Saturday, July 20, 2024

Thomas Nelson Community College has a new president

Towuanna Porter Brannon (WYDaily/Courtesy of TNCC)
Towuanna Porter Brannon (WYDaily/Courtesy of TNCC)

Thomas Nelson Community College’s search for a new president has concluded.

Towuanna Porter Brannon will become the next president of TNCC, Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges, announced Thursday.

“Dr. Porter Brannon is not only an impressive higher education leader, but her life and career is a testament to the power of education to open doors and create opportunities,” DuBois said in a prepared statement. “I’m excited about what she brings to the table and the way she connects with people. I and the college community hold high hopes for what she can do to lead the college to meet the community’s needs through the pandemic, the subsequent economic recovery, and beyond.”

Porter Brannon has more than 20 years of higher education experience. She began her career as an assistant director and academic adviser at St. John’s College in New York in 1999. Four years later, she moved to the New York Institute of Technology to become its Central Advising Center coordinator, according to a news release from TNCC.

She joined the Borough of Manhattan Community College/City University of New York in 2006 as a coordinator for Academic Advising and Transfer for a year before moving to Berkeley College where she worked as a dean and then assistant vice president. In 2010, Brannon moved to LaGuardia Community College/CUNY where she served as a registrar for two years and then as an assistant dean of Student Affairs for four years.

Porter Brannon moved to Mitchell Community College in Statesville, North Carolina, in 2016 to become the college’s vice president of student services – the position she currently holds. Brannon earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree from St. John’s University and a doctorate from Fordham University.

She will become the college’s ninth president when she assumes the position at the beginning of 2021 — the second woman to lead TNCC. Thursday’s announcement concludes a national search that attracted 92 applicants.

Her annual base salary will be $175,000, according to TNCC.

“This was an extraordinary process to hire a new president during a global pandemic,” said Michael Kuhns, chairman of the TNCC local advisory board. “However, our local board and our college community were fully engaged. While the quality and depth of the finalists’ pool made our decision a hard one, we found Dr. Porter Brannon to be a breath of fresh air with energy and passion, and impressive experience in growing student enrollment, student success, and building community and business partnerships – the areas we want to see our college improve moving forward.”

TNCC primarily serves the residents of the cities of Williamsburg, Hampton, Newport News and Poquoson, and the counties of James City and York.

In the 2018-2019 academic year, TNCC served 11,588 students in credit instruction, making it the fifth largest college within the Virginia Community College System in terms of headcount, according to the college.


John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

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