Washington Named New President



During its regularly scheduled meeting on May 8, Kalamazoo Valley Community College’s Board of Trustees approved his contract and officially appointed Dr. L. Marshall Washington as the college’s third president. His term will begin on July 1.

In making the announcement, Board Chair Jeffery W. Patton said, “We are delighted that Dr. Washington has accepted our offer to come to Kalamazoo Valley. We are confident that his experiences, temperament and dedication to student success will serve our students and community very well.” Currently Washington serves as president of New River Community and Technical College in West Virginia, a position he has held since March 2013. His last day there will be June 30.

“I could not be more excited about the opportunity to serve as president of Kalamazoo Valley Community College,” Washington said. “The college has a tremendous reputation. Following in the footsteps of Marilyn Schlack is a tall order; we are grateful for the firm foundation established during her tenure at the college. Now, I’m looking forward to working with the Board of Trustees, faculty and staff as we enter into a new era of leadership and service in southwest Michigan.”

Schlack, who served as Kalamazoo Valley’s president for 35 years, announced her retirement in September 2017. Washington was chosen to replace her from a field of more than two dozen applicants.

Prior to New River Community and Technical College, Washington served as Vice President and CEO at the Lancaster Campus of Harrisburg Area Community College in Pennsylvania and before that as Vice President of Student Services at Kellogg Community College in Battle Creek, Michigan.

He is a graduate of the Lakin Institute for Mentored Leadership, the Executive Leadership Institute of the League for Innovation in the Community College, and the Future Leaders Institute-Advanced of the American Association for Community Colleges. He received the TRIO Achiever Award from the Mid-American Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel in 2009. He served on the American Association for Community Colleges Board of Directors. In addition, he currently serves on the Beckley-Raleigh Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Beckley Appalachian Regional Hospital Advisory Council, United Way of Southern West Virginia Board of Directors and Region 1 Workforce Investment Board of Directors. Previously, he has served in leadership positions with Boys Scouts of America, Lions Club, Rotary Club, Harvest Worship Center, Boys and Girls Club, North Museum of Natural History and Science, SAFE Place, and the National Council on Student Development. Washington is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity.

Washington grew up in Columbus, Ohio where he attended public schools. While in high school on a college visit to Ohio Wesleyan University, he met his future wife, Tonja Embry Washington, who was a student there at the time. They have been married for 24 years and have three children, Lauren, 21, a junior at Marshall University, Ethan, 17, an eleventh grader and Jordan, 15, a tenth grader. Tonja Embry Washington is active in philanthropic and community initiatives throughout the local community and is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. In commenting about his leadership style, Washington said, “I take great joy in life by inspiring and motivating others to reach their full potential. I challenge myself and my colleagues to take risks and to embrace unconventional approaches and solutions to achieve common goals. I look forward to joining with the Kalamazoo Valley campus community to further impact the lives of our students and families.”

Kalamazoo Valley Community College was established in 1966. It serves nearly 10,000 students on four campus locations in west Michigan.