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Godwin to retire as president of PHCC

After nine years as president of Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC), Dr. Angeline Godwin announced that she will retire.

In the announcement made during the college’s board meeting Monday, Godwin said she plans to finish the academic year before retiring on July 1. Until then, Godwin said she would remain focused in this final semester on PHCC’s many on-going initiatives, and the continued safety and success of the PHCC family.

During Godwin’s tenure at PHCC, the college has continually grown and prospered through a myriad of challenges.

Over the years, the college’s footprint has grown significantly with the addition of the Dalton IDEA Center in uptown Martinsville; the Manufacturing, Engineering, and Technology Complex in the Patriot Center; as well as two different training facilities in Patrick County.

Under her leadership, the college received several national distinctions including the Community Colleges of Appalachia’s Workforce Development Award in 2014 and Achieving the Dream’s Leah Meyer Austin Award in 2015. PHCC was recognized as an NC3 Leader School in 2018 and then in 2020 became the first institution in the nation to be named an NC3 Festo Center of Excellence in Industry 4.0 Advanced Manufacturing.

PHCC also received several competitive national and regional grants that enabled the college to launch many unique programs. One example would be grants from the National Science Foundation and the American Association of Community Colleges that together enabled PHCC to establish the IDEA Academy. Another grant from the Verizon Foundation established the Verizon Innovative Learning Camp. With a $3.1 million grant from Harvest Foundation, PHCC established the SEED program which has enabled hundreds of students to attend PHCC for free.

Godwin had a significant influence on the growth of the college’s athletic program as well. Over the last nine years, the college added a number of new sports and served more than 1200 student-athletes including numerous athletes from a variety of different countries.

Dr. Godwin has always said ‘but for PHCC, many student-athletes would not have the opportunity to pursue a degree while playing a sport they love.’ In so many ways, we’re able to provide this opportunity because of her leadership,” PHCC’s Athletic Director Brian Henderson said. “Without Dr. Godwin, I do not know where PHCC Athletics would be. In fact, I’m not certain where I would be. One thing that I am certain of is that I’m honored to have worked for, learned from, and built a PHAMILY alongside Dr. Angeline Godwin.”

Upon learning of Godwin’s retirement, one of her close colleagues, PHCC’s Vice President of Finance and Administration Jack Hanbury, said, “I have known Dr. Godwin for over 20 years, and she has always been a successful leader. Her leadership at Patrick Henry during difficult times has been exemplary, and I am honored to consider her my good friend.”

Godwin’s positive impact stretches beyond the PHCC family and into the surrounding community as well.

“While Dr. Godwin has certainly contributed to the growth of this college, she almost made notable contributions to the economic development of the community. The communities served by PHCC have benefited tremendously from her vast knowledge and experience in economic and community development,”PHCC’s Vice President of Workforce, Economic and Community Development, Rhonda Hodges who works daily with local business and community leaders said.

Godwin has had an active role in the Martinsville – Henry County Economic Development Corp. (EDC), and with the Martinsville Henry County Chamber of Commerce’s Start-Up and Grow Martinsville programs.

She regularly welcomes potential business prospects for tours of the college campus and is active in discussing training opportunities that could further economic development opportunities for local and prospective businesses.

“Dr. Godwin has made a tremendous impact on this community since she joined us in 2012. She has worked tirelessly on behalf of PHCC but also for the entire community. She is a consummate team player and one of the smartest people I’ve ever met. She always knew what buttons to push to get things done but never sought the attention or the credit. I think one of the best standards by which a person can be measured is to ask, ‘Did they leave us better than they found us?’ With Dr. Godwin, there is no doubt – that’s exactly what she did for this community,” Henry County Administrator Tim Hall said.

Jim Adams, chairman of the Henry County Board of Supervisors, said “there is no question that Dr. Godwin will leave big shoes to fill. Henry County has been blessed greatly by the contributions of Dr. Godwin, and we congratulate her on the upcoming and well-deserved retirement. On behalf of the entire board, we thank her for a job exceptionally well done.”

“I have heard Dr. Godwin say many times that the legacy of a leader is, in reality, the things that are still flourishing a decade after the leader departs,” said Greg Hodges PHCC’s Vice President of Academic & Student Success Services. “If that is the case, then we will be celebrating Dr. Godwin’s legacy at PHCC and within our service region for generations.”

Even after Godwin’s retirement, members of Martinsville’s Start-Up and Grow Programs will likely continue to benefit from the entrepreneurial guidance she offered them. Likewise, PHCC’s students will likely continue benefiting from the work Godwin accomplished on the Phi Theta Kappa National Honors Society Presidential Advisory Board. The many students and employees who participated in the Presidential Leadership Programs which she established will continue to benefit from the advice she provided in those meetings.

“Throughout my career, I’ve worked closely with many community college presidents and Angeline Godwin is among the very best. For nearly a decade now, her leadership has advanced not just the college, but also the broader community it serves. Angeline is a difference-maker, and she will be missed. That said, I wish her all the best in a well-earned retirement,” said Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges.

After retiring, Godwin plans to move back to her family home in Mississippi. With her new-found free time, she plans to enjoy her favorite hobbies that include songwriting, painting, and reading. Although she may pick up an odd job here or there, she intends to enjoy retirement to its fullest.

“I’ve got a bucket list so full, it’s really more of a barrel now,” Godwin said. “My mother always said, ‘you’ll know when it’s time- you’ll just know that you know.’ Over the last several months, I’ve come to know it. It’s time” to retire.

The process for selecting a new president will involve a nationwide open search and often takes many months. The search will begin promptly, led by the PHCC College Board and DuBois. Those familiar with the process expect that PHCC may be ready to welcome a new president before the Fall 2021 semester begins.

Before the new president is selected, PHCC faculty, staff, and students will have the opportunity to meet the prospective candidates and provide feedback for the decision.

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