ABINGDON, VA – Virginia Highlands Community College (VHCC) has named Laura D. Pennington vice president of institutional advancement. Pennington, who came to VHCC in 2016, serving as the director of resource development, has been leading the Office of Institutional Advancement as interim vice president since October 2017.
Pennington’s 25-year professional career includes diverse roles at community colleges in three states.
“I have found Laura to possess intelligence, grit, humor, grace, and integrity,” said Dr. Charlie White, VHCC interim president. “I continue to be impressed by her contributions to the campus climate through her deep relationships and positive energy.”
As vice president of institutional advancement, Pennington will also serve as the executive director of the VHCC Educational Foundation. In her roles, Pennington will endeavor to establish and maintain strong relationships with the community and stakeholders, communicate and share information about VHCC and its partners, and win financial and other resources to further support the mission of serving students, businesses and the community.
Pennington holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations and legal studies from the University of San Diego, and a master’s degree in education from the Oklahoma State University, Stillwater. She is currently completing her doctorate in educational leadership at Western Carolina University, Cullowhee.
Pennington is a National Institute for Leadership Development scholar, a graduate of the Council for Resource Development intern program, a Certified Fund Raising Executive, a contributing author for the book entitled Embracing the Tiger—the Effectiveness Debate and the Community Colleges, and has been honored as a master presenter by the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development.
Regarding her appointment, Pennington said, “I am grateful for the opportunity to continue to support the College and the Foundation in this capacity – and to be a part of what promises to be a bright future for this special place.”
While Pennington has called the Philippines, Hawaii, California, Washington, Tennessee, and North Carolina home, she now resides in Abingdon, Va. She has served on many local, regional, and state boards and is active in promoting children’s issues and animal welfare.
About Virginia Highlands Community College
Virginia Highlands Community College is one of the 23 comprehensive community colleges in the Virginia Community College System. VHCC has become a dynamic leader in Southwest Virginia with a primary goal of providing comprehensive and quality education and related services for residents throughout its region. We proudly serve the residents of Bristol Virginia, Washington County and the Western Part of Smyth County. The College is committed to teaching, learning and community building and serves more than 2500 students, offering more than 80 academic areas of study.