Paul D. Camp Community College Registrar retires after nearly 43 years of service

Barbara ButlerBarbara Butler knows a thing or two about Paul D. Camp Community College. After all, she enrolled in classes when the institution first opened in 1971 and was hired by the college almost immediately after she graduated.
After 43 years of service to the college, she has recently announced her retirement. “I’ll miss the interaction with the staff and students,” the registrar said, “but it’s time.”
She married right out of high school. Her first born was about two years old when Butler decided to register for classes at PDCCC. “I always knew that I wanted to further my education,” she said. “I wanted to do something different than my parents. They were farmers in Carrsville, where I was born and raised.”
Registration was held in the old Thornton Livesay building in downtown Franklin while the college building was being erected. “The building still wasn’t quite finished when classes were supposed to begin in August,” she recalled. “So we started in September. We were on the quarter system then, so we still finished the 15 weeks in December.”
While enrolled at PDCCC, she held her first job in the bookstore at the college as a work-study student. “I worked for Marie Hornek,” she said. “I loved that job.”
Butler graduated from PDCCC with an associate’s degree in secretarial science in June 1973, the second class of graduates at the new college. “There were nearly 100 graduating,” she said. “We walked in procession from the building to Armory Field, where the ceremony was held.” She also attended the first graduation at the college. “There were 10 in the first graduating class and the ceremony was held in the library,” Butler said.
By the end of June, she received a phone call from the college, asking her to apply for an admissions clerk position. She was hired and began work on July 1, 1973. “I worked with Kay Meditz, Virginia Fowler and Mr. Hank Rowe,” she recalled. “And since then, I have worked under the late Joy Collier, Jerry Standahl, Monette Williams, Joe Edenfield and now Trina Jones.”
Jones has nothing but praise for Butler and her service to the college. She said, “Barbara has served under all presidents and interim presidents of the college. She shared that she has seen at least three generations of students and their family members. This certainly speaks to the level of commitment that she has to Paul D. Camp Community College.
“Over the years, she has acquired an abundance of knowledge in her direct expertise, as well as the inner workings of the college. She will certainly be missed.”
Butler has seen many transitions in processes, programs and personnel over the years at the college.
“One thing that stands out is that the college used to use a computer card that had the student’s name and classes they were taking on it. After tuition was paid at the business office, the cards would be stacked in a box and taken to computing services, where they had to put them all in the system to get us registered.”
Butler, a Suffolk resident, plans to spend more time with her grandchildren, other family members and friends. “I have a cousin in Philadelphia and in-laws in New Jersey I’d like to visit,” she said. “So I may take a few trips, including a cruise with one of my cousins.”
She earned a bachelor’s degree in organizational management from St. Paul’s College, and a degree in religious studies and a master’s of divinity from Virginia University in Lynchburg. She is a long-time member and past president of the PDCCC Classified Personnel Association, now the PDCCC Classified Staff Council.
“I would tell the person who has this job after me to love the people and enjoy the work,” she said.
Butler’s retirement will be effective September 1.