Jess Silvia. Courtesy of Virginia Tech.

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Virginia Tech opens academic residential space for LGBTQ+ students

Virginia Tech will open an academic residential space on campus for students who identify as members or allies of the LGBTQ+ community, according to a release from the school. Lavender House is the university’s first living-learning community (LLC) for students who want to study queer history.

Lavender House, located on two floors of O’Shaughnessy Hall — home of the Leadership and Social Change Residential College — will house 41 students in double-occupancy rooms. Lavender House, one of 18 living-learning communities at Virginia Tech, is sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, but students of all majors are welcome as residents.

Virginia Tech’s LLCs are niche communities that integrate academics into the residential living experience, the school said. Tech said the benefits of Lavender House are two-fold: “providing students with a built-in community from the moment they step foot on campus and affirming that the lives of LGBTQ+ individuals are worthy of academic study.”

Lavender House residents will be required to take a three-credit introductory course on queer studies, which will provide a foundation for understanding the LGBTQ+ community’s history of leadership and advocacy.

At least 425 colleges and universities across the country provide gender-inclusive housing options, according to Campus Pride, a nonprofit that advocates for safe college environments for LGBTQ+ students.

Jess Silvia, who received her master’s degree from Virginia Tech in higher education and student affairs, is the Lavender House program director.

Find for more information about Lavender House online, or to learn how to apply to live there in future semesters.

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Heather Hannan. Courtesy UVA Wise Mark Robinson-Baker II

UVA Wise announces new library director

The University of Virginia’s College at Wise announced today that Heather Groves Hannan will join the College on September 12 as UVA Wise’s new library director.

Groves Hannan holds a bachelor of arts degree in management science from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana, and her master of science degree in library and information science from Catholic University of American in Washington, D.C. She previously was with George Mason University.

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20 Danville high school juniors will begin at Danville Community College

Twenty Danville Public Schools 11th graders will begin their junior year on the Danville Community College Campus via the ‘Early College’ program, beginning on August 22. 

The ‘Early College’ program allows qualified high school juniors to take courses in person on the DCC campus that provide both high school and college credit to satisfy their requirements for graduation. Completing their last two years of high school at DCC will allow students who successfully complete the program to graduate high school with an Advanced Studies high school diploma, as well as an Associate of Arts and Science degree in Liberal Arts and a Uniform Certificate of General Studies conferred by Danville Community College.  

To participate in this program, students in the Danville Public School System must complete an application that evaluates their GPA, attendance, teacher recommendations, extracurricular activities, leadership roles, and other recognitions/awards.  

“Students enrolled in the Early College program are trailblazers in the Danville Public Schools,” said Dr. Angela Hairston, DPS superintendent in a statement. “Our students are excited to be participants in this unique opportunity to begin their college experience while completing high school.” 

The Early College program is free of charge for all participating students. For more information on the Early College program, contact Cathy Pulliam at 434-797-8538. 

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The Farm Credit scholarship. Courtesy of Virginia Tech.

Farm Credit of the Virginias funds scholarship at Virginia Tech in memory of former loan officer

Farm Credit of the Virginias, a regional lending cooperative, announced a new scholarship that will support students in Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

The Farm Credit of the Virginias Memorial Scholarship at Virginia Tech was presented on Aug. 11 to university and college representatives during a special ceremony. The $100,000 endowment will support a scholarship for students majoring in any program within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The first recipients will be announced in fall 2023.

The fund honors the legacy of the late Brian Wilkerson ’06, a graduate of the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics and a 10-year Farm Credit of the Virginias employee.

Wilkderson began his career at Farm Credit in 2011 and was an agricultural loan officer in South Boston and Chatham,”said Brad Cornelius, chief executive officer of Farm Credit of the Virginias in a statement. “He brought his passion for agriculture and commitment to Farm Credit and our customer-owners with him each and every day, and worked tirelessly to serve ‘his farmers.’ ”

After the passing of Wilkerson in October 2021, the Farm Credit of the Virginias Board of Directors was inspired to establish a scholarship in his honor.

The scholarship will be managed by the Virginia Tech Foundation, Inc. Future recipients will be residents of Farm Credit of the Virginias’ 96-county service territory, which spans Virginia, West Virginia and western Maryland.

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Virginia Tech board will meet in Newport News

The Virginia Tech Board of Visitors will hold its quarterly board meeting at 1:15 p.m. Aug. 23 in the Maroon and Orange Room of the Virginia Tech Newport News Center (700 Tech Center Parkway, Suite 305) in Newport News. 

This meeting will be livestreamed; to view the meeting, go to the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors website.

On Aug. 21, an orientation session and retreat will be held in open session for all new and returning board members beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the Virginia Tech Hampton Roads Agricultural Research and Extension Center (1444 Diamond Springs Road) in Virginia Beach. In addition to a tour of the facility, board members will receive information on and discuss issues affecting higher education and the current state of the university in the context of achieving strategic long-term university goals.

On Aug. 22, board members will travel to several locations and tour Virginia Tech facilities located in eastern Virginia. These locations include Virginia Tech’s Seafood Agricultural Research and Extension Center (102 S. King St.) in Hampton and the Virginia Tech Newport News Center (700 Tech Center Parkway, Suite 305) in Newport News. These tours will take place between 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Later in the day, beginning at approximately 4:30 p.m., board members will tour the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (12000 Jefferson Ave.) in Newport News.

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