Pamela Northam, First Lady of Virginia, will be the Commencement Speaker for the 2018 graduation event at
Southside Virginia Community College on May 12 at 9:30 a.m. at the John H. Daniel Campus, Keysville, Virginia. Her
husband, Governor Ralph Northam, was sworn in as governor on January 13, 2018.
An educator, environmentalist and longtime advocate, Mrs. Northam has taken a leading role in Hampton Roads
and Virginia to protect water quality and improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay. Most recently, the first lady has served
as community outreach coordinator for Lynnhaven River NOW (LRN), a nonprofit environmental group. In this role, she
oversaw advocacy and outreach programs for homeowners, congregations and businesses to help them to become more
Prior to joining LRN, Mrs. Northam taught high school biology. Recognizing a need for STEM in elementary
education, she became a national award-winning science specialist and worked to develop an inquiry-based, hands-on
curriculum for students in grades K through 5. The first lady was appointed to the board of trustees of the Science Museum
of Virginia, and she also is a board member of the innovative E3 School in Norfolk.
After studying at Baylor University and the University of Texas, the first lady specialized in pediatric occupational
therapy, where her work included rehabilitation hospitals, teaching hospitals, and special education
The Northam’s have two adult children: Wes, a neurosurgery resident; and Aubrey, a web developer.