“The Seventies: A New Beginning”
a complete description of The Seventies: A New Beginning, see
A Journey Through the Years: A History of New River Community
W. Robert Sullins,
former dean of instruction at Wytheville Community College,
was appointed first president of New River Community College.
In June 1970 Sullins
announced that a $678,000 budget had been approved for NRCC’s
first year of operation as a comprehensive community college.
Douglas D. Warren,
chairman of the Division of Engineering Technologies, was
selected to participate in the Leadership Training
Program for Administrators of New and Developing Junior Colleges.
was expanded to include associate degree programs in business
management, accounting, and secretarial science; as well
as college-parallel programs in pre-teacher, business, science,
and liberal arts education. Developmental courses were also
added to help underprepared students get ready for their degree
Because only about
one third of he new building on the main campus site would
be ready for fall 1970, classes were conducted at numerous
locations throughout the service region.
John C. Clem,
as dean of student services, directed a staff of counselors
which included Sibyle C. Ferrell, Edward C. Crews, and Gordon
included W. C. Martineson as dean of instruction, Ben Collins
as dean of financial and administrative services,
Joe S. Dixon as chair of the Division of Science and Mathematics,
Edward Huber as coordinator of library services, and Allen
O. Kinzer as head of continuing education.
Along with new
administrative staff, new faculty were added: Tom Diamond
in biology; James Bennett and Wilma Clay in mathematics;
Nancy Bird, Margaret Smith, and Bonnie Vass (Wynn) in English.
By November of
1970, more than 1,000 students were enrolled in credit and
NRCC biology professor
Tom Diamond and his students produced a video display in recognition
of the first Earth Day.
As the 1970-71
academic term neared completion, an open house was held to
show off the final phase of the completion of the first building
on the new campus.
The NRCC annual,
titled Reflections, was dedicated to Sibyle Ferrell.
1971-1973: Years of Optimism and Growth
The College initiated
cooperative education, an Office of Continuing Education,
and programmed modular instruction. Emphasis was placed on
developing close ties with New River Valley businesses and
industries, as well as on professional development activities
for faculty and staff.
More than 1,000
students registered for the fall 1971 quarter, representing
an increase of 57 percent over the total enrollment during
the previous fall. The most popular programs continued to
be in the occupational-technical fields with 478
students enrolled for credit in these programs.
Replacing W. C.
Martineson, dean of instruction, was W. Ronald McCarter, a
native of Alamance County, North Carolina. Other additions
to the NRCC faculty and staff included Brenda Jones, Charlie
White, Virginia Wilson, Edith Ruben, Ron Dodson, Peggy Rusek,
Craig Smith, Bobbie White, Rusty Stephens, Norman Scott, and
Peggy Taylor. At the end of the year, William J. Dawson, Jr.,
was appointed chairman of the Division of Humanities and Social
in drafting and design, automotive engine mechanics, electronics
and electricity, industrial instrumentation, and machine tool
operations were added. Plans were made for a police science
program which could lead either to a one-year certificate
in law enforcement or to an associate degree in police science.
were made with Bluefield State College and Virginia Tech.
education program was established.
Joe S. Dixon,
chairman of the Division of Science and Mathematics, launched
a programmed modular instruction project which allowed students
to complete class requirements at their own rate.
by the Office of Continuing Education was exceeding 400 students.
Mills E. Godwin delivered the 1971 graduation address.
Two student organizations,
the Omicron Psi Chapter of Phi Beta Lambda and a Veterans
Club, were established.
academic year saw a marked increase in the number of faculty
and staff. One of these, Edwin L. Barnes, was appointed chairman
of the Division of Business and Public Service Technologies.
Other additions included Peggy H. Galloway, Bettie S. McMillan,
Nancy L. Hamblin (Waddle), Roland M. Biesecker, Helen M. Harvey,
J. Doyle Lyons, Lawrence S. Tibbetts, and Marvin Painter (Bud)
In 1972 the State
Board for Community Colleges adopted a major/core curricular
design for all associate degree programs.
In October 1972
a self-instructional learning laboratory began full operation.
Norman Scott, coordinator of library services, announced the
addition of a closed circuit television system. Other new
technology included IBM Executive Mag-Card typewriters in
The College, in
cooperation with the Virginia Bureau of Correctional Field
Units, offered instruction for selected inmates at the Pulaski
were offered by Virginia Tech for NRCC faculty. Several faculty
members initiated work on their doctorate degrees through
In December 1972
the College received full accreditation from the Southern
Association of Colleges and Schools.
Tenure was abolished
in the Virginia Community College System.
The Omega Eta
Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa was established in spring of 1973.
changes were evident in the physical environment of the campus,
including new tennis courts, an athletic field, and plans
for a new building.
Facing New Challenges
The College was
struggling with diminishing resources, increased accountability,
and overcrowded facilities with a record enrollment of 1,713
students during fall of 1973.
program in welding and associate degree programs in automotive
technology, electrical technology, electronic technology,
instrumentation technology, and machine technology were approved.
Changes were seen
in instructional methodology as faculty were being trained
to prepare self-instruction instructional modules.
The number of
academic division was expanded from two to four. A fifth,
the Division of Developmental Studies, was added later.
included a director of institutional research, data processing
coordinator, director of cooperative education, and administrative
assistant to the dean of instruction were added to the administrative
The Office of
Veterans Affairs was established in September 1973.
and staff personnel changes included the departure of W. Ronald
McCarter, Allen O. Kinzer, and C. Edward Huber. New additions
included Peggy R. Dalton, Karl Bren, E. Jon Bruns, Joseph
L. Sheffey, Ronald E. Chaffin, Dotty Talbott, T. J. Anderson,
Rita Dixon, Elizabeth Garter, and Jack Lewis. New faculty
included Eddie Goodson, Anne Folsom, Teresa Johanson, Tom
Fagan, Irene Barr, Lee Anderson, Charles D. Dean, Kenneth
E. Long, E. Lewis Martin, Rebecca M. Ridpath, and Thomas C.
A group of area
citizens, including NRCC music instructor Larry Long, established
the Old Pros, a band that would continue into the next century.
Drive for Show,
Inc., a driving range for golfers, opened on June 28, 1974,
on the NRCC campus.
The New River
Center for Supervisory Development, funded through a Title
III grant, was initiated.
A new associate
in applied science degree in banking and financial management
became a time of diminishing resources for NRCC and other
colleges within the VCCS. In addition, it was
a time of close examination of accountability and questioning
of college practices by the Joint Legislative Audit and Review
more than six years as the first president of NRCC, W. Robert
Sullins accepted a position on the Virginia Tech education
In May 1975 the
College’s first literary magazine, OPUS I, was published.
During the same month the New River Community
College Secretarial Association was established.
Awareness Week observances began in 1976.
In June 1978 NRCC
joined the country’s Bicentennial celebration.
Dr. H. Randall
Edwards was named president of NRCC, replacing W. Robert Sullins.
Edward C. Crews
became acting director of continuing education, replacing
Karl Bren, who left the school to join the 1977 gubernatorial
campaign of Attorney General Andrew P. Miller.
Joseph L Sheffey,
who had served as coordinator of student activities, assumed
the responsibilities of director of the student financial
June and Winston
Miller coordinated a major campus landscaping project.
by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools was reaffirmed.
Defining the Image
In fall 1977 the
College experienced a record enrollment with over 2,790 students,
representing more than an 11 percent increase over the projected
pre-school education program opened a child care facility.
The center, called the Early Learning Center, was staffed
by Onoleee Zwickee as director and Linda Capone (Claussen)
as head teacher.
of 1977 the Learning Resources Center became “computerized.”
For the first time, students could have a complete printout
of library holdings on a particular topic or by a certain
author. They could also have access to a Library of Congress
call number list, which provided all items available in a
particular section of the collection.
The Virginia Community
College System began offering a course statewide via television.
During the same time NRCC joined 45 other locations in Appalachia
providing courses by satellite.
through a Developmental Opportunities lab were offered to
bring students’ basic skills to the level required for
The College received
grant funding to establish a Center for the Hearing Impaired,
which began operation in the fall of 1979.
The first NRCC
Career Day was coordinated by Gordon Jonas of the Career Development
and Placement Office.
An alumni association,
directed by Ron Harriman, was established.
Edwin L. Barnes,
who had served for five years as chairman of the Division
of Business and Public Technologies and acting dean of instruction,
became the dean of instruction. Jack M. Lewis was named director
of management information systems, planning, research, and
analysis. Ron Chaffin was appointed director of continuing
education and community services.
New faculty included
several who would remain with NRCC into the twenty-first century:
Debra Bond, Linda Claussen, Bruce Brown, John Burkett, Brenda
Lyons, Tom Owen, Bonnie Perry, Sharon Ratcliff, and Jeananne
of Phi Beta Lambda was named outstanding chapter for the state.
end of the decade, attention continued to focus on the overcrowded
conditions of the school. Finally, the education portion of
a $125 million bond package was passed guaranteeing NRCC $2.5
million for the additional space.
The College was
awarded $130,000 from Title III. Funds were to be used for
administrative improvement, improvement of instructional delivery,
career development services, developmental opportunities,
and curriculum development.