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Universities celebrate grand opening in Newport News Aug. 12


   

Wells Fargo building on Thimble Shoals Boulevard houses new campus center. Virginia Tech's Newport News campus is on Thimble Shoals Boulevard.


NEWPORT NEWS, Va., Aug. 5, 2013 – After more than a year of planning, Virginia Tech will join with the University of Virginia to publicly unveil the universities' jointly operated Newport News center.

University of Virginia President Teresa A. Sullivan will join Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger in celebrating the center's opening during events Aug. 12, including a public reception at 5:30 p.m. at the Marriott at City Center.

The higher education center at 600 Thimble Shoals Blvd. – which Virginia Tech has named the Virginia Tech Hampton Roads Center, Newport News – is the latest in the growing body of Virginia Tech's commonwealth campus centers. 

Situated in Richmond, Virginia Beach, Critz, Abingdon, and Roanoke, the centers provide professional development and corporate training in their regions. Most also provide graduate-level academic offerings.

In addition, Virginia Tech's statewide presence includes the National Capital Region, providing a strong research and graduate-education presence in the greater Washington, D.C., area. Virginia Tech is also a key player in the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research in Danville.

Melissa Lubin, who directs the center in Newport News plus the centers in Virginia Beach and Richmond, says the emphasis in Newport News will be on customized professional-development training for clients in industry and government. "Our longer term goal is to expand our graduate offerings in this part of Virginia, which is concentrated in population and also in flourishing business environments," she says.

Lubin and her counterparts at the University of Virginia coordinated the center's planning with an eye to each university's strengths, with the Charlottesville-based university focused on certificate training in finance, information technology, and business. The universities will share the center's office, conference, and classroom space.

"We appreciate the great public support the center's opening has generated," says Guru Ghosh, vice president for Outreach and International Affairs at Virginia Tech. "We are grateful not only for the excellent work of our partners at the University of Virginia, but also for the generous financial contributions of the Economic Development Authority in Newport News."

The authority spent $100,000 to renovate and outfit the 8,000-square-foot second floor of the Wells Fargo building to accommodate its educational mission.

Virginia Tech alumna Laura W. Fornash, Virginia's secretary of education, is scheduled to speak along with the university presidents at the 5:30 p.m. event.

The Hampton Roads area also is host to four Virginia Agricultural Research and Extension Centers, part of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, which are situated in Hampton, Virginia Beach, Suffolk, and Painter.

The greater Washington, D.C., area will be the site of a second major grand opening involving Outreach and International Affairs. The Virginia Tech Language and Culture Institute offers classes at the Northern Virginia Center in Falls Church, Va. The institute is moving and expanding its operations to 2677 Prosperity Ave., Fairfax, Va., in January.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 225 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $496 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.