Sen. Charles Colgan was the guest of honor at a reception on May 16 at the Manassas Campus of Northern Virginia Community College.
Board members, faculty, staff and students gathered to thank Colgan for his donation to the campus library. Colgan donated a large collection of books that document the proceedings of the General Assembly during the years Colgan served the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Provost Hortense Hinton welcomed Colgan and his wife, Alicia, and thanked them for the generous donation and dedicated service to NOVA.
President Robert G. Templin Jr. expressed his gratitude for Colgan’s true and reliable friendship, then pointed to Colgan’s portrait on the wall of the library and said, “You’re now part of the popular collection.”
NOVA Board Chairman James White, who represents the City of the Manassas on the Board, has known Colgan for a long time. “As we all know, this building is named Colgan Hall in honor of everything you’ve done for the College and we thank you for your steadfast support,” White said.
Longtime librarian Sherrill Wharff discussed improvements to the Manassas Campus over the years and gave much of the credit to Colgan. Because the books Colgan donated contain statutes that can be difficult to decipher, Wharff shared an appropriate passage from “Legal Research: How to Find and Understand the Law.”
“Legal Research says ‘read the statute at least three times, then read it again. Often a different and hopefully more accurate meaning will emerge from each reading. Never feel that somehow you are inadequate because despite a number of readings you aren’t sure what a particular statute means. A great many lawsuits result from the fact that lawyers disagree about confusing statutory language,’” Wharff read to the amusement of her listeners.
Four students told how Colgan’s service in the General Assembly has impacted them. Brittany Shearer of Manassas recently graduated from NOVA and will transfer to the University of Virginia in the fall. “Your investment in NOVA and the community college system allows students like me to have opportunities to fulfill their dreams,” Shearer said.
Mariya Podeyko from Ukraine said, “NOVA provides many ways for students to get involved in the community and because of this many doors have opened. Thank you, Senator Colgan, for making unforgettable experiences for students.”
Alex Longhi of Nokesville remarked, “Because of your support, students are given opportunities that transform our lives. Thank you for recognizing the importance of higher education.”
Warrenton resident Brian Henley said, “For many, this school is a new beginning, a fresh start, a gateway to a new job or a way to get into a university. Senator Colgan, we are very grateful for your service.”
Colgan shared interesting stories about negotiating with other members of the General Assembly for votes and said seeing the results makes all his efforts worthwhile.
“Alicia and I volunteered at NOVA’s Commencement yesterday and it was a happy experience, filled with lots of excitement and promise,” Colgan said. “Education will solve most of our problems. We have to be first in education.”
Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through the Extended Learning Institute. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.