Staff Contact:

Andrea J. Burney, APR

Director of  Public Relations



The Honorable Gerard Robinson

Richard G. Barkhouser

DANVILLE, VA, May 2, 2011 – Danville Community College will hold its 2011 Commencement on Friday, May 13, at 7:00 p.m. This year’s event will be held on the DCC main campus athletic field. Virginia’s Secretary of Education Gerard Robinson will be the speaker. All fall and spring graduates and students who will complete their studies in the summer will participate.

Associate degrees, diplomas and certificates will be awarded to more than 500 graduates, including high school seniors who are simultaneously earning their high school diplomas and college credit with a First Year Studies Certificate or Associate of Arts and Science Degree from Danville Community College. These students from Chatham, Dan River, Tunstall and Halifax County High Schools have earned college credit by taking dual enrollment classes at their respective schools.

An Honorary Associate in Humane Letters Degree will be awarded to businessman Richard G. Barkhouser for his generous support of DCC. Both he and his wife, Mildred “Kit? W. Barkhouser, have also served on either the College Board or the DCC Educational Foundation Board. Most recently, the Barkhousers provided the gift to establish the Barkhouser Free Enterprise Center on the DCC campus. In addition, scholarship recipients who are continuing their education at four-year colleges and universities will be recognized during the ceremony.

Robinson, who is a community college graduate himself, assumed his current post in January 2010 with an appointment by Governor Bob McDonnell. Prior to that, he served as the President of the Black Alliance for Educational Options, a national nonprofit, nonpartisan organization whose mission is to actively support parental choice to empower families and to increase quality educational options for Black children. Robinson also has served as a senior research associate for the School Choice Demonstration Project at the University of Arkansas, and as a senior fellow at the Institute for the Transformation of Learning at Marquette University where he assisted in reform efforts related to Milwaukee's private and public school choice programs and provided testimony before a Wisconsin legislative hearing on "Closing the Achievement Gap."

Robinson, who began his career as an educator in Los Angeles, is a nationally-recognized expert on the modern charter school movement and serves on the Policy Advisory Council at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools and on the board of the U.S. Department of Education’s National Charter School Resource Center. He is the author of numerous publications and has travelled extensively in the U.S. and abroad giving formal and informal presentations about education and public policy.

Robinson received a Master of Education degree from Harvard University, a Bachelor of Arts degree from Howard University, and an Associate of Arts degree from El Camino Community College. He is married and has three daughters.

For more information about DCC’s commencement, please contact the Office of the Vice President for Academic and Student Services, at 434.797.8410 or click here.


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