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News Releases @ TCC


Media Contact: Laurie White, Chief Communications Officer


TCC Honors Three Individuals with Martin Luther King Jr. Awards

and Scholarship

Recognition for public service and humanitarian activities

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – (Jan. 19, 2004) – Tidewater Community College has honored three outstanding individuals who embody the dreams and life work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The college presented the awards during its fifth annual Martin Luther King Jr. recognition event, held Jan. 16. [photos]

TCC Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Distinguished Service Award ~ Edward L. Hamm Jr. Hamm, director of the Virginia Department of Minority Business Enterprise, has dedicated his life to his community, as noted in the resolution presented by TCC, citing:

  • his commitment to education as the great equalizer as manifested by his service on the managing boards of seven schools, colleges, universities, and educational organizations;
  • his pursuit of excellence in all that he does, which stands as an inspiring model for others who observe him;
  • from an early age, his dedication and sacrifice on behalf of achieving a better future for all Americans through fostering better race relations and building a more enlightened society;
  • his concern for advancing the economic interests of others through service on various boards and councils, such as the Governor’s Virginia Workforce Council, and his current state government position, held on a pro bono basis; and
  • consistently and quietly giving of his personal time and finances and professional expertise to enhance his community’s quality of life and opportunities to achieve by removing social, political, and economic barriers of inequality.

TCC Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. College Distinguished Service Award ~ Pearline P. Harmon.

The reference librarian at TCC’s Virginia Beach Campus and a Portsmouth resident, Harmon has devoted her life to the welfare of young people, from her many years of PTA service and pre-kindergarten advising to assisting college students in TCC’s Learning Resources Center. Her myriad community activities include helping found the Hampton Roads Chapter of the Virginia Breast Cancer Foundation, serving on the Portsmouth Public Library Board and working with the Salvation Army.

TCC Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship ~ Shirley G. Rentas.

  A returning student majoring in administration of justice, Rentas plans to become an attorney who fights for justice, especially for the poor. Rentas, a Virginia Beach resident and mother of three, immigrated with her family from Haiti in 1974. At TCC, she has earned dean’s list and won the 2003 Women’s Center Advisory Group Student Leadership Award and the 2002 Student Government Award. At the 2004 National Black Student Leadership Development Conference she won the Legacy Award and a scholarship. A bilingual receptionist in the International Student Services Office and a volunteer at the TCC Jeanne and George Roper Performing Arts Center, Rentas participates in campus activities such as Habitat for Humanity, American Heart Walk and Alcohol Awareness Forum.



Tidewater Community College is the second largest of the 23 community colleges in the Commonwealth of Virginia, enrolling more than 34,000 students annually. The 37th largest in the nation's 1,600 community-college network, TCC ranks among the 50 fastest-growing large community colleges. Founded in 1958 as a part of the Virginia Community College System, the college serves the South Hampton Roads region with campuses in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach as well as the TCC Jeanne and George Roper Performing Arts Center in the theater district in downtown Norfolk and a regional Advanced Technology Center in Virginia Beach. Forty-three percent of the region's residents attending a college or university in Virginia last fall were enrolled at TCC.

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Media Contact: Laurie White, Chief Communications Officer