Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Germanna Community College President David A. Sam turned the first hour of Fall Learning Day, a college-wide training event for several hundred employees held today at the Daniel Center in Culpeper, into a celebration.

Dr. Sam praised college staff, faculty, administrators and volunteers for their hard work into evenings and over weekends, and for what he described as their ability to adapt, their can-do mindset and their amiable nature under stress.

“Some of these folks worked 12-, 14-, 16-hour days,” Dr. Sam said.

The quake struck on Aug. 23, causing damage to the Fredericksburg Area Campus Dickinson Building, Germanna’s largest, leaving it structurally unsound and out of commission for a year. No other building at the college’s other locations in Massaponax, Locust Grove, Culpeper and Stafford were significantly affected by the quake. But the entire college was closed to avoid confusion due to the need to move 4,400 students and 321 classes through creative scheduling in time for a Sept. 6 re-opening.

Virginia Community College System Chancellor Dr. Glenn DuBois climbed up on the Daniel Center stage, then took off his suit jacket, tie, and crisp, white dress shirt to reveal a blue “Germanna Quake Break ‘11” t-shirt.

“I really came to give you a shout out because I was so impressed with the minimal disruption to the students, how the community stepped up and you all just stayed on your game,” Dr. DuBois said.

“You took a crisis and turned it around and did the very, very best you could for your students.”

Dr. Sam said: “This is the most positive place I’ve ever worked… The earthquake was an opportunity for dysfunction. But I’ve been told by people at the Chamber and by other business people, ‘It’s remarkable what you folks did.’ “

“We work well under stress, with good spirits, helping each other,” he said. Through several years of budget cuts, an earthquake, and a hurricane, he said, “we continue to care about each other.”

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