Dr. Patsy Joyner, who retired from Paul D. Camp Community College in January after 31 years of dedicated service, was recently honored during the 2012 Chancellor’s Leadership in Philanthropy Luncheon held in Richmond. Dr. Jennifer Gentry, the first vice chancellor of Institutional Advancement for the Virginia Community Colleges and executive director of the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education, second from right, made a surprise presentation of a framed poem that included photos of Joyner.
The poem was written by Kathleen Smith, an exemplary fund raiser who is retired from Patrick Henry Community College, left. Also pictured is Mary W. Lawson, institutional advancement officer and executive director of the Educational Foundation at Southwestern Virginia Community College, right. Joyner said about the presentation, “I thought I was going to meet with my colleagues one last time. I had no idea. It was very moving.”
The following is the poem written by Smith:
A Poem for Patsy Joyner on the Occasion of Her Retirement
in Celebration and Appreciation from the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education and Her Friends and Colleagues in Virginia’s Community Colleges
It’s retirement time for Patsy, our very dear friend,
Who toiled faithfully at Paul D. Camp for years on end.
We know she doesn’t want us to make a fuss,
But in appreciation we want to share what she’s meant to us.
Across the state and her community she stands out from the crowd,
For selfless service and contributions that do us proud.
For 31 years she strove to help people succeed,
And her career sends a message all should heed.
After making 7 presidents look good, she’s ready to change her scene,
But Patsy’s work has been a joyous and rewarding routine.
She was known as Paul D. Camp’s “Cheerleader” for so many years,
Now we want to send her off with our own grateful cheers.
As we look back, there’s a story sure to inspire,
As Patsy’s devotion to education gives us much to admire.
At Paul D. Camp she graduated in the first class ever
And built ties and dedication that no one can sever.
That was a springboard to ODU and William and Mary.
Working full-time, earning more degrees, never did she tarry.
As Dr. Patsy, to the top of the ranks she ran,
Becoming Vice President at the very school where she began.
She won grants and a coveted award from the U.S. Senate,
But this prestige and success never stopped Patsy for a minute.
She was a “Joyner” by name but a “joiner” by deed
With civic boards and women’s causes, she took the lead.
As we served years in the trenches and saw our business so altered,
Patsy’s commitment to students and colleagues never faltered.
We all cherished her kindness and willingness to share,
And at meetings and conferences knew she would always be there.
Not only did she serve the college and foundation,
Everywhere in the community she promoted education.
A loyal contributor to her schools, she showed how to give and to get,
and in her retirement we’re sure we’ve seen nothing yet.
This story has a moral, which should give us pause:
When a person gives all to a deserving cause,
Her words and deeds truly make the world better,
So, we want to thank you, Patsy, for being such a go-getter.
We congratulate Patsy on a job well done.
She may be retiring, but she’s still number one.
We want her to enjoy being footloose and fancy free,
And know that her legacy stretches as far as the eye can see.
What a difference a dedicated leader can make—
Working always for others and not her own sake.
Now it’s time for herself as off to retirement she dashes,
We say sit back, get some wine, and relax with a few glasses!