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June 22, 2017

LFCC president will retire in February 2018

Staff photo/Lawrence Emerson
Lord Fairfax Community College President Cheryl Thompson-Stacy will retire Feb. 1, 2018.
Lord Fairfax Community College President Cheryl Thompson-Stacy, 59, will retire next year.

Dr. Thompson-Stacy announced Thursday that she will leave the job Feb. 1, 2018.

Affectionately known as “Dr. C” around campus, Dr. Thompson-Stacy has served as the leader of LFCC — with campuses in Middletown, Warrenton, Luray and Vint Hill — since January 2009.

She is the fourth person — and second woman — to serve as president of LFCC, which opened its first classrooms in “The Barn” in 1970.

Dr. Thompson-Stacy’s time at LFCC has been marked by numerous successes:

• A 13 percent jump in full-time enrollment in 2010, following her hiring, with significant growth in the following years.

• Dramatic spikes in the number of high school students taking dual-enrollment classes.

• An 85 percent increase in the college’s endowment.

• The addition of several new degree and certification programs, including associate of science specializations in agriculture, engineering and health professions, cyber security and the commercial driver’s license program.

• The surgical technology program received national accreditation. The nursing program currently is in the approval process for national accreditation.

• LFCC designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense by the U.S. National Security Agency and U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

• LFCC named four times as the number one community college of its size in the nation by the Center for Digital Education.

The Middletown Campus’s Corron Community Development Center and the Student Union Building were constructed during Dr. Thompson-Stacy’s tenure.

The Kathy Kanter Dental Hygiene Clinic, also in Middletown, underwent an expansion and renovation, to allow LFCC to better serve and expand its students, employees and community members.

Dr. Thompson-Stacy also presided over the establishment of LFCC’s fourth location at Vint Hill and the expansion of the Luray-Page County Center.

In Fauquier she oversaw the renovation of The Barn and the financing of $17 million in state construction funds for the Eleanor C. and William A. Hazel Hall.

Groundbreaking on Hazel Hall is expected this fall.

“Of all of LFCC’s many achievements in recent years, I am most proud of our being named a ‘Great College to Work For’ the past five years in a row,” Dr. Thompson-Stacy said. “That’s because the best part of my job has always been the people I work with and the students we serve.”

The Chronicle of Higher Education bestows the designation on colleges based on anonymous workplace satisfaction surveys.

As a result of the 2016 survey, LFCC ranked as one of three community colleges in the nation recognized in all 10 categories, including confidence in senior leadership, job satisfaction, work/life balance, compensation and benefits, and respect and appreciation.

With a milestone birthday approaching, Dr. Thompson-Stacy said she began to reflect on her future and decided to retire.

“Our team has accomplished so much over the past nine years — enrollment exploded, we’ve got more facilities, more programs, national recognitions in a wide variety of areas,” Dr. Thompson-Stacy said. “I think it’s a good time now for someone else to come in and take the driver’s seat and continue to move the college forward.”

LFCC College Board Chair Fran Jeffries calls Dr. Thompson-Stacy a “visionary leader.”

“She has excelled in working with LFCC staff, the LFCC College Board, the LFCC Foundation Board, our community, and our students to provide the flexible, meaningful, and varied educational opportunities that characterize Lord Fairfax Community College,” Ms. Jeffries said.

“During her tenure as president, LFCC has expanded its campus facilities at Middletown, Fauquier, and Luray; increased enrollment; improved its curriculum offerings and worked closely with community businesses and schools to assure workforce needs are met and that all students have an opportunity to be successful,” she added.

“We are grateful for her dedication to LFCC and her exemplary leadership over the past nine years. She will be missed,” Ms. Jeffries said.

Among other accomplishments, Dr. Thompson-Stacy received the 2015 Woman of the Year award from the Winchester Branch of the American Association of University Women, and served as a former board chair of United Way of the Northern Shenandoah Valley.

She serves as chair-elect of the Top of Virginia Regional Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, is a member of the Front Royal Women’s Resource Center and works on the Governor’s Commonwealth Council on Childhood Success.

She previously served on the boards of the Warren County Chamber of Commerce and Goodwill Industries, among other bodies.

Prior to her arrival at Lord Fairfax, Dr. Thompson-Stacy worked as Eastern Shore Community College’s first female president.

She has also served as a vice president at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, and as a business dean at both Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, Ohio and at Jefferson Community College in Steubenville, Ohio.

Dr. Thompson-Stacy holds a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in business administration from Kent State University in Ohio, and a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Sarasota.
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