• 84°

Lufkin’s working just fine at PDCCC

Looks like it’s official.

A little more than 15 months after being elevated to the post of president at Paul D. Camp Community College, Dr. Daniel Lufkin has been officially and formally inaugurated. The traditional installation ceremony was held on Oct. 6 at the college’s Regional Workforce Development Center in Franklin.

Joking with a reporter last week, Lufkin said the Virginia Community College System’s yearlong wait between the time he took the reins at a school and the time of his inauguration ceremony gave officials long enough to be sure the appointment would “take.” Actually, though, the delay is a tradition, and it’s one that works well for VCCS.

Lufkin took over the presidency from interim President William C. Aiken, who was brought to the college to fix problems that had caused the VCCS to remove Dr. Paul Conco from the position just a few months prior to his planned retirement.

Under the capable leadership of first Aiken and now Lufkin, PDCCC has begun to make great strides toward becoming the community gem that Western Tidewater deserves and that the school’s faculty were always capable of making it.

Postponing Lufkin’s inauguration for a bit has allowed some of the plans put in place by Aiken and Lufkin to begin to gain momentum. The result was that the speeches at Friday’s ceremony were full not just of hopeful anticipation of changes to come; instead, they featured the confident expectation that changes already set into motion will continue to bear good fruit for the college.

During Lufkin’s inaugural address, he spoke about its fast-track welding and global logistics programs in Franklin, the new electrical and instrumentation program at the college’s Suffolk campus and its new CNA program at Smithfield.

Add to those programs a new baseball team and a mentoring program for men at the college, and the new truck-driver training program operating from Suffolk, and one quickly sees the great potential that is being unleashed at Paul D. Camp Community College.

And it’s not just potential success — the improvements have been real, and they’re already measurable. Since Lufkin took the reins, the college has seen an increase in completion rates, including dual-enrollment graduates, who provide some of the best evidence of PDCCC’s important efforts to work closely with area secondary schools.

Clearly, Lufkin’s appointment “took,” after all. We look forward to the continued improvements and the new places PDCCC can be expected to go with him at the helm.