The Virginia Tech Richmond Center honored its first Master in Public Administration (MPA) degree class at a ceremony held at the center April 23. The four graduates completed the program requirements earlier that day after presenting the findings of their final research papers. Approximately 30 family members and friends attended the ceremony.

The four graduates were:

==> Richard Brown, of Glen Allen, Va.: A 1983 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he is a sergeant in the Criminal Investigation Unit of the Henrico County Police Department.

==> Catherine Harrison, of Cartersville, Va.: A 1999 graduate of Mary Baldwin College, she works for the Commonwealth of Virginia at the Joint Commission on Health Care.

==> Julia Sleaman: A 1974 graduate of the University of Virginia, she is the benefit’s manager for the Henrico County Human Relations Department.

==> Melissa Throckmorton Hallman: A graduate of the University of Richmond, she recently served as associate director of membership services with the Virginia Primary Care Association.

Sleaman and Harrison began the program during the 2001 fall semester. Brown and Throckmorton Hallman began at the start of the 2002 spring semester.

John Dooley, vice provost for outreach and international affairs at Virginia Tech, delivered the keynote address and emphasized the rights, responsibilities, privileges, and honors that are bestowed on the graduates upon completion of their programs of study.

The Master in Public Administration degree program at the Richmond Center is the center's signature academic program with 30 students currently enrolled for study. The program, a department within the College of Architecture and Urban Studies’ School of Public and International Affairs, began in 2001 and enrolled its first class of 20 students last fall. The program is designed for the working professional, allowing students to take courses part-time in fulfillment of the curriculum requirements for the course of study.

Additionally, four Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree students graduated this semester at a ceremony held at the Richmond center April 26. They include:

==> Kelcey Davis of Midlothian, Va.

==> Cheryl H. Hutchings of Fredericksburg, Va.

==> Robert H. Locke of Midlothian, Va.

==> Thomas E. Wendling of Richmond, Va.