Northern Virginia Community College has honored its fourth president, Dr. Robert G. Templin, Jr., by naming a building at its Loudoun Campus after the man whose passion is to advance education in the region and nation. Dr. Julie Leidig, provost of NOVA’s Loudoun Campus, hosted the ceremony on Thursday, Sept. 8.
Among those in attendance were Dr. Tony Tardd, former Loudoun Campus provost; Dr. Angel Cabrera, president of George Mason University; Dr. Scott Ralls current NOVA president and Ms. Bobbie Kilberg, president and CEO of the Northern Virginia Technology Council.
Angel Cabrera recounted that, when he first took the presidency of GMU, Templin asked him to deliver the commencement address at NOVA.
“While I was still on the platform, he asked me to stand with him to shake the hands of the graduates. Little did I know I had committed to shaking 3,000 hands,” he said. “I realized he wanted me to fully grasp the importance of this relationship. His vision in NOVA was so clear.”
NOVA President Scott Ralls described Templin as a man of extraordinary compassion, passion and vision.
“You often hear the term ‘collective impact,” Ralls said. “Bob Templin wrote the book on collective impact before there was such a term. It is how you reach out as an institution to partner with so many groups. You bring that together and contribute, and you don’t worry who gets the credit.”
Ralls said, “I feel honored to follow in your footsteps. I just hope that we all continue to follow your model because we all stand on your shoulders.”
Ms. Bobbie Kilberg, president and CEO of the Northern Virginia Technology Council talked about Templin’s contribution to the region.
“Bob focused on the power and future of technology innovation, entrepreneurship and company creation,” she said. “He set down markers for K-12 students to be STEM literate and focused on STEM careers and he turned NOVA into an educational powerhouse, respected and admired throughout this country.”
Melissa Lara, a graduate of NOVA’s Pathway’s program thanked Templin. She said she is a first-in-her-family college student. Having earned her B.S. in Psychology from GMU, she is now pursuing her Masters in Counseling to become a guidance counselor.
Templin thanked those who worked alongside him at NOVA and said that the work is not done. The Higher Education Center is just the first step in the process. The goal is to have other universities present where NOVA students can complete their baccalaureate and beyond while remaining in the region and not having to commute great distances.
“Thank you for your friendship, partnership, dedication and your selflessness to a very, noble cause.” Templin said. “And thank you to the NOVA family for the privilege of working alongside you for a dozen years doing the most important and incredible work that one could ever ask to be a part of.”
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 NOVA Online. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.