A true role model

Published 10:08 am Friday, December 9, 2011

Too many kids today see entertainers and athletes as role models, even though a tiny fraction of young people ever see professional success in those fields.

True role models are found much closer to home.

Take, for example, retiring Paul D. Camp Community College administrator Patsy Joyner. Her story is nothing short of inspiring.

While working a full-time job as a young adult in the 1970s, Joyner saw the value of a college education, even though she couldn’t afford to quit work. She attended classes four nights a week and during lunch breaks, earning a spot in the school’s first-ever graduating class. That associate’s degree was the springboard to bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Old Dominion University and, eventually, a doctorate from the College of William & Mary, all obtained while she continued to work full time.

During a 31-year career at PDCCC, Joyner rose steadily through the ranks to become vice president for institutional advancement. That’s a fancy title that doesn’t even begin to adequately describe the many roles Joyner performed for the local community college, from marketing and community relations to leadership of its private fundraising foundation.

She has been arguably the college’s biggest ambassador, never missing an opportunity to represent the college at a community function. She has given unselfishly to a wide array of community causes, including a term as president of the Franklin-Southampton Area Chamber of Commerce.

Few people leave a mark on an institution and a community like the one Joyner is leaving on PDCCC and Western Tidewater as she retires next month. We wish her well in retirement.