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News Releases @ TCC

Edith White, Emanuel Chestnut, Wendy Sullivan

SOUTH HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (Feb. 7, 2011) – Honoring the life achievements of Martin Luther King Jr., Tidewater Community College annually recognizes three individuals who exemplify the civil rights leader’s dreams and goals. The 2011 winners received their awards and gave remarks about their lives and inspirations at TCC’s Martin Luther King college event on Feb. 4.

TCC President Deborah M. DiCroce, left, presented Edith White her award with TCC Board chair Lee Armistead

The 2011 award recipients, followed by brief profiles, are:
~ TCC Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Distinguished Service Award:
Edith G. White, president and chief executive officer, Urban League of Hampton Roads
~ TCC Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. College Distinguished Service Award:
Suffolk resident Emanuel Chestnut, counselor, Veterans Affairs, Virginia Beach Campus
~ TCC Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship:
Portsmouth resident Wendy Sullivan, TCC student

For the past decade, Edith G. White has served as president and chief executive officer of the Urban League of Hampton Roads. Under her leadership, new programs have been developed to enhance educational opportunities, provide technical assistance for business development, create wealth through home ownership and improve the quality of health for constituents. White shares her time as a board or committee member with Girl Scout Council of the Colonial Coast, Opportunity Inc., Association of Fund Raising Professionals, United Way of South Hampton Roads, AARP, Old Dominion University, Virginia State University and Newport News Public Schools. White’s career has focused on community-based initiatives. She has served as assistant vice-president of United Way Services of Greater Richmond; senior program coordinator for communication, student affairs, Virginia Commonwealth University; and volunteer coordinator of Meals on Wheels. White holds a bachelor of science in mass communications and a master of science in journalism education from VCU. She is also a graduate of the Commonwealth Management Institute and the Management Excellence Program Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia.

After serving his country for more than 20 years in the U.S. Navy, Emanuel Chestnut embarked on a second career as a veteran affairs counselor at TCC’s Virginia Beach Campus. Since then, he has been a significant force in the lives of many students. He is a tireless advocate for veterans as they seek to improve their lives by continuing their education. As an adult student himself, Chestnut returned to school earning an associate degree in liberal arts and a bachelor’s in sociology from Saint Leo University. He also earned a master’s in urban education from Norfolk State University. Chestnut is an active member of several volunteer organizations committed to working with minority youth including Two Hundred Plus Men of Hampton Roads, Tied to Greatness, the Student African American Brotherhood, the Urban League of Hampton Roads and the National Association of Veteran Program Administrators.

Seeking a change in her life, Wendy Sullivan, the mother of two grown children, began taking classes at TCC alongside her daughter. A second-year student, she was inspired by passages written by Martin Luther King Jr. from a jail cell in Alabama. She studied much of these writings during an English class her first year. Since then she’s changed her life’s focus and is continually finding ways to give back to her community. Sullivan shares her time fundraising for Help and Emergency Response (HER shelter); collecting food for families through Rotaract Club; organizing an Angel Tree drive through her church, Christ Fellowship; and fundraising for a family in need through TCC’s Wildfire Club.


Laurie White

Tidewater Community College - the largest provider of higher education and Workforce Solutions services in Hampton Roads - topped 45,000 students in 2009-10. The 16th highest associate-degree producer in the nation, TCC offers more than 150 programs including business administration, culinary arts, general studies, modeling & simulation, network security, nursing, and automotive technology. Among the fastest-growing two-year institutions in the United States, TCC was 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 as well as the TCC Jeanne and George Roper Performing Arts Center in Norfolk’s theater district, the Visual Arts Center in Olde Towne Portsmouth, the Regional Automotive Center in Chesapeake, and the Advanced Technology Center in Virginia Beach. Forty-five percent of the region’s residents attending a college or university in Virginia last fall were enrolled at TCC. For more information, visit