Wytheville native Kay Dunkley has been named as director of Virginia Tech’s Reynolds Homestead Continuing Education Center in Critz, Va.

The center, which offers classes, cultural activities, and educational programming for schools, teachers, individuals, and children, is the site of the original home of tobacco manufacturer R.J. Reynolds. The building was constructed in 1843 and is now open for public touring.

In her position as director, Dunkley will be responsible for the oversight and management of almost all Reynolds Homestead activities, excepting those of the autonomous Virginia Tech Forestry Research Center, which shares the Critz location. Along with accomplishing objectives congruent with the university’s mission statement and strategic planning goals, she will be tasked with taking a proactive approach to building a local presence and positive image of Virginia Tech in the region.

Dunkley attended Wytheville Community College before transferring to Radford University, from which she earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees. She received a doctorate in education from Virginia Tech in 1991. After working in the Smyth County and Bland County public schools, Dunkley spent the majority of her career practicing within the Virginia Community College System, where she in turn served both Wytheville Community College and Germanna Community College in a wide range of academic and administrative capacities.

She then moved to Lord Fairfax Community College’s Fauquier campus as vice president of instruction and student services in 2004 and culminated her career there as a special assistant to the president.

Throughout her years in the field, Dunkley’s outstanding service to continuing education and community has been widely recognized. She has received numerous awards including those in leadership and academic organizations and professional women’s groups, and has frequently served on state and community boards and committees.

“I am honored to be chosen as the new director,” says Dunkley, “and [I] look forward to building and expanding partnerships that are in step with the university’s mission of learning, discovery, and engagement.”

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