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News Release

JTCC Renames Buildings in Honor of Two Community College Leaders

Primary Media Contact:
Holly Walker
Public Relations Manager
804-594-1530
hwalker@jtcc.edu

Secondary Media Contact:
Heather Busch
Creative Services Manager
804-594-1532
hbusch@jtcc.edu

Released on June 21, 2012

CHESTER and MIDLOTHIAN, Va. – In the coming weeks, big changes will be taking place at John Tyler Community College’s Midlothian Campus, as new signs begin gracing the campus’s two academic buildings, now named Hamel Hall and Eliades Hall.

Hamel Hall is named in honor of Dr. Dana Hamel, the first chancellor of the Virginia Community College System. Dr. Hamel, who was chancellor until 1979, was appointed by Governor Mills E. Godwin, Jr. in 1966 to develop a network of two-year institutions that would provide educational opportunities to a variety of students by being conveniently located, affordable, and focused on technical training. That system evolved into the Commonwealth’s 23 community colleges, which now serves more than 286,000 for-credit students annually in a variety of programs ranging from transfer degrees that allow students to seamlessly continue their college educations at four-year institutions to degrees and certificates that prepare students for immediate employment. Dr. Hamel also was instrumental in securing the land where John Tyler Community College’s original campus, the Chester Campus, now resides, giving the College the ability to open its doors in 1967. When Dr. Hamel learned that a building on John Tyler Community College’s Midlothian Campus was to be named in his honor, he said he was, “overwhelmed because so many people made this possible.” Dr. Hamel truly believes that people are the key to the success of institutions like John Tyler. “You are touching lives every day in ways that you don’t even know about,” said Dr. Hamel. “You are making it possible for all the people here at John Tyler, for all the people you know, to stand on your shoulders and look over the horizon.” 

Eliades Hall is named in honor of Mr. Homer Eliades, a member of the founding College Board of John Tyler Community College and a founding member of the John Tyler Community College Foundation Board, who has given 45 years of uninterrupted service to the College. Mr. Eliades, an attorney in Hopewell, was appointed to the John Tyler Community College Board in 1966.  At that time, he and a group of peers in Hopewell, recognizing the need for workforce development in that region, already had formed Hopewell College. After being appointed to the John Tyler Board, Mr. Eliades turned his attention to the formation of the new community college system and John Tyler Community College in particular. Mr. Eliades served on the John Tyler Community College Board for 14 years, and when the JTCC Foundation was formed, he became a founding Foundation Board member. Over the years, he helped the Foundation expand and provided it countless hours of pro bono legal services. Today, he is a Member Emeritus of its Board. When the building naming was announced, Mr. Eliades said he was truly surprised. “It is overwhelming,” said Mr. Eliades. “My mother and father would be proud.” When asked what has motivated him to stay involved with John Tyler Community College, Mr. Eliades said, “It is satisfying to know that you are making some type of contribution. I’m just grateful I could do it and that I’m still here and able to still do it.”

“It is gratifying for the College to be able to recognize two individuals whose contributions have not only been substantial, but have stood the test of time,” said Dr. Marshall W. Smith, president of John Tyler Community College. “Both gentlemen were associated with John Tyler before its founding and were instrumental in its very beginnings. It is also gratifying that we were able to do this in their presence so that they were able to enjoy the responses of friends, colleagues, and families to this honor.”

Hamel Hall, formerly known as the Science Building, houses classrooms, science laboratories, the Library, faculty offices, the Student Lounge, the Bookstore and the Commons room. Eliades Hall used to be known as the Academic Building. It is home to classrooms, the art studio, faculty offices, Financial Aid, the Testing Center and College Relations. Learn more about these name changes and about the two men who helped inspire more than 40 years of success at John Tyler Community College by watching our video at http://youtu.be/jCpjf2SllEo.

In the coming weeks and months, the College will transition to the use of the new building names. The new building signs will be installed, new directional signs in the parking lots will be put in place, the  outdoor map kiosks will be updated, room number designators will updated, and building and room number references on the web site and in publications will transition to the new names. Signs and electronic boards will be posted around campus, e-mails will be sent, stories will be posted to the College’s web site, and posts to the College’s Facebook page and Twitter accounts will be made to keep students apprised of these changes.

John Tyler Community College is a two-year, public institution of higher education and is the fifth largest of the 23 community colleges in Virginia. With campuses in Chester and Midlothian and off-campus classrooms throughout the area, John Tyler offers quality and economical opportunities for students who want to earn a degree or certificate, transfer to a four-year college or university, train for the workforce, or switch careers. The College, which served more than 14,522 students during the 2010-11 academic year, offers 17 associate degrees, eight certificates, and 35 career studies certificates. The institution also serves 15,000 non-credit students and more than 1,000 companies and government agencies annually through the Community College Workforce Alliance. The College also is committed to sustainability. In July 2010, it received a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Certification for its Midlothian Campus Science Building, becoming the first in the Virginia Community College System to receive such recognition. John Tyler Community College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

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College Relations

Holly Walker, Public Relations Manager

804-594-1530
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