Finding Connections: Linda Myers Rice ’72 shares love of Randolph with students

Linda Myers Rice '72

Linda Myers Rice ’72

The night that Linda Myers Rice ’72 accepted her husband’s proposal in the Engagement Tower, he wanted to take her out for a romantic dinner. She refused. “Oh no, you’re coming to the biology lab with me,” she recalls telling him. “I need to make slides of a mouse spleen.”

As a transfer student majoring in biology and psychology, Linda took many science courses during her years at R-MWC. With hard work and the help of her professors, she was able to launch a career in health care and education after graduation.

Linda, who recently retired from Tidewater Community College (TCC) after 35 years as a teacher and administrator, began her own educational journey at a large out-of-state university but quickly began looking for other options. “I remembered my Spanish teacher from high school had spoken very highly of her alma mater and wanted me to attend,” Linda said. That teacher, Alice Tabb Morse ’41, helped Linda apply to R-MWC, where she arrived in the fall of 1969.

Linda’s favorite memories of R-MWC are of the faculty members who helped her master a challenging curriculum. She specifically recalls Jim Perham, who taught biology at the College for 36 years, kindly taking the time to teach her how to use a microscope. Linda used him as an example when she trained faculty members at TCC. “A professor with compassion is extremely important in the classroom,” she said. After graduation, Linda worked as a respiratory therapist in Virginia Beach-area hospitals and eventually began teaching respiratory therapy at TCC. She later accepted administrative roles and helped develop new programs to train people for health careers. In 2003, she became the provost of TCC’s campus in Chesapeake, Virginia. The enrollment there grew from about 7,800 to 17,000 during the decade that Linda was at the helm.

Over the years, other R-MWC alumnae were drawn to TCC. Stacey Stephens Deputy ’94 and Dorolyn Link Alper ’95 both teach at the school. But throughout her tenure, Linda hoped for one of her students to transfer to Randolph. In the spring of 2011, that dream finally came true when Brooke Edwards ’13, a student who worked in Linda’s office, arrived one day holding a brochure about Randolph. The conversation that followed about Linda’s love for R-MWC helped convince Brooke to transfer to Randolph.

In December, Linda retired from TCC to become vice president of Hampton Roads Community Foundation, an organization that encourages philanthropy in Southeast Virginia. Although it is a new direction, Linda looks forward to the opportunity to serve her community. “I like to lead,” she said. “I love the challenge of something new.”

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