Dr. Ed Polloway, dean of graduate studies, was “toasted” for his many contributions to special education at a celebration hosted by the ARC on Oct. 11. The ARC has provided day care and educational opportunities for Central Virginians with mental and physical challenges since 1962 and the toast is part of the organization 50th anniversary celebration.
“When I came here,” he said, “the Lynchburg Training School was the largest institution of its kind in the country, with more than 3,400 residents. Now, there are only around 300 people living there, with large numbers having gone out into the community. “Mentally challenged school-age students tended to be isolated in self-contained special ed classes. Now, most of them have been incorporated into regular classes.”
“Now, instead of focusing on what’s wrong with people,” he said, “the emphasis is more on finding out how they can be supported and progress.”
Lynchburg College President Dr. Kenneth R. Garren spoke of Dr. Polloway in glowing terms during the event and characterized him as “our Ultimate Champion for community service.” “Dr. Polloway’s fingerprints continue to be found on just about every good project at Lynchburg College,” he said. “You are one who has carried the torch of service to humanity that began at some point in the past. You have made that torch burn even brighter.”
President Garren praised Dr. Polloway’s leadership of LC’s graduate programs, pointing out that last year the College had the largest graduate enrollment in its history with a total of 549 students. “That’s the total enrollment of some area colleges,” he said.
President Garren also noted Dr. Polloway’s work in establishing a special education program on the island of St. Lucia. “It was his national reputation in the area of special education that allowed this program to begin.”
Concluding his remarks, President Garren said, “When it comes to creativity and always looking to do more, and do better, and do for others, you are undoubtedly the champion at Lynchburg College and probably of Central Virginia.”