In remembrance of her significant contributions to Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA), a ceremony was held to dedicate the Bisdorf Building Room AA-196 at NOVA’s Alexandria’s Campus as the Dr. Barbara A. Wyles Auditorium, in honor of the Campus’ former provost.
Wyles began her career at NOVA as an English professor at the Alexandria Campus in 1971. She held various administrative positions at NOVA, served as an English professor at Marymount University and as dean of Piedmont Virginia Community College before becoming the provost of NOVA’s Alexandria Campus in 1991, a position she retired from in 2006.
Born in Canton, Ohio, Wyles was a 1956 graduate of Jackson High School. She earned her RN degree from Mercy School of Nursing where she was named Miss Student Nurse of Stark County. Wyles earned her bachelor and master’s degree from Duquesne University and her Ph.D. from George Washington University.
In 2016, Wyles was named one of the fifty most influential people in the fifty-year history of NOVA-Alexandria Campus. She was honored for her many educational innovations and for overseeing to completion the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center, located on campus.
“On behalf of the NOVA College Board, we are very pleased to have the distinguished honor of recognizing Dr. Wyles’ contributions,” said NOVA President Dr. Scott Ralls. “In the future when we walk into this room and view her name in this auditorium, we are upholding the ideals she had of scholarship, student commitment and community service, which are our highest aspirations at NOVA Community College.”
Room 196 of the Bisdorf Building is an auditorium that serves the campus and community as a forum for the exchange of ideas. In honor of Professor Emeritus Wyles, the room was developed under her leadership. The room has been used for classroom lectures, academic ceremonies, conferences and community engagement programs.
Members of Wyles’ family along with NOVA faculty, staff and community members shared fond memories of the legacy she left behind prior to her death. NOVA-Alexandria Dean of Liberal Arts Dr. Jimmie McClellan, NOVA Professor Dr. Charles Errico and Dr. Wyles’ brother, Gordon Wyles all shared personal stories of her warm and vibrant personality.
“When Barbara talked with someone, she made the person feel as if she or he was the most important person,” said McClellan. “She believed in open communication, so it is fitting that out of all the rooms on campus, we are naming Room 196 after her. This is more than just an auditorium; this is the forum of our campus, where thoughts and ideas are exchanged and evaluated. Our campus exists as it does today because of her positive influence and leadership.”
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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.