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House of Delegates Member Terrie L. Suit Is Among The Graduating Class -
A First for Virginia

NORFOLK, VIRGINIA-(May 6, 2003)-Tidewater Community College's Spring 2003 graduation will be held May 9, 7 p.m. at Norfolk Scope. Among the 1044 cap and gowns will be Virginia House of Delegates Terrie L. Suit, who will receive her Associates Degree. It is believed she is the first sitting delegate to receive a diploma from a state community college.

"I started my studies with Tidewater Community College in the early 1990s and have continued to take evening, morning and online classes," says Delegate Suit. On Friday, she will graduate from Tidewater Community College with a two-year degree in General Studies. She has already been accepted by Old Dominion University to transfer into a four-year program. Delegate Suit represents the 81st District comprising portions of Chesapeake and Virginia Beach.

Of the 1044 members of the May 2003 graduating class, 689 or 66% are women, 501 will receive an Associate in Science degree and 616 or 59% are 29 years of age or younger. The graduates reside in all the cities of South Hampton Roads including Suffolk and represent all four TCC campuses. Including those who graduated in December, 2002, Tidewater Community College will have a total of 1960 students graduate during the 2002-2003 academic year.

The keynote speaker for the 2003 commencement is Mark David Milliron, president and chief executive officer of the League of Innovation in the Community College, an international consortium dedicated to promoting the community college movement. Nineteen CEOs from some of the most influential, resourceful, and dynamic community colleges and districts in the world comprise the League's Board of Directors, and more than 750 institutions from 10 different countries are members. In addition, the League partners with more than 100 leading corporations, and works with a host of other nonprofit foundations and government agencies. With this innovative core of directors, members, partners, and collaborators, the League hosts conferences and institutes, develops Web resources, conducts research, produces publications, provides services, and leads projects and initiatives in a continuing effort to make a positive difference for students and communities. In addition to a number of state, national, and international awards recognizing more than 35 years of service, the League has been recognized by Change Magazine as "the most dynamic organization in the community college world."

Milliron began his own education at Mesa Community College in Arizona, and subsequently transferred to Arizona State University where he graduated summa cum laude with his B.S. in Organizational Communication. He earned his Masters in Organizational Communication also from ASU, where he was honored as a Graduate Regents Scholar. Milliron received his Ph.D. in Educational Administration from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was a Kellogg Senior Research Fellow. He has taught subjects ranging from human communication to quantitative research methods at Arizona State University, the University of Texas at Austin, Rio Salado Community College, and Mayland Community College. He currently serves as a Distinguished Visiting Faculty Member at the University of Texas at Austin's Graduate Program for Community College Leadership. While teaching at Arizona State, he received the International Communication Association's Teaching Excellence Award. More recently, the University of Texas at Austin's College of Education honored him as a Distinguished Graduate for his service to the education field. Milliron was also named one of the top Shapers of the Future by Converge Magazine in August 2000.

Tidewater Community College (TCC) is the second largest of the 23 community colleges in the Commonwealth of Virginia, enrolling more than 34,000 students annually. It is the 37th largest in the nation's 1,600 community college network and among the 50 fastest growing large community colleges. Founded in 1968 as a part of the Virginia Community College System, the college serves the South Hampton Roads region with campuses in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach, a regional Visual Arts Center in Olde Towne, Portsmouth and the TCC Jeanne and George Roper Performing Arts Center in the theater district in downtown Norfolk. Forty-three percent of the region's residents attending a college or university in Virginia last fall are enrolled at TCC.

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