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Vince Gary: Chesapeake Student Activities Coordinator

Vince Gary never planned for a career in student activities. “When I was in college, I didn’t attend programs that would be beneficial for me. Looking back, I see that I should have started at a community college.”

After graduating from Old Dominion University, Gary started his career working at Temple University in the Recreation Services office. He made the move back home after visiting his dad and learning of a student activities position at the Chesapeake Campus. “I decided to interview, and when I got to campus, I met with a panel of 10 people. It was great landing a job that has become my calling.”

A typical day for Gary and staff is anything but typical. Late nights and weekend hours are the norm, with activities and programs, as well as college athletic events. “After a successful event or class, when we’ve done the job well, we take note, exhale and then keep moving,” Gary says.

Gary says that he makes a point to reach students wherever he meets them. “In class, in the hallways, at activities, it’s my goal to make a difference, to be a blessing somehow,” he says. “It’s an amazing opportunity to be able to help guide and motivate a new generation of students. You don’t do this job for the money; you do it because you know your work impacts lives.”

Gary has been involved in the planning for the Chesapeake Student Center. “This center is a cool thing to offer our students, and we’ve worked hard getting student leaders involved in the process,” he says. Due to open during the 2013-14 school year, the center will include multi-purpose rooms on every floor, dining, study areas, lounges, a fitness area and child minding.

A self proclaimed jock, Gary is proud to also serve as the college’s athletic director. “We started with intramural sports, and now our basketball teams are part of the National Junior College Athletic Association,” Gary says. “With the support of our coaches and many others, we now have a growing sports program to offer students.”

TCC offers men’s and women’s basketball and men’s soccer.

A man of faith, Gary says he has been blessed with this job. “I love what I do, and I’d do it for free if not for my family,” he says with a laugh. Gary and wife Diana have two young children and they reside in Chesapeake.