Dr. Cavan Receives Distinguished Service Award

Dr. John J. Cavan, Southside Virginia Community College President, received the Brunswick Chamber of Commerce 2013 Margaret H. Traylor Distinguished Service award on January 8, 2014.

Dr. John Sykes, Jr., former Provost of the Christanna Campus introduced Dr. Cavan and presented facts about his years at SVCC. 

His legacy includes years of record enrollment, innovative new programs, thousands of college graduates and the best served and largest service area in the state community college system, according to Dr. Sykes.Dr. Cavan accepts award

“His innovation and ability to formulate a strong offensive has enabled him to bring many educational opportunities to this rural area including Truck Driver Training, the largest dual enrollment program in Virginia, athletic teams who have done extremely well, the Middle College Program, Honors Program, associate degree nursing and practical nursing programs and strong transfer opportunities,” Dr. Sykes said.

Dr.  Cavan began his presidency at Southside Virginia Community College in 1983 with a goal of moving the college into the 21st Century.  Dr. Cavan never forgot his roots and made a commitment to serve the under-served community and build a strong tradition of education for the region that he has come to love.    

A graduate of Nicholls State University, he received his master’s degrees from Kean University and Yeshiva University.  He also completed the Ed.S.  and  Ed.D.  from Yeshiva’s Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology and has completed postdoctoral study at Harvard University.

Dr. Cavan held numerous administrative positions at Atlantic Community College in Mays Landing, New Jersey and Mohawk Valley Community College in Utica, New York.  He has taught in the graduate school of George Mason University, George Washington University and Yeshiva University and been a guest lecturer at the Center for International Leadership in New York City. 

Growth of centers offering college courses has been initiated by Dr. Cavan during his tenure with him promising to “take the college to the people at any place and any time.”  The college has two campuses, and many permanent  centers.

An avid basketball player, he has been named to two college basketball halls of fame and the athletic hall of fame for Newark, New Jersey.

Dr. Cavan is as persistent in his athletic endeavors as he is in providing quality education to Southside Virginians.  A marathon runner, he has completed a total of 120 marathons including 18 Boston Marathons and 29 New York City Marathons. 

Cavan has devoted his life to education and athleticism.  As the leader at Southside Virginia Community College he has approached the job with the same fevered commitment.  The college has experienced record growth during Cavan’s tenure and currently serves more than 8,000 students per year.

He and his wife, Ann, reside in Kenbridge, Virginia.  They have four daughters and eight grandchildren.