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Germanna President David Sam Honored by Virginia Community College Board

By Susan Larson. Photo provided by Germanna Community College.

Germanna Community College (GCC) President David A. Sam was awarded president emeritus status by the Virginia Community College Board (VCCS) on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017.

“We are pleased that the VCCS Board and Chancellor Glenn DuBois approved our recommendation that they name Dr. Sam a president emeritus,” said GCC Board Chair William Thomas of Culpeper. “Germanna has made great progress under Dr. Sam’s leadership.”

“As Sam approaches retirement in June 2017, there are modern new facilities, new programs, and, most importantly, a 183 percent increase in degrees awarded in the 2015 – 2016 academic year over 2006 -2007,” he said.

“Dr. Sam provided calm, steady leadership during turbulent times,” said Teri McNally, the city of Fredericksburg’s representative on the Local College Board and a GCC Educational Foundation Board member. “He led through Germanna through a recession and state budget cuts, managing to take care of our student body, our faculty and our staff despite it all.”

During Sam’s tenure, Germanna’s total headcount grew to more than 13,000, and the college expanded its Fredericksburg campus in Spotsylvania, christened the Daniel Technology Center in Culpeper, and added centers in Stafford and Caroline counties.

Sam launched the first-ever capital campaign at Germanna, with a $10 million goal. The campaign raised $12 million. “That’s an unheard of sum for a community college,” said Germanna Public Information Officer Mike Zitz. From 2007 – 2015, Sam raised $26.5 million, including donations, grants, and local funds, Zitz said.

The funds led to the opening of a new Caroline County Center, helped build the new Science & Engineering Building and Information Commons at GCC’s Fredericksburg Area Campus, and will lead to an expansion of the Stafford Center and a permanent location in that county.

Funds also launched the Germanna Scholars and the Gladys P. Todd Academy — both of which make it possible for local students to earn their associate degrees at little or no cost while still in high school, and transfer to universities.

Germanna also will open the Fredericksburg Center for Advanced Technology in Central Park in 2017, as Sam’s presidency approaches its end in August

According to Zita, Sam’s leadership at Germanna:
• doubled the number of students in its nursing program
• established an engineering program
• began a physical therapy assistant program
• started a student success initiative that includes Student Success Coaches

In addition to the 183.3 percent increase in the number of degrees and certificates awarded annually:
• Credit side enrollment climbed 61 percent.
• Full-time enrollment jumped 43.5 percent.
• Non-credit workforce enrollment increased 1,028 percent as Dr. Sam and Dr. Jeanne Wesley took a sleepy program and turned it into one that meets community needs for training.
• The number of workforce courses climbed 1,675 percent.

“It has been the greatest honor of my life to have served as president of Germanna,” Sam said.

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Germanna President David Sam Announces Retirement

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