A fitting tribute at PDCCC

Published 8:48 pm Monday, October 15, 2012

Patsy Joyner might not be from Suffolk, but many of the people of Suffolk have come to know and respect her through the years. As a 31-year employee at Paul D. Camp Community College, Joyner had countless opportunities to influence the lives of students from Suffolk and the rest of Western Tidewater. And in the role of vice president for institutional advancement, from which she retired in January, Joyner set her mark upon a whole educational institution.

Joyner spent most of her career working to tell the story of Western Tidewater’s community college and its ability to transform lives. It was a story she knew from firsthand experience. In the early 1970s, she was taking a full schedule of courses at Paul D. Camp Community College, attending classes four nights a week and during lunch hours while working full-time.

She was in the first PDCCC graduating class, earning an associate’s degree in pre-teacher education. This two-year degree positioned her to pursue other degrees (all while working full-time). She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education and a master’s in humanities from Old Dominion University. In addition, she earned a doctorate in higher education administration from The College of William and Mary.

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During a 31-year career at PDCCC, Joyner rose steadily through the ranks to become vice president for institutional advancement. That title doesn’t even begin to adequately describe the many roles Joyner performed for the local community college, from marketing and community relations to leadership of its private fundraising foundation.

Joyner’s story is an inspirational account of the difference a community college can make in the life of a student and in the life of the community that hosts it. And it’s fitting that the college (through the generosity of a couple of anonymous benefactors) would seek to share her success story with as many as possible.

College officials recently announced the renaming of the regional boardroom on the Franklin campus as the Dr. Patsy R. Joyner Board Room. It was a fitting tribute to a woman who spent decades in the tireless service of advancing the college’s cause and promoting its work throughout Western Tidewater and the commonwealth of Virginia.