Staff Contact:

Andrea J. Burney, APR

Director of  Public Relations



Maurice Jones William R. Gentry

The Honorable Maurice Jones, Virginia's Secretary of Commerce and Trade, will be the 2014 commencement speaker.

William J. Gentry Jr., Danville businessman, will receive an honorary associate in humane letters degree.

DANVILLE, VA, April 16, 2014 -- The Honorable Maurice Jones, who was appointed Secretary of Commerce and Trade by Governor Terry McAuliffe in January 2014, will be the speaker for Danville Community College 2014 Commencement. The event is set for Friday, May 16 at 7 p.m. at the Carrington Pavilion in Danville (629 Craghead St.). All fall and spring graduates and students who will complete their studies in the summer will participate.

This year’s program includes more than 500 graduates who will receive associate degrees, diplomas and certificates. The number includes more than 50 high school seniors who will be receiving a General Education Certificate or an Associate of Arts and Science Degree Scholarship recipients who are continuing their education at four-year institutions will also be recognized during the ceremony. In addition, an honorary associate in humane letters degree will be awarded to William J. Gentry Jr., for his community service and support to the College. Gentry, a local businessman, owns Piedmont Precision, North American Mold and Golden Leaf Bistro. He is also a member of the DCC Precision Machining Curriculum Advisory Committee.

Prior to his appointment to the Governor’s cabinet, Jones served as Deputy Secretary for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) from April 2012 through January 2014. As the second most senior official at HUD, Jones managed the Department's day-to-day operations, the annual operating budget, and the agency's 8,900 employees. Before joining HUD, Jones was President of Pilot Media, the largest print and digital organization in Hampton Roads. He joined Landmark Media Enterprises, owner of Pilot Media, in 2005, serving as Vice President of the Landmark Publishing Group, consisting of multiple newspapers, including the News & Record in Greensboro, NC; The Roanoke Times; The Capital Gazette in Annapolis, MD; and Landmark Community Newspapers, Inc., based in Shelbyville, KY. In 2006, Jones became the Vice President and General Manager of Pilot Media, and in 2008, he became President and Publisher of The Virginian-Pilot.

A Kenbridge, native, Jones also served as Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Social Services and Deputy Chief of Staff to then-Virginia Governor Mark Warner. At the U.S. Treasury Department, Jones was Special Assistant to the General Counsel and he also served as Legal Counsel to the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund and as Director of the Fund during the (William) Clinton Administration. Jones also worked for the law firm of Hunton & Williams in Richmond, and as a Partner at Venture Philanthropy Partners, a firm that invests millions of dollars in the Washington, DC metropolitan area to assist low-income children.

Jones received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from Hampden-Sydney College. He attended Oxford University in England on a Rhodes scholarship, where he received a Master of Philosophy in International Relations. He later received a Juris Doctorate from the University of Virginia.


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