Stupendous Success

By Quentin R. Johnson, Ph.D.

Southside Virginia Community College will honor its 2021 graduates in a virtual celebration to be released May 15, 2021 at 9:30 a.m. Students, their families, and others in the community, can access the pre recorded video through the college’s website (southside.edu) or FaceBook page (facebook.com/SouthsideVirginiaCommunityCollege).

Tiara Mustafo, a 2017 SVCC alumna, will sing the National Anthem. Tiara says SVCC gave her time to find herself and make important friendships. Today, she is a full-time musician. “Music has always been what makes my spirit happy,” she says. A word that describes Tiara is inspiring.

The graduates to be recognized embody many additional characteristics that have contributed to their successes. In preparing for this year’s celebration, we asked faculty and staff to tell us what words best portray the Class of 2021. Here are just a few.

Brave. A recent survey of students revealed that 45% belonged to the first college-going generation in their families. These educational pioneers have taken steps beyond their parents’ experiences to navigate new opportunities. Each of these individuals has demonstrated personal courage in reaching their goals. We salute them.

Diligent and hard-working. Earning a post-secondary degree or other credential, even during the smoothest of times, requires careful attention and the persistent application of effort. Our 2021 graduates have maintained their focus during a turbulent year rocked by social justice concerns and a pandemic. In addition, two out of three completed their studies while holding down a full-time or part-time job. We admire their determined dedication.

Adaptable. This year’s graduates have taken a mix of courses made available through traditional and innovative formats, including online lectures, meeting-style Zoom classes, video broadcasts, and hybrids that combined assorted modalities. SVCC recognizes the importance of giving students opportunities to develop their roles and responsibilities as participants in a changing society. The ever-changing reality of societal transformation has never been more apparent than during the past year. We take our collective hats off to our adaptable students.

Ambitious. The Class of 2021 includes 751 individual academic students who will earn a combined total of 855 awards, including associate degrees and other certificates. Their post-graduation ambitions vary. Some will put their education immediately to use in the workforce; others will continue their academic journeys through transfers to senior institutions.

Positive and driven. 175 students who have completed workforce training programs throughout the year are celebrated with program specific ceremonies. Combined, they have earned 352 industry-recognized credentials. These individuals worked hard to learn new skills and demonstrate the level of mastery required to enter and excel in their chosen professions.

Resourcefulresilient, and strong. All our graduates can tell personal stories about overcoming challenges. One student noted, “I work a full-time job and have small children.” Another explained, “At first, I did not know if I was going to like SVCC being that I was supposed to go to a four-year university and my plans fell through, but now I love it! I would not want to have it any other way.”

There are many other words that can be used to describe the remarkable people who will be honored at SVCC’s commencement ceremony. One I like is Stupendous. As they move into the future, these extraordinary graduates will make a wonderfully stupendous impact as they weave their personal success stories into the fabric of our communities.





McEachin Announces Emergency Broadband Benefit to Help Households Afford Broadband Access

WASHINGTON- Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) today announced the start of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Emergency Broadband Benefit program to help households struggling to afford internet services during the pandemic. The program, which opens for enrollment on May 12, provides up to a $50 per month discount for broadband services, up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal Lands, and a one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, desktop, or tablet purchased through a qualifying provider.

Eligible households include those where at least one member of the household:

  • Is at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines or is a participant in certain government assistance programs;
  • Receives free or reduced school lunch or breakfast;
  • Received a Pell grant during the current award year;
  • Experienced job loss or significant income reduction since February 29, 2020;
  • Or meets the eligibility requirements of a participating provider’s existing low income or covid-19 program.

Interested applicants should either contact their current provider directly, apply online at getemergencybroadband.org or send an application by mail to Emergency Broadband Support Center, PO Box 7081, London, KY 40742. Further information can be obtained by calling 833-511-0311

“This program offers an assist for families needing broadband but unable to afford it because of COVID-related impacts,” McEachin said. “Whether it’s for work, for school, for virtual medical visits, or to search for employment, this program will help families. I encourage all those eligible to apply. “

Lucille “Lou” Price Berger Tulloh

August 17, 1928-May 5, 2021


Lucille “Lou” Price Berger Tulloh, 92, went home to be with the Lord and her beloved husband, Ryan Lee “Bill” Tulloh on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. Lou was born in Gretna, Virginia on August 17, 1928 and was the youngest child of John Daniel Berger, Sr. and Bertha Hardaway Berger.

In addition to her husband and her parents, Lou was predeceased by her brothers, Floyd H. Berger and John D. Berger, Jr., her sister Elva “Junie” B. Brooking, and a dear cousin raised with her, Witcher T. Berger.

She is survived by her son, William R. Tulloh and her twin daughters, Betty Lou Tulloh and Barbara T. Flatin (Mark); three granddaughters, Anne K.F. Wendling (Alex), Laura R. Price, and Grace T. Golden (Michael); three great-grandchildren, Lucy C. Golden, Arthur T. Wendling, and Peter A. Golden; many nieces and nephews; and her two cats, Cleo and Bud.

Lou graduated from Madison College (JMU) with a B.S. in Education, where she was a member of Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society. She also earned an M.A. in Education at Virginia Commonwealth University, where she was a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.

After graduating, Lou moved to Emporia, Virginia where she had a long and distinguished teaching and coaching career with the Greensville County school system. In 1990, she was named Belfield School Teacher of the Year and the Greensville County Teacher of the Year.
Lou was a remarkably strong woman who overcame more than her fair share of hardships. Widowed after ten short, but very happy, years of marriage, she went on to raise her three children by herself while shaping young minds in the classroom and on the basketball court. Her students remembered her fondly, and she lived for those moments when they would tell her how she had influenced their lives; her science class being the first step on the road to medical school, for example.

Lou was a member of Main Street Baptist Church for nearly 70 years; this community was a huge source of strength for her. An avid Berger family historian, she enjoyed her time as a member of the Hicksford Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. She was also an animal-lover. Her roster of cherished pets included dogs, cats, roosters, ponies, and a rabbit.

Lou was an ACC basketball fanatic, a talented gardener, and a loving grandmother. She spent many happy summers water skiing, swimming, and boating with her family on Lake Gaston. She was deeply devoted to her Emporia community, her family, and her faith.

Due to the pandemic, there will be a private service for the immediate family. Her family asks that you celebrate Lou’s life in your heart by appreciating a beautiful flower, cuddling with a pet, or reflecting on your favorite Bible verse. Memorial donations may be made to the Pedigree Foundation at www.pedigreefoundation.org, or your favorite animal rescue organization. To share an online condolence, please visit www.blileys.com.

Catherine Moore Mattox

November 7, 1954 - May 6, 2021


Tuesday, May 11, 2021, starting at 2:00 P.M.

Matthews Chapel Cemetery

Catherine Moore Mattox, 66, passed away on May 6, 2021. She was preceded in death by her parents, Wade L. Moore and Mildred Louise Maze Moore. She is survived by her sister, Alisa M. Shearin (Tommy), niece, Jennifer Shearin, nephews, Brandon Shearin (Amy), Kyle Shearin, great-niece/nephew, Brittlyn Shearin, Dawson Shearin, along with many other extended family.

Catherine grew up in Brunswick, VA., where she attended Brunswick Academy and later settled down in Drewryville, VA. She worked at Sadler’s Travel Plaza as a manager for many years. She loved her animals and enjoyed gardening.

A graveside service will be held at Matthews Chapel Cemetery, on Tuesday, May 11, 2021, starting at 2:00 P.M.

Online condolences may be made at www.echolsfuneralhome.com

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