The Honorable Anne Holton, Secretary of Education for Virginia, will be the keynote speaker at Northern Virginia Community College’s 48th Commencement on Sunday, May 18. The ceremony, which is open to the public, begins at 2 p.m. in George Mason University’s Patriot Center.
“Secretary Holton is a strong supporter of higher education and Virginia’s community colleges, and we are delighted she will be sharing this important milestone with our graduates and their families,” President Robert G. Templin Jr. said.
Holton is a life-long advocate for children and families in Virginia. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree from Princeton and a Harvard law degree, Holton worked as a legal aid lawyer serving low-income families. She served as a juvenile and domestic relations district court judge from 1998 until 2005 when her husband, Tim Kaine, was elected Governor of Virginia.
As Virginia’s First Lady, Holton championed a successful initiative to secure permanent family connections for more foster youth. She later served as a consultant at the Annie E. Casey Foundation on foster care systems reform, with a focus on judiciary issues and preventing unnecessary out-of-home placements of youth due to complex behavioral issues.
In 2008, Holton worked with the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education to establish the Great Expectations program, which works through campus coaches based on community college campuses to improve access to and success in higher education for Virginia’s foster youth and alumni. She served as the program’s director in 2013.
Holton attended public schools in Roanoke, Richmond and Fairfax County. With her family she helped integrate the Richmond Public Schools in 1970. She has been an active PTA member and volunteer at six Richmond public schools, where her children were educated.
Holton served on the Richmond Public Schools Education Foundation Board 2010-2012 and on the Voices for Virginia Children Board 2010-2013. She also has served on the Advisory Board to Youth-Nex, the University of Virginia Center to Promote Effective Youth Development at the Curry School of Education.
Holton is the recipient of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Life Award of Distinction and the Richmond YWCA Outstanding Woman in Law award in 2006 among other honors.
She and her husband, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, have three adult children and reside in Richmond.
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.