KVCC names college building after former president Woodlee

Barbara Woodlee, the longtime former president of Kennebec Valley Community College, stands Friday outside the Fairfield campus building named in her honor. Michael G. Seamans / Morning Watchman

FAIRFIELD — Kennebec Valley Community College announced it was naming a college building in honor of Barbara W. Woodlee, who served as school president from 1984 to 2012.

A dedication ceremony for Woodlee Hall is scheduled for Monday, with remarks from Woodlee and other speakers from KVCC and the Maine Community College System.

Woodlee said Friday she was “shocked” when college officials broke the news to her a few weeks ago.

“It was beautiful and totally unexpected,” Woodlee said. “And it’s just an amazing honor and, really, for me, a humbling experience.”

Karen Normandin, acting president of KVCC, said that when she started having conversations about the building’s name, Woodlee’s name kept coming up. And when Normandin went to the administrators of the community college system, they fully supported the decision.

“We thought this was a really great way for us to recognize the contribution she has made to this college in particular, and to the community college system in general,” Normandin said.

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Barbara Woodlee, former longtime president of Kennebec Valley Community College, stands Friday outside the Fairfield campus building named in her honor. Michael G. Seamans / Morning Watchman

The building on the college’s Harold Alfond campus in Fairfield was completed in 2015. It includes classrooms, lecture halls and science labs, Normandin said. It had no official name until now and was often referred to as the Science Building or the Science and Agriculture Building.

Woodlee served as college president from 1984 to 2012 and oversaw much of the growth during her time there. When she started as president, the college was known as Kennebec Valley Vocational Technical Institute, then it became Kennebec Valley Technical College, and finally Kennebec Valley Community College.

Woodlee guided a variety of projects during his time at KVCC and oversaw the donation of 700 acres of land to the Harold Alfond Foundation’s Maine Community College System in 2012 – which eventually became the Harold Alfond Campus.

She was inducted into the Maine Women’s Hall of Fame in 2015 and received a Distinguished Community Service Award from the Mid Maine Chamber of Commerce in 1997, a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Maine Farmington and a Citation of Achievement from the American Association of University. Women.

Woodlee announced his retirement from KVCC in 2010 but remained until a replacement was found, which was Richard Hopper. But she didn’t go far and worked for the Maine Community College System until 2015.

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She is out of school and several years ago moved with her husband to Virginia Beach, Virginia.

When asked to reflect on his time at KVCC, Woodlee thanked the people who worked alongside him to make the college’s growth possible – business people, graduates, professors, grantmakers and others.

“When I look at all of this together, there are so many people who have really, really contributed to the success of this institution,” Woodlee said.

It’s a bit of a full loop moment. Normandin held various positions at KVCC for over 30 years and worked closely with Woodlee. Normandin is now acting president and introduces Woodlee Hall to her former boss.

Normandin said she remembers Woodlee’s passion for community and all the work she did to get involved in the community around KVCC.

“The other thing I always remember about her is how supportive she was of me,” Normandin said. “I don’t think I would be where I am today without his influence.”

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