Volunteer State Community College in Tennessee is mourning the loss of its fourth president, Dr. Orinthia T. Montague.
“With tremendous sadness, we announce the untimely passing of Dr. Orinthia T. Montague, President of Volunteer State Community College,” the school said in a media release on September 22.
“Dr. Montague was a true leader in every sense of the word. She embodied hard work, intelligence, and compassion at every level of our organization,” Dr. Emily Short, vice president of student services for Vol State, said in the release. “Dr. Montague will be missed by all of us. We will honor the work she began by continuing the endeavors she set forth, making each of our campus locations the model she envisioned.”
Dr. Montague began her tenure at Vol State in September 2021, where she was affectionately known as “Dr.O,” the school said, lauding how she led the school through a transformation to improve students’ experience.
She welcomed her third class of students to the Vol State campuses last month, according to the release. She previously served as president of Tompkins Cortland Community College in Dryden, New York, which is part of the State University of New York (SUNY) System.
Montague had also previously served as vice president of student affairs and chief diversity officer and dean of students at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minn., and as associate vice provost and dean of students at the University of Missouri in St. Louis.
“Dr. Montague’s passing is a tremendous loss, not only to the Volunteer State Community but to the entire Tennessee Board of Regents System and higher education. She was a great leader who cared deeply about her students and their success,” TBR Chancellor Flora W. Tydings said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with her husband and family and the campus community.”