#25 of 30in30: Podium for presidents


President Obama signed the 2010 Health Care and Reconciliation Act of 2010 at NVCC


President Barack Obama has visited Northern Virginia Community College so much, he says, “I think I should be getting some credits.”

The President has been to NVCC five times, choosing the nearby college to announce several major workforce initiatives as well as to sign the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010.

Who has visited?

He’s not the only one.

The DC-suburban campuses of Northern Virginia Community College have been a popular presidential podium for many administrations, including those of Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H. W. Bush, and Jimmy Carter.


President Jimmy Carter shaking hands with retired NVCC provost Max Bassett in 1980

Yes, Jimmy Carter visited the Loudoun Campus back in 1980 to reauthorize  Higher Education Act amendments.

NVCC’s campuses have been a popular place to sign higher education law or make new higher education and training proposals ever since.

Barbara Bush

Barbara Bush was NVCC's commencement speaker in 2001

Some First Ladies, like Barbara Bush, have crossed the river to visit Northern Virginia Community College as well.

She gave the commencement speech at the college in 2001.

Who is it helping?

The national exposure surrounding a presidential visit elevates Virginia’s Community Colleges, putting community colleges in the spotlight and highlighting a sometimes-overlooked educational and workforce resource.

What is its future?


President George W. Bush presented workforce and unemployment proposals from NVCC in 2003.

In 2012, attention on community colleges has never been higher at the national level.

During his most recent visit, to announce a 2013 budget proposal for a “Community College to Career” fund, President Obama told students:

“The main reason I keep on coming back is I think this institution is an example of what’s best about America.”


Present George H. W. Bush signed higher education act amendments at NVCC in 1992


President Bill Clinton took a jog with NVCC students in 1994


Editor’s Note: 30 Ways in 30 Days Virginia’s Community Colleges are Elevating Virginia is a month-long blog series dedicated to exploring some of the many creative and inspiring ways our colleges are helping people find and create opportunity. The series is part of the VCCS tribute to National Community College Month. To read more of the series just click on the “30 ways in 30 days” category.

One Response to “ #25 of 30in30: Podium for presidents ”

  1. Virginia’s community colleges are important venues not just for presidents, but for presidential candidates. Smart campaigners know that by visiting community colleges, they reach a wide representation of the American populace. Both senators Barack Obama and Joe Biden visited Patrick Henry Community College during their campaign in 2008.

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