DCC’s Seventh President: The First 30 Days

photo of Dr. Jerry Wallace
Dr. Jerry Wallace

As my wife Allyson and I wind down the logistical challenges of moving across the country, I am quickly learning how wonderful it is to find yourself working and living in the City of Danville and the region of Southern Virginia as a whole. Not only are we living in a beautiful city, but we are also surrounded by the vibrant, energetic feeling of growth and renewal that accompanies community revitalization. It’s an exciting time to be at Danville Community College.

The first 30 days as president at DCC have been a swift, sometimes dizzying learning experience that has included meeting talented professionals from across a variety of organizations, including K-12 schools in Pittsylvania County, Halifax County, and the City of Danville; the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research; the Chamber of Commerce; local healthcare organizations including SOVAH Health, Centra Health, and Sentara Healthcare; local industry leaders; elected officials; and everyone in-between. In this short time, I’ve learned a great deal about the integral role that DCC plays in this region in terms of economic development, quality of life, and community support services.

We’ve also had the privilege of attending quite a few community events in our short time in Danville. We’ve enjoyed ‘Thursday Music in the Market, ‘Coffee and Cars at Crema and Vine’, and the ‘Project Imagine Back to School Event’. It has been a distinct pleasure to meet members of our community and to support these community endeavors. 

As I continue to explore the needs of our students, community members, and industries, I’m excited to begin working toward creating a more accessible, welcoming, inclusive, and life-changing campus for those who choose to pursue their educational and professional goals at DCC. This includes focusing on the key components of our strategic plan: Student success, advancing excellence, resource development, and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

DCC is already serving the region in so many ways. Students can choose from a variety of educational and career paths from the moment they walk through our doors. We offer high school seniors the tremendous opportunity to complete the first two years of their four-year degree at a fraction of the cost of a university. We offer accelerated career credentials for those who want to get trained quickly, and get to work. There are even options for students who want to take classes for the sake of learning. There is truly something for everyone at DCC. Expanding upon this robust framework to become the choice destination for higher education is an exciting focus and goal that I look forward to accomplishing with the help of our talented team.

As I work toward my 60-day mark, I look forward to continuing the collaboration with our staff, faculty, partners, and community members to make DCC and the communities we serve the very best they can be.

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Faith O'Neil

Faith O'Neil

Director of Public Relations & Marketing Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Officer