PVCC names 2017 Distinguished Alumnus and Outstanding Alumni recipients

Ralph H. Hensley III

The Piedmont Virginia Community College Educational Foundation recently recognized outstanding alumni who have gained noteworthy success in their careers and who have made a positive difference for others through their success.

Ralph H. Hensley III, of Winchester, is the recipient of the 2017 Piedmont Virginia Community College Distinguished Alumnus Award. Hensley graduated from PVCC in 1996, earning an associate degree in general studies. While at PVCC, he was the recipient of PVCC’s Distinguished Service Award in 1993. He went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from Liberty University and a diploma in hotel/restaurant management from Stratford University in Falls Church, Va.

He currently serves as command executive officer and veterans outreach coordinator for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Middle East District. He retired from the U.S. Navy in 2011 after serving as the senior enlisted leader and naval reserve commander at the Navy Installations Command Headquarters at Washington Navy Yard in Washington, D.C.

In addition to the Distinguished Alumnus Award, PVCC also recognized five outstanding alumni:

  • Yolanda Speed, a 2006 engineering graduate from Charlottesville
  • George Graf, a 1980 business management graduate from Palmyra
  • Annette “Sophie” Couch, a 1991 fine arts graduate from Keswick
  • Erin Hughey-Commers, a 2001 liberal arts major from Charlottesville
  • David Strider, a 1983 nursing graduate from Charlottesville

PVCC’s Distinguished and Outstanding Alumni Awards were created to recognize former students that have distinguished themselves through personal and professional accomplishment and have achieved distinction through philanthropy and other forms of civic leadership. Recipients are selected by a committee comprised of alumni and members of the college community.