For Immediate Release:
January 16, 2017

Primary Media Contact:
Sally Voth
Public Relations Specialist
[email protected]
Phone: 540-868-7134

Students, staff and community members celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day at Lord Fairfax Community College’s Middletown Campus Monday afternoon.

Dr. Helen Long Davenport shared the inspirational story of her journey from dropout to recipient of a doctor of education degree.

Dr. Davenport dreamed of becoming a teacher, but that goal was sidetracked when she had her first baby at 15. After marrying, she was the mother of four by the time she was 20. Still, she managed to go back to high school and earn her diploma.

“In 1970, Lord Fairfax had just opened its doors, and she was one of the first students to enroll,” Dr. Davenport said of herself.

She ended up taking some time off after having her fifth child, but Dr. Davenport soon returned to LFCC, later transferring to Shenandoah College and Conservatory of Music. She continued to attend school even after her husband was diagnosed with a terminal lung condition.  

Dr. Davenport taught at Frederick Douglass Elementary School for 30 years, and in recent years wrote the book, “The Journey from Dropout to Doctor.” She said achieving her academic goals made her family proud and gave her children a role model.

“Your dream may be your own, but is not yours alone,” Dr. Davenport said. “It stretches far and wide and reaches many others, too. Don’t give up, even if you have to put your dream on hold.”

Also during Monday’s celebration, Andrea Ludwick, associate professor of speech at LFCC, received the 14th annual Walking King’s Talk Award for her message of tolerance for others.

“Every student that meets her is greeted with warmth and acceptance,” allied health support specialist Kelsey Owens said when presenting Dr. Ludwick with the award. “This very event was Andrea’s event before Student Life began to take the lead.”

The celebration also featured performances by the LFCC Forensics Team and Madeline Smith, the winner of the October LFCC’s Got Talent show who performed an original song.


Founded in 1970, Lord Fairfax Community College is a multi-campus public institution of higher education. With four locations — Middletown, Warrenton, Luray-Page County and most recently, Vint Hill— the College serves eight localities in the Shenandoah Valley and northern Piedmont regions. The localities are the counties of Clarke, Fauquier, Frederick, Page, Rappahannock, Shenandoah and Warren and the city of Winchester. LFCC offers more than 75 associate degree and certificate programs in a wide variety of disciplines, in addition to providing access to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs offered on site by a four-year institution. LFCC also serves the business community by offering workforce preparation programs for employees and employers. LFCC serves more than 9,000 unduplicated credit students and more than 11,000 individuals in professional development and business and industry courses annually.

Lord Fairfax Community College (LFCC) is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Lord Fairfax Community College. Lord Fairfax Community College is an equal opportunity institution providing educational and employment opportunities, programs, services, and activities and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, age, religion, disability, national origin, marital status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, or other non-merit factors. LFCC also prohibits sexual misconduct including sexual violence or harassment.