Editorial

For Jennifer Yancey, Victoria College was a perfect fit for most of her adult life.

She first experienced it as a student, while working full-time and going to college in the evenings.

And most recently, it was a place where she worked for almost 20 years, matching her outgoing personality with the need to represent the college in the community.

She was a steadfast advocate of the college in part because she had been on both sides as a student and an employee, a colleague said.

She is leaving the college in great shape, the friend added.

On Monday, Yancey begins a new adventure in her life as the chief development officer for the Houston Area Women’s Center. While she will be in a new city and at a new company, we are confident Yancey will put to work her well honed community relations, fundraising and nonprofit work skills set and most importantly her people skills to work raising money and awareness for the center.

In her time at the college, her work has solidified the foundation of the school’s founding fathers who wanted to develop a community college where students, like Yancey, could get an affordable education while working and raising a family.

For most of her time she has worked to raise awareness for the college in the community, while raising money for its many programs to make sure students no matter their situation could get a good, affordable education.

She was one of the first to work with the Victoria College Foundation which raises money for scholarships for new and existing students, grants for employee projects, technology upgrades funding for emerging and innovative programs and capital improvements. In its relatively short history, the foundation has grown to more than 100 established endowments, valued in excess of $10 million. More than $2 million was raised for the current fiscal year to support VC students and program opportunities, according to its website.

She has been the face of the college in the community for most of these years, first as development director, then in 2002 she became executive director of institutional advancement and in 2007 was named vice president of college advancement and external affairs.

Yancey’s outgoing ways will be missed among the community and her friends and colleagues. Many have said she was the point person when projects needed to be developed or carried out. She was the go-to person who explained changes and developed plans for carrying out the changes.

In the community, she carried similar accomplishments. She worked tirelessly to promote the college, establish programs and help find ways for people who wanted an affordable education to get one.

“Jennifer was a driving force at Victoria College. She knew everyone and everything. She knew how to get things done and how to help other people achieve. She was filled with kindness and energy, talent and practicality. She did lots of things but also had a magic way of showing others how to achieve and give in equal measure.

She met every task with intelligence, determination and a smile. She took on the hardest challenges and made it easy for those around her to succeed,” an Advocate reader wrote last week in a letter to the editor.

Yancey worked on many projects but probably the biggest and most public was the development of the Emerging Technology Complex. It was designed to serve the community’s training and education needs, as well as provide a place to host conferences. The complex’s Industrial Training Center allows for training for businesses whether it is a plant, manufacturer or a service industry.

She was an important and cherished leader for the college faculty, employees and board of trustees. She gave them her support and in return they supported and respected her.

The college and community are losing a valuable asset, who will long be remembered as a go-getter, problem solver, and everyone’s friend and confidant.

She will soon take on a giant job in a huge city. Based on her track record at Victoria College we are confident Jennifer will be successful.

This opinion reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate’s editorial board.

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