Wytheville Community College
Wytheville Community College is a two-year college located in Wytheville, Virginia. One of the 23 schools in the Virginia Community College System, the college opened in 1963 as a two-year branch of Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University.
In 1962, a steering committee composed of area citizens was organized to obtain support for a college in Wytheville. After approval by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia and the General Assembly, the Wythe County-owned Simmerman Building was chosen as the first site of the college. Wytheville Community College welcomed its first students in September, 1963, as a two-year branch of Virginia Polytechnic Institute. During its first year of operation, the college enrolled 107 students and employed five full-time faculty members. The Virginia Community College System was established during the 1966 session of the General Assembly. Wytheville Community College became a member of the system on July 1, 1967. In the first year of its operation, the collegeï¿½s enrollment rose to 837 and the number of full-time faculty members increased to 21. The collegeï¿½s enrollment has grown to over 4,000 students in 2009-2010, with more than 40 full-time and 140 part-time faculty. Acquisition of property for the permanent site began in 1965, when a tract of 103 acres was purchased from the Wytheville Knitting Mill Corporation by the County of Wythe and the Town of Wytheville. Approximately three acres adjoining the campus on the east were purchased by the college in 1975. In 1979, the State Board for Community Colleges approved a gift of land (approximately 42 acres) from Helen Janssen Wetzel, Elsa L. Bowman, and Helene L. Master. The gift of land was made in memory of Mr. Richard C. Wetzel, Dr. John E. Livingood, and Mr. Harry Janssen, an industrial pioneer in the American textile industry and builder of the old Wytheville Knitting Mills. The first building on the permanent site, Fincastle Hall, was occupied in September of 1968. Bland Hall, which now houses primarily the college's administrative offices, and an occupational-technical classroom building, Carroll Hall, were occupied during the 1970-71 academic year. A nursing and allied health building, Galax Hall, was completed in the spring of 1973. An occupational-technical building, Grayson Hall, was dedicated in the spring of 1985. Smyth Hall, the college's learning resource center, was completed and dedicated in the spring of 1998.
The mission of Wytheville Community College is to provide a quality, comprehensive education for the citizens of the counties of Bland, Carroll, Grayson, Smyth, and Wythe and the city of Galax. To achieve this mission and to fulfill its role as an educational leader and partner, Wytheville Community College commits to a student-centered environment by providing programs and courses in occupational-technical education, college transfer education, general education, developmental education, distance education, continuing education, and workforce development; utilizing a broad range of instructional technologies, methods, materials, and facilities that are designed to meet the diverse needs of students; offering a supportive, comprehensive program of student development services that contribute to student persistence, success, and citizenship; fueling regional and state economic development by forging partnerships with businesses, industries, public agencies, civic groups, public schools, and other institutions of higher education not only within the service region but throughout the Commonwealth; presenting diverse cultural opportunities while promoting the heritage of Southwest Virginia; promoting accessibility and affordability; and ensuring quality in all programs and services.
The Virginia Community College System Hall of Fame has been initiated to recognize and honor Virginia community college graduates who have distinguished themselves by their achievements in their communities. These 46 individuals personify the mission of Virginiaï¿½s community colleges to offer high quality education services to all. Conceptualized by the 2002-2003 State Board for Community Colleges Chair Mary Louise Jackson, the Hall of Fame recognition was established to provide outstanding role models for the students in Virginia's community colleges. This publication presents the charter class of the Hall of Fame. Beginning with this publication, two alumni from each of Virginia's 23 community colleges will be inducted to the Hall of Fame on a biennial basis.