Senator Charles Colgan was the guest of honor at a reception May 16 at the Manassas Campus. Board members, faculty, staff and students gathered to thank Colgan for his donation to the Campus Library. Colgan donated a large collection of books that document the proceedings of the General Assembly during the years Colgan has served the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Provost Hortense Hinton welcomed Colgan and his wife, Alicia, and thanked them for the generous donation and dedicated service to NOVA.
President Robert G. Templin, Jr. expressed his gratitude for Colgan’s true and reliable friendship, then pointed to Colgan’s portrait on the wall of the library and said, “You’re now part of the popular collection.”
NOVA Board Chairman James White said, “As we all know, this building is named Colgan Hall in honor of everything you’ve done for the College and we thank you for your steadfast support.”
Longtime Librarian Sherrill Wharff discussed improvements to the Manassas Campus over the years and gave much of the credit to Colgan. Because the books Colgan donated contain statutes that can be difficult to decipher, Wharff shared an appropriate passage from “Legal Research: How to Find and Understand the Law.”
“Legal Research says ‘read the statute at least three times, then read it again. Often a different and hopefully more accurate meaning will emerge from each reading. Never feel that somehow you are inadequate because despite a number of readings you aren’t sure what a particular statute means. A great many lawsuits result from the fact that lawyers disagree about confusing statutory language,’” Wharff read to the amusement of her listeners.
Four students told how Colgan’s service in the General Assembly has impacted them. Brittany Shearer recently graduated from NOVA and will transfer to the University of Virginia in the fall. “Your investment in NOVA and the community college system allows students like me to have opportunities to fulfill their dreams,” Shearer said.
Mariya Podeyko said, “NOVA provides many ways for students to get involved in the community and because of this many doors have opened. Thank you, Senator Colgan, for making unforgettable experiences for students.”
Alex Longhi remarked, “Because of your support, students are given opportunities that transform our lives. Thank you for recognizing the importance of higher education.”
Brian Henley said, “For many, this school is a new beginning, a fresh start, a gateway to a new job or a way to get into a university. Senator Colgan, we are very grateful for your service.”
Colgan shared interesting stories about negotiating with other members of the General Assembly for votes and said seeing the results makes all his efforts worthwhile.
“Alicia and I volunteered at NOVA’s Commencement and it was a happy experience, filled with lots of excitement and promise,” Colgan said. “Education will solve most of our problems. We have to be first in education.”