Vivian Blaize is a small business entrepreneur and a professor whose background includes leadership positions in public affairs, advertising and marketing.
She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Old Dominion University, but her foundation dates back to her time at Tidewater Community College. Blaize earned her associate in business administration in 2000, graduating cum laude.
“My experience at TCC was wonderful,” Blaize says from her Virginia Beach condo, home base for Blaize Events & Media, Inc., with services that include marketing, event planning and website design. Blaize is also a government contractor with small business certifications, and she teaches at Hampton University and the University of Phoenix.
Blaize initially attended TCC in the 1980s but quit due to the demands of being a single parent. When Ashanti Blaize turned 14, she urged her mother to return to school, and with her daughter’s support, Vivian Blaize started by tackling computers.
“The first thing I did at TCC was take a computer class, and it was one of the best things I ever did,” she says. “It taught me everything. It alleviated my fear of the computer as a baby boomer. From there, I took economics…"
Blaize got a D on the first test in that class – unacceptable to Ashanti, who prompted her to do better by actually attending her mother’s class.
“I did not bring a D home anymore,” Blaize says with a laugh. She finished with a B in the course.
Blaize said she enjoyed all the professors who taught her at TCC, and even found a serenity about the Virginia Beach Campus.
“That is the most gorgeous campus,” she says. “I would sometimes just sit alongside the lake and think.”
Blaize had an excellent foundation in her high school education from New York. But she praises TCC for “bridging the gap” between those years and the time she spent earning her advanced degrees.
Upstairs in her home, a wall is dedicated to her degrees from ODU, but she has a special frame showing off her associate and her Phi Theta Kappa honors.
“Going to TCC was the best thing I could have done,” Blaize says. “From here you can go anywhere, and I am the proof.”