Last Updated on September 23, 2023, 12:18 pm
Dr. Orinthia T. Montague, fourth president of Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin, Tennessee, passed away unexpectedly. She was affectionately called Dr. O and preferred it herself as well. She had only begun her tenure at Vol State two years ago.
Who was Dr. Orinthia T. Montague?
Dr. Montague was born in Jamaica. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Interpersonal Communication from Truman State University in Kirkville, Missouri and a Master of Arts degree in Counseling from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri. She received a Doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Missouri, St. Louis.
Dr. O was a valuable asset in the academic community. She served her community to the best of her abilities in the literary world. She served as the president of Volunteer State Community College for two years. She had just welcomed her third class of students at the Vol State campus last month. Sadly, her tenure was cut short with her untimely passing from the world.
Dr. O was appointed the fourth President of Volunteer State, effective on September 1, 2021. She presided over the institute through a transformation to improve the student experience. She was dedicated to her service to students and the community. Since she departed from the world, Vol State has issued a statement honouring and celebrating Dr. O’s commitment and life. The Vol state has announced to remain committed to the model Dr. O envisioned for the institution. Vice president of student services for Vol State, Dr. Emily Short, said,
“Dr. Montague was a true leader in every sense of the world. She embodied hard work, intelligence and compassion at every level of our organization.”
Her significance was renowned by all who knew her. She was an esteemed member of the society, and the community recognized that. The Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) Chancellor Flora W. Tydings said,
“Dr. Montague’s passing is a tremendous loss to the Volunteer State Community and the entire TBR system and higher education. She was a great leader who cared deeply about her students and their success. Our thoughts and prayers are with her husband, family, and campus community.”
Before Vol State, Dr. Montague was Tompkins Cortland Community College president in Dryden, New York. She was the fourth president of TC3 and served from 2017 to 2021. She led the organization through testing unprecedented times of COVID-19. TC3 also released a statement, and President Amy Kremenek directed the College flag to be lowered in honour of their former president. The statement said,
“Dr. Montague had a tremendous impact on our college, serving at a time of great transition and challenge, including throughout much of the Covid pandemic. Her commitment to students and their success was paramount throughout her tenure at TC3. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to her family, friends, and colleagues at this time of tremendous loss.”
In an interview with Volunteer State Community College’s News, Dr. O said,
“I’m the kind of leader who will volunteer to help; I’m not just asking someone else to do it. I’m going to lead by example and show the way. If you want people to work alongside you for a common goal, you have to be all in,” she said.
She was well known for her calm and composed demeanour throughout her career by everyone who had the privilege to know her. Ramer Building receptionist, Janice Herrin, said about Dr. O,
“I feel that Dr. Montague is calm, cool, and collected,”
The community mourns the loss of Dr. O, who has gone from the world well before her time. Many have paid their respects and condolences on social media. She touched many lives with her nurturing care and kindness. The community laments Dr. O in solidarity with the family.
Southwest Tennessee Community College wrote on social media,
“We are saddened to hear about Dr. Montague’s passing. The Southwest Tennessee Community College community sends our thoughts and prayers to Dr. Montague’s family, friends, and fellow TBR colleagues and students at Vol State. She will be deeply missed.”
Tonya Perry wrote,
“Lord have mercy. This is so sad. She was such a blessing to me when my son was there. Rest well”
She was a precious gem that death stole away too soon from the world. May she rest in peace—our deepest condolences to the family and friends.
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