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Robert Harrell '60, Ed.S. '93 Named Hampton Roads Local Hero

Bobby Harrell & Chris Hendersen



At the Bank of America Neighborhood Excellence Initiative awards ceremony a Suffolk organization, two Suffolk residents and a Suffolk student were among those honored by the Bank of America Charitable Foundation. School of Education alum, Robert W. Harrell Jr., was named 2009 Hampton Roads Local Hero.

The foundation's Neighborhood Excellence Initiative annually recognizes organizations, individuals and students who have shown a commitment to improving their communities.

 "He is just very giving of his time," Henderson said of Harrell. Harrell has served on the board of the Suffolk Salvation Army for 26 years, and also is a co-founder of the Liberty Spring and Suffolk Ruritan clubs. In addition, he has been involved with his alma mater, the College of William and Mary, through the college's School of Education development board and is chairman of his 50-year reunion for 2010.

Bob received an A.B. Business Administration - Management, The College of William and Mary, 1960, a MBA Old Dominion University, 1971 and an Ed.S. in Higher Education, The College of William and Mary, 1993.

Before retiring Bob was Vice-President for Commonwealth Initiatives and Vice-President of Regional Operations for The Virginia Center for Innovative Technology (CIT). Prior to this he was appointed by Governor Robb to the State Board of Community Colleges where he served as Vice-Chairman and represented the Commonwealth of Virginia on the National Association of Community College Trustees. He was appointed by Governors Baliles and Wilder to the Governors Industrial Development Advisory Board, advising the Governor on economic development issues.

Bob served as the founding Vice-Chairman for the Alumni Associations "Council of Presidents", and then as Chairman. He served on the Alumni Association Board of Directors representing the interest of the alumni chapters. He also served as President of the South of the James Alumni Chapter. He was instrumental in getting funding for the Technology Business Center at William and Mary and served on its first advisory board.

His community endeavors have included a nine year stint on the Portsmouth Museum Foundation and over 30 years on the Salvation Army Advisory Board. He is a founding director of the Small Business Development Center of Hampton Roads, The Hampton Roads Technology Council, The Technology Development Center, and The Hampton Technology Incubator.

He is the co-author of 2 books and has published numerous articles on technology and community colleges.

Bob lives in Suffolk, Virginia with his wife Monette (M. Ed ‘71). He has had thirteen family members graduate from William and Mary.