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A Top 10 look at a year to remember at TCC

A new president, a professor gone viral and a celebration of generous donors and collaborative partnerships are among a year of highlights for Tidewater Community College in 2019.

Check out our TCC Top 10 list of storylines that made a mark.

10. The college’s Norfolk and Portsmouth campuses celebrated their first-generation students, faculty and administrators in events held in early November. The days were selected to coincide with the signing of the Higher Education Act of 1965.

Celebrating first-generation college students.

9. Thanks to a partnership between TCC and Chesapeake Public Schools, 52 high school graduates earned career and technical training credentials during May commencement in areas that range from mechatronics to pharmacy technology to welding.

8. TCC received a fifth federal grant to help train military veterans and their spouses for careers in trucking. The grant, administered by the college’s Center for Military and Veterans Education, allows veterans to train for in-demand careers at no cost to them.

7. A partnership among TCC, Hampton Roads Transit and Norfolk Now to prepare Hampton Roads residents for careers as bus operators launched in May and graduated its inaugural class in the fall. A second cohort is under way.

The first cohort of HRT graduates

6. Mayor Rick West joined the Nov. 18 celebration for the opening of the new robotics lab on the Chesapeake Campus. The lab contains six state-of-the-art Fuji Automatic Numerical Control robots and training stations.

5. TCC will continue to grow in the next decade thanks to several generous donors. The TCC Perry Center for Visual & Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management received a major gift from philanthropist Jim Hixon. A $500,000 grant from TowneBank will also benefit the TCC Perry Center and help expand the Regional Automotive Center. The Hampton Roads Community Foundation gave the TCC Perry Center a $500,000 grant spread over five years. Stanley Black & Decker earned the Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy for its support of the Skilled Trades Academy. Black & Decker donated $275,000 in new industry tools and equipment, the biggest in-kind investment by the company ever in the commonwealth. The SunTrust Foundation’s $75,000 grant will support the Skilled Trades Academy. Builders & Contractors Exchange funded $5,000 in scholarships for the academy. The Don Carey REECH Foundation also gifted TCC’s Women’s Center STEM Promise Program with $2,500.

Jim Hixon provided a generous gift for the TCC Perry Center.

4. It’s never been easier to transfer from TCC to Old Dominion University or Virginia Wesleyan University. The Guaranteed Transfer Partnership Agreement, signed in September, ensures a seamless transfer to ODU for TCC graduates. The Fair Transfer Guarantee Agreement between VWU and TCC allows graduates who earn arts or science associate degrees to enter VWU as juniors.

3. TCC put into action plans to eliminate food insecurity among its students. The college and the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore are new partners in a five-year initiative to eliminate the food insecurity that impedes many TCC students from completing their higher education. TowneBank’s $250,000 donation will go toward the food. A Campus-Based Pantry and Food Scholarship Program are in the works and a mobile pantry on the Norfolk and Portsmouth campuses started in the fall. In addition, a partnership between the Virginia Beach Campus and the city’s Department of Human Services gives TCC counselors and advisers a streamlined way to refer Virginia Beach students to the resources they need. Students can receive food, mental health counseling and housing support.

Physics Professor David Wright went viral.

2. Student Erica Church’s tweet on the animated teaching style of Professor David Wright made a big bang. The viral post, viewed by more than 30 million people, created headlines around the world and led to the beloved physics professor granting interviews to Yahoo, the BBC, NPR and Good Morning America. He and students Church and Kierra Brothers will appear on “The Kelly Clarkson Show” on Jan. 26.

1. Welcome, President Conston! The college’s sixth permanent president, hired Oct. 15, assumed the role on Jan. 6, 2020.

Grant from Hampton Roads Community Foundation to help TCC build new arts and hospitality center in Norfolk’s NEON District

Tidewater Community College will receive $500,000 over the next five years from the Hampton Roads Community Foundation to help build the TCC Perry Center for Visual & Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management in Norfolk’s NEON District.

TCC was one of seven recipients of grants from the Hampton Roads Community Foundation, which focused on environmental stewardship and vibrant places in awarding funds.

“We’re appreciative of the Hampton Roads Community Foundation’s generosity, which shows its confidence in what promises to be a transformative facility for the City of Norfolk,” said TCC President Gregory T. DeCinque.

Norfolk Mayor Kenneth Alexander unveiled plans to build the 47,000 square-foot facility during his State of the City address in March 2018. Plans call for it to energize the NEON District and nearby St. Paul’s area by:

  • expanding TCC’s one-of-a-kind visual arts education program;
  • training the next generation of chefs with an expansion of TCC’s comprehensive culinary arts program;
  • creating opportunities for collaboration between culinary and visual arts programs;
  • making a test kitchen available to food entrepreneurs;
  • housing an expanded program in hospitality and restaurant management; and
  • providing dual-enrollment opportunities for Norfolk high school students and workforce education to residents.

The project will be funded by some TCC general funds but mostly by private donations raised through Go Further! TCC’s Campaign for a Competitive Workforce. Norfolk’s Patricia and Douglas Perry are the lead donors in the initiative.

“We are hoping to begin construction in early 2020 with an opening date of Fall Semester 2021,” said Matthew Baumgarten, executive director of TCC’s Real Estate Foundation.

The City of Norfolk is donating the site of the former Greyhound bus station at the corner of Brambleton and Monticello avenues to the TCC Real Estate Foundation to make way for the new project.

For more information about donating to TCC’s Campaign for a Competitive Workforce, contact the college’s Educational Foundation at 757-822-1080 or visit

TCC’s Amanda Lloyd recognized as Top 40 Under 40 professional

Tidewater Community College’s Amanda Lloyd has been named a Top 40 Under 40 professional by Inside Business.

Lloyd, 35, became director of TCC’s Academy for Nonprofit Excellence last February. The award recognizes professionals whose work and volunteer efforts make Hampton Roads a better place to live.

“I love that I get to see the impact that is occurring in the community by the professional development and training opportunities that the academy offers,” Lloyd said. “You see nonprofit personnel take something they learned at the academy, implement it, and it directly affects our community. That’s rewarding.”

Funded by the Hampton Roads Community Foundation,  the academy offers relevant, budget-friendly training on leadership and management topics to nonprofit and aspiring nonprofit professionals.

The Suffolk native and graduate of Lakeland High School taught humanities and history classes at TCC prior to being hired for her current role last winter. She aspires to be a college president, having been passionate about higher education for most of her life. She is a first-generation college graduate.

“I love seeing students evolve in their learning,” said Lloyd, who maintains numerous mentoring relationships with her former students. “Seeing the success of my students and helping them achieve their goals is important to me.”

Lloyd previously worked in multiple administrative positions for the City of Norfolk prior to coming to TCC. Her achievements include creating the Norfolk Public Library citywide volunteer program, a model effort duplicated by additional libraries across the nation. She is a member of the Norfolk Public Library Board of Trustees as appointed by the mayor and City Council.

The graduate of Longwood University holds a position on its alumni board and is president-elect for the Junior League of Norfolk – Virginia Beach. She sits on the Women’s Center Advisory Council and Board at TCC and is an alumna of LEAD Hampton Roads and Emerge, Virginia.

Lloyd, who holds a master’s in humanities from Old Dominion University, is currently at work on a doctorate in higher education management at Hampton University. A Norfolk resident, she and husband Matt have two sons, William, 5, and Owen, 3.

Lloyd will be honored at the Top 40 Under 40 banquet on Oct. 23 at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott. She will be profiled with the other winners in an Oct. 22 special edition of Inside Business.