(Richmond) – Glenn Dubois, the chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges made the following statement today on the passing of Gerald Baliles, former Governor of Virginia and former chair of the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education:
“All of Virginia higher education, and our community colleges in particular, have lost a great leader, advocate and supporter today with the passing of Gerald Baliles. For those of us fortunate enough to know him personally, we’ve lost a good friend.
“As Governor, Baliles invested significantly in education, including increased funding for Virginia’s Community Colleges. During his first year in office, he provided millions of dollars in additional community colleges funding to decrease tuition for the first time in VCCS history.
“During my time as chancellor, I got to work with Governor Baliles on a shared passion: increasing college attainment rates in rural Virginia. His work with our statewide foundation, of which he also served as chair, was integral to the beginning of our Rural Virginia Horseshoe Initiative and our continued efforts to ensure that opportunity is truly available across the commonwealth.
“While the entire commonwealth mourns his passing, Virginia’s Community Colleges will honor Gerald Baliles’ contributions and spirit by rededicating ourselves to our mission to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to learn and develop the right skills so lives and communities are strengthened.”