Towuanna Porter Brannon is the new president of Thomas Nelson Community College in Hampton, Virginia. The college enrolls more than 7,300 students, according to the most recent data available from the U.S. Department of Education. African Americans make up 29 percent of the student body.
Dr. Brannon began her career as an assistant director and academic adviser at St. John’s College in New York in 1999. Four years later, she moved to the New York Institute of Technology to become its Central Advising Center coordinator. Dr. Brannon joined the Borough of Manhattan Community College of the City University of New York in 2006 as a coordinator for academic advising and transfer for a year before moving to Berkeley College where she worked as a dean and then assistant vice president. In 2010, Dr. Brannon was appointed registrar at LaGuardia Community College of the City Univerity of New York. She later was promoted to assistant dean of student affairs. Dr. Brannon moved to Mitchell Community College in Statesville, North Carolina, in 2016 to become the college’s vice president of student services. She remained in that role until being named president of Thomas Nelson Community College.
A native of New York City, Dr, Brannon holds a bachelor’s degree in human services and a master’s degree in education from St. John’s Univerity in Queens, New York. She earned a doctorate in executive leadership, administration, and policy from Fordham University in New York.
Note: At a recent meeting, the Thomas Nelson Community College Board unanimously recommended that the college’s name be changed. The Social Justice and Societal Change Committee at the college reported that “Thomas Nelson and his lineage came to their wealth through the enslavement of human beings, and Thomas Nelson, Jr. routinely bought and sold hundreds of enslaved people in his lifetime. This is well documented in Nelson’s own papers, including his household inventory and will. Thomas Nelson, Jr. vigorously advertised substantial rewards for the return, capture, or imprisonment of slaves that had fled from slavery.” The Virginia State Board for Community Colleges is expected to vote on the name change in May.