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Senator Rosalyn Dance Highlights Fall Commencement

Published date: November 30, 2015

Senator Rosalyn Dance will deliver the address at Virginia State University’s (VSU) 2015 Fall Commencement Convocation on Saturday, Dec. 12.  VSU expects about 400 graduates to participate in the exercises, beginning at 9:30 a.m. in Daniel Gymnasium. The University will bestow upon Senator Dance an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. VSU will also present Interim President Pamela V. Hammond with an Honorary Doctor of Science degree.
 
Senator Dance is a resident of Petersburg, VA. In 1981, she graduated from John Tyler Community College earning her Associate’s Degree in nursing.  In 1986 she received her Bachelor’s Degree in nursing from Virginia State University and her Master’s Degree in public administration in 1994 from Virginia Commonwealth University. Senator Dance has been named a distinguished alumnus of each of her alma maters.
 
During Senator Dance’s public service career, she worked at the Southside Virginia Training Center (SVTC) for 34 years, as a psychiatric nurse’s aide, Interim Facility Director, and retired as the Assistant Director of Residential Services.
In 1992, Senator Dance was elected of Mayor of Petersburg and retained that office for 12 years. During her tenure, she initiated the citywide, “Petersburg: A City of Readers Program,” and helped reduce Petersburg’s incarcerated youth population, while playing an instrumental role in securing Virginia’s first Governor’s School, the Appomattox Regional Governor’s School, which opened in Petersburg in September 1999. Mayor Dance was also instrumental in the creation of Southside Regional Medical Center (SRMC) that has since seen recent expansions in the City of Petersburg.
In April 2005, Senator Dance was elected to the Virginia General Assembly. Immediately upon taking office she helped Governor Mark Warmer obtain millions of dollars to fund education and public safety.  She secured a $500, 000 state grant to help with the Appomattox River Dredging Project to spur tourism and economic development on the waterfront in Petersburg.
 
Senator Dance has introduced legislation to expand Medicaid services in the Commonwealth of Virginia; co-sponsored legislation to increase the minimum wage and provide equal pay for equal work for women; and co-sponsored legislation to allow for no-excuse absentee voting in Virginia. She has sponsored budget amendments worth hundreds of millions of dollars toward education, health care programs, state safety net initiatives and economic growth initiatives.
 
Most recently, Senator Dance was able secure $950,000 in increased student aid for Virginia State University; a $7.2 million in year round start up programs (including Petersburg Public Schools); $500,000 for Petersburg Public Schools to create a teacher residency programs with local colleges/universities to retain top quality teachers; $500,000 to start a Communities in Schools program for Petersburg Public Schools; and $500,000 to match industry funds in applied logistics research conducted in the Commonwealth. Commonwealth Center for Advanced Logistics Systems (CCALS).  CCALS is a membership–driven Virginia corporation modeled after the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM).
 
Senator Dance was honored in 2015 by the Virginia Gateway Region and received the 2014 Economic Ambassador of the Year Award for her commitment to economic growth in the region. Additionally, she was awarded the Rookie of the Year Award by the Virginia Education Association in 2015 for receiving a 100 percent voting rating on education legislation during the 2015 General Assembly Session.
 
Senator Dance is married to Nathaniel “Nat” Dance, Jr, and they are the proud parents of two children:  Tanya (Raphael) Dance Kelly, Nathaniel “Nat3” Dance, III, and the grandparents of 4 boys: Devon, Jarratt, Lima and Jaden and foster grandparents of Rico and the great grandparents of Briana, DeSani and Denajha.
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