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NOVA Mathematics Professor Receives Distinguished Service Award

Associate Professor Richard Semmler was presented with a Distinguished Service Award by the State University of New York College at Plattsburgh for his lifelong devotion to helping others. 

The son of parents who could not afford college, Semmler is grateful for the scholarships that – combined with working several jobs – helped him complete his undergraduate degree at SUNY Plattsburgh. Wanting to give back, the recent graduate donated $25 to his alma mater in 1970. This donation sparked a lifetime of philanthropy and his generosity has landed him in numerous publications, including The Washington Post, USA Today and The Chronicle of Philanthropy. 

In all, Semmler has given more than $1.2 million to various charities since his initial donation to SUNY Plattsburgh. His generosity goes beyond financial contributions -- his commitment to bettering the community and impacting citizens on a daily basis is as strong as ever. He continues to volunteer at local homeless shelters and has helped Habitat for Humanity build 70 homes for 70 families. 

Semmler donates half of his income each year to organizations such as NOVA, Central Union Mission in Washington, D.C., Habitat for Humanity and SUNY Plattsburgh.

In the past, NOVA has honored Semmler with a Chancellor’s Award, the Distinguished Service Award and an honorary degree. 

The NOVA community congratulates Semmler on being recognized for service that has gone “above and beyond.”

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.