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Richard Bland College Foundation Announces Awards of Distinction Recipients

The Richard Bland College Foundation has announced the 2017 Awards of Distinction’s honorees. Victor K. Branch ‘82 received the Distinguished Alumni Award; Kelly T. Gee ’08 was presented with the Young Alumni Award, and J. Peter Clements received the Richard Bland Award.

The Distinguished Alumni Award is the most prestigious honor presented by Richard Bland College of William & Mary to its alumni. The award recognizes outstanding professional accomplishments, leadership and distinguished service to the community. After graduating from Richard Bland College of William & Mary in 1982, Branch earned his B.A. degree in sociology from William & Mary. He is the Richmond Market President for Bank of America and was a director on the Richard Bland College Foundation from 1987-1991 and 2009-2015. Branch chairs the Virginia Gateway Economic Development Alliance and serves as a trustee of the Center Stage Alliance. “When I arrived at RBC in 1980, I was not ready for “prime time,” said Branch. “The faculty, staff and administration warmly embraced me, showed me all of my potential and helped me find my voice. I’m eternally grateful for my time and experiences at RBC during such a pivotal time in my life.”

The Young Alumni Award acknowledges exceptional service to community and country. Gee earned her AS degree from Richard Bland College of William & Mary in 2008, and a BA degree in Government from William & Mary in 2010. Gee is currently the Chief of Staff for Speaker-Designee Kirk Cox ’81, who was awarded the inaugural Distinguished Alumni Award in 2016. Gee has worked in state-level government for the past seven years. “Richard Bland College put me on the path to finding a career that I truly love,” said Gee. “My memories of being on campus are ones that will last me a lifetime.”

The Richard Bland Award recognizes a member of the Richard Bland family, not necessarily an alumnus or alumna, for exemplary service to the College. Clements was president of the Richard Bland College Foundation from 1991-2014 and continues to serve as a member of the Executive Committee. Clements is President and CEO of The Bank of Southside Virginia, a $560 million community bank with 15 offices. He holds an A.A. from Ferrum College, a B.A. from Washington and Lee University, and an M.B.A. from William & Mary. He is a member of the Randolph Macon College Board of Trustees and is a founding board member and past chairman of the Stony Creek Community Health Center. “I’ve always felt Richard Bland College was home away from home for me,” said Clements. “I believe wholeheartedly in the College and its mission to prepare young men and women for transfer to 4-year institutions throughout Virginia.”

The awards were recently presented at the Annual Richard Bland College Foundation Scholarship Gala.

Pictured (L-R): Victor Branch, Richard Bland College President Dr. Debbie L. Sydow, Kelly Gee, Peter Clements, Richard Bland College Foundation Chairman William Talley, IV.



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