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“If we don’t inject additional funding into the project, we have to rebid the project, and the labor costs will go up about 30 percent. Second, we value-engineered about $300,000,” which still leaves the project $500,000 short, he said.
The MET project will be for the welding program, which has become a popular department in its more than 40 years of activity.
Dr. Colin Ferguson, Dean of STEM-HAP, said the center’s design would have 45 stations and have a double-horseshoe layout, which would allow for two classes of 20 students each. The additional five stations would be space would be used for specialty training.
*Discussed PHCC’s enrollment. Dr. Greg Hodges, vice president of Academic and Student Success Services, said enrollment was down 9.7 percent due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This keeps “us under the national average of just over 10 percent,” he said, adding enrollment for summer and fall semesters is currently underway.
PHCC Foundation Executive Director Tiffani Underwood said Patrick Henry Scholars received a record number of applicants. Ten scholarships are usually offered, but Underwood said the school will offer 12 this year. The scholarships provide “tuition, books, and fees for two years.”