News Archive

Randolph College Announces the 2011 Commencement Speaker

Honorable Shannon Valentine, former member of the House of Delegates, chosen to address the Class of 2011

4/4/2011 8:49:51 AM


LYNCHBURG—The Honorable Shannon Valentine will serve as Randolph College’s 2011 Commencement speaker Sunday, May 15.

Commencement is scheduled for 10 a.m. in The Dell.

Valentine, a Lynchburg resident, served in the Virginia House of Delegates from 2006-2010. With experience as a businesswoman, political candidate and elected official, Valentine speaks across the Commonwealth on issues of ethics, integrity, open government, and effective leadership. She was chosen as Randolph’s Commencement speaker by a committee of faculty, staff, and students.

“Shannon is a charismatic leader who has a sensible approach to issues and who has done a lot for Lynchburg,” said John E. Klein, Randolph’s president. “She inspired many Randolph students, faculty, and staff to work for and help her during her recent campaign. We are proud to have her as our featured speaker.”

While Valentine’s accomplishments have focused on economic development, infrastructure and improving the delivery of health care services, she may be best known for launching Lynchburg’s Northeast Regional rail service and leading the bipartisan effort to invest in intercity passenger rail for the first time in Virginia’s history.

She currently serves on the Board of the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia, the Medical Society of Virginia Foundation Board, the Lynchburg City Schools Foundation Board, the Board of Trustees for the Bloomfield Corporation serving children and young adults with physical disabilities, and a task force addressing youth violence in Virginia.

A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Virginia in economics, Valentine also graduated from the Sorensen Institute, and completed a four-year theology course through Sewanee University School of Theology, “Education for Ministry.”

In November of 2010, Valentine received the NAACP’s Freedom Fighter Award. In October 2010, Valentine was named by the YWCA to the Academy of Women for her contributions in Government and Law. In April 2010, she was honored by Commonwealth Autism Services for her work on behalf of children with autism, and was awarded the Elizabeth M. Forsythe Community Service Award in May 2010 for her strong advocacy of women and children’s issues in the Commonwealth. In October 2009, Valentine was named the first recipient of the Challenged Sports Exchange’s Advocate of the Year Award. She received an Honorary Doctorate of Law Degree from the Virginia University of Lynchburg, as well as The Humanitarian Award from the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities for her commitment to promoting respect and understanding among people of diverse racial, ethnic and religious backgrounds. She has also been awarded the Individual Distinction Award from the Medical Society of Virginia Alliance, presented to the individual who best promotes the quality of health care through legislation.

For more than 15 years, Valentine worked to improve inner city housing through the Lynchburg Neighborhood Development Foundation, Lynchburg Housing Partnership and Habitat for Humanity. Prior to moving to Virginia, she served as Associate Vice President of Corporate Communications for Equifax, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. Under her leadership, a new corporate identity program was launched bringing nine operating companies, with more than 1,100 locations throughout the United States and Canada, under the Equifax name.

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CONTACT: Brenda Edson, Director of College Relations