Judy Suddith sees her job at the Luray-Page County Center as a personal mission to help the community and to change lives. When she graduated from James Madison University and moved to Luray in 1985 to work for a cable television company, she had no idea that the opportunity to work as a public servant would be so rewarding. It has become a mission and not just a job.
“I enjoy seeing the positive transformation that occurs in lives from attending LFCC, and I’m thankful the Center is here to assist people who may have never considered higher education or who had never been able to pursue their dreams,” Suddith said. “The opportunity is here for all who want to come.”
Suddith knows first-hand the positive impact of LFCC because both of her children have been students of LFCC. Chase attended classes at the Luray-Page County Center before transferring to James Madison University to complete his degree in public policy and administration. He now works for Fairfax County. Caroline, who was dual enrolled, is a recent Governor’s Scholar, and will attend JMU in the fall. But beyond her own children, one of her greatest joys is LFCC graduation every year. It’s emotional for her to see Center students in caps and gowns, and she tries every year to get candid pictures of each student prior to the ceremony for the Center’s digital archives.
“I help to robe students every year, and one of the students I helped robe recently was one who had started out with many obstacles in his life. Through extreme perseverance, he made it to graduation. When I saw this student in his graduation gown with his honor cords it was an emotional moment, and we both had to make light of it.”
A community college graduate herself, Suddith is the office manager and handles the daily operations and staffing of the Center. She also serves as the Testing Center manager, facilities scheduler, and handles marketing and other duties as assigned. Outside of LFCC, she is active in the Luray United Methodist Church and is President Elect of the Luray Rotary Club. She also is a published author, and is working on a mystery novel, and toward a master’s degree in English.
Suddith, affectionately known as “Jude” to friends has been an active member of The Evening with the Stars team, and is always overwhelmed by the support of the local community. People begin seeking her out as soon as Evening with the Stars is over to inquire about the next one, and when it will be held.
“People in Page County are so happy that the Center is here to provide opportunities to them and to their children,” Suddith said. “LFCC is a place that meets people where they are in life, whether they need adult basic education to pass their GED or are learning English for the first time. It doesn’t matter if a person is pursuing a transferable degree program, or a certificate program that will put them into the job market, people are thankful for the phenomenal opportunities that the Luray-Page Center has brought to this community. Helping people is what it’s all about because improving their lives makes our community stronger. This can all lead to enhanced economic development, which is the key to providing long-term business and professional opportunities.”
Her husband, C. R. Suddith, Jr. also has a deep appreciation for LFCC. He served on the college board for eight years, and as board chair from 2002-04, only missing one board meeting when their daughter was born. He received the President’s Medallion in 2004.
They reside in Rileyville, Virginia.