McCray to lead Camp during transition

Published 7:17 pm Tuesday, April 27, 2021

A longtime veteran of the education field has stepped in as interim president at Camp Community College following the departure of the prior college president.

Dr. Daniel Lufkin left earlier this month to assume leadership of Tarrant County College — South Campus in Fort Worth, Texas. In his place is Dr. Corey McCray.

“I’m happy to be back and working in this area,” McCray said. “It very much feels like I’ve been able to come back home.”

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McCray is a U.S. Navy veteran who taught and coached at Lakeland High School in Suffolk for the next four years after his military service. For 15 years after that, he was director of the Pruden Center, Suffolk’s and Isle of Wight’s cooperative program for career and technical education and adult education.

He then made the leap to the state’s community college system, becoming vice president for workforce and then executive vice president at Tidewater Community College. Next came an opportunity to work for the community college system in a statewide role as the associate vice chancellor for programs.

McCray holds his Ph.D. in educational leadership from Old Dominion University.

McCray said that a team of capable people have stepped in to close the gap for his job with the college system while he focuses on Camp.

“All of my focus right now is on the college,” he said. “Camp is not getting a half-time president. Camp needs and deserves 100% of my attention, because there’s a lot to be done.”

Some of the opportunities coming up soon for Camp are the chance to bring back some face-to-face learning to its campuses, McCray said. The college will also be reckoning with what the “new normal” of instruction looks like, likely maintaining some level of virtual learning even as some classes return to campus.

McCray also said he is looking to build community relationships so that all the stakeholders of the college have their needs met.

“Community relationships are huge,” McCray said, naming especially partnerships with K-12 educators, local government officials, economic development and local businesses.

Student success and improving enrollment and retention will also be at the top of McCray’s mind during his interim presidency.

“There is so much potential and opportunity at Camp, and there are resources that allow us to be able to offer our community members education at little to no cost these days,” McCray said. He referenced the G3 — “Get Skilled, Get a Job, Give Back” — initiative signed into law last month that covers tuition, fees and books for eligible students at two-year institutions in Virginia.

“This is a real opportunity that can positively affect the trajectory of people’s lives by taking advantage of G3 and other resources that are made available through the college,” he said.

McCray’s predecessor, Lufkin, said he knows the college is in good hands with McCray.

“Dr. McCray is an accomplished leader who is familiar with Camp’s service region,” Lufkin stated in an email. “I wish him all the best on his opportunity to serve as the interim president, and know from my experience that he is inheriting an exceptional faculty and staff who are highly committed to student success.”

Virginia Community College System Chancellor Dr. Glenn DuBois praised McCray’s passion for workforce development.

“Corey’s experience in workforce development services is a good match for the priorities Camp is now pursuing, allowing the college to keep moving forward while we seek its next president.”

DuBois said the system will conduct a national search for Camp’s next leader.