Dr. Edward E. Raspiller Installed as John Tyler Community College’s Seventh President
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Released on October 14, 2014
Chancellor Glenn DuBois and Dr. Edward E. Raspiller
CHESTER and MIDLOTHIAN, Va. – Innovative and high-energy, dedicated to student success, workforce-focused, devoted to lifelong-learning for all people, and community-oriented – all are phrases used to describe John Tyler Community College President Edward E. “Ted” Raspiller, and all are phrases used to define the mission of community colleges. On October 3, 2014, hundreds gathered in the Nicholas Center on Tyler’s Chester Campus to celebrate Raspiller and the work of the institution he personifies. During the ceremony, state and local leaders, academic colleagues, business and industry leaders, members of the military, family, friends and John Tyler Community College faculty, staff and students looked on as Raspiller was officially installed as Tyler’s seventh president.
Raspiller was honored as a leader who is collaborative, who is a teacher at heart, and who is passionate about understanding the needs of the communities he serves. “Whether it’s a festival, a soccer game, the opening of a new restaurant, or a regular meeting of a city council or county board – there’s Ted,” said Dr. Glenn DuBois, chancellor of the Virginia Community College System. “He says it’s important not only to sell the idea of what John Tyler does but to understand what the community does, and needs. He’s right. A community college is at its best when it can bring a community together to help it move forward.” DuBois also spoke about Raspiller’s firm belief in the community college mission. “He was raised in a home of educators. His father and his late mother were both educators. But Ted says he didn’t think he would be one. He wasn’t interested in that. It was his time as a community college student, where he encountered what he describes as the greatest teachers he’s ever had, and for the first time in his life, Ted was on a launch pad,” said DuBois. “Ted knows that despite living in a moment when opportunity seems rare, when challenges seem beyond resolution, and when hope seems scarce, that education is the answer. That’s true for the young, first-generation student just emerging from a high school he barely passed to a family’s breadwinner who is emerging from a lay-off he or she never saw coming. Education is the answer.”
President John Broderick of Old Dominion University (ODU) offered similar observations. When speaking about Raspiller’s time at ODU as chair of the university’s Community College Leadership Doctoral Program, Broderick said, “His colleagues at ODU always remember Ted as innovative, receptive and enthusiastic.” Those are important traits in a leader, Broderick said, as is credibility and likeability. Broderick also paid tribute to John Tyler and to Virginia’s community colleges as economic development engines and to the students whose successes are sometimes overshadowed. “I say to the community college student that is with us here, in many ways, you reflect a greater part of the American educational system success story than others that we sometimes choose to celebrate nationwide. I say this because of the diverse paths and challenges that many community college students overcome to reach their particular educational destination no matter what that might be.”
In his remarks, Raspiller reiterated the importance of making educational opportunities available to everyone, because now, more than ever, the need is great. “Virginia will have 500,000 new jobs and 900,000 retirees by 2023,” he said. “That’s 1.4 million jobs and over a half will require a post-high school credential.” This, he says, is where community colleges like John Tyler are at their best. They can offer students from diverse backgrounds, who may be overcoming challenges, options that can put them on a pathway to success. “From the rolling hills of western Amelia to the Chickahominy River to the east and from the banks of the mighty James River to the north down through the fields of Surrey and Sussex counties, John Tyler Community College is creating pathways to take them from where they are to where they need to be to take their rightful place on the road to discovering the American dream, and we will not rest until our mission is fulfilled and each person, regardless of background and where they are from or what their dreams and ultimate destiny are, has found their place at John Tyler Community College.”
For more about the inauguration of Dr. Edward E. “Ted” Raspiller, visit www.jtcc.edu/inauguration. To see photographs of the ceremony, visit Tyler’s Flickr page at https://www.flickr.com/photos/johntylercc/sets/72157648332059248/.
John Tyler Community College 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 nearly 14,000 students during the 2013-14 academic year, offers 18 associate degrees, seven certificates, and 36 career studies certificates. The institution also serves more than 13,000 non-credit trainees and over 1,000 companies and government agencies annually through the Community College Workforce Alliance.