The Virginia Western Educational Foundation is pleased to recognize Dr. Mary B. Loritsch and Salem Chief of Police Michael Crawley as recipients of the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award. The two will be honored April 6 at the Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation’s Annual Awards Ceremony. Presenting the award will be Anne Hogan (’76), Chair of the Virginia Western Alumni Council.

Established in 2006 by the Virginia Western Alumni Association, the Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes Virginia Western Community College alumni and former students who have attained extraordinary distinction in their professional field or life and serves to honor all the men and women whose attendance at Virginia Western helped them achieve their educational and professional goals allowing them to better serve their communities.

Dr. Loritsch graduated with honors from the first class of the Radiography program at Virginia Western in 1974, and has served the institution faithfully for more than 38 years. She retired in December 2015 as Professor and Radiography Program Director, and has since returned to continue to serve Virginia Western students as Adjunct Radiography Faculty. She received her Bachelor of Science from Radford University, and her Master of Arts and doctorate degrees from Virginia Tech.

Dr. Loritsch is well-known for her national committee leadership and expertise in health care education accreditation, compliance, education, privacy and radiology. A leading member of both the American and Virginia Societies of Radiologists, Dr. Loritsch is a long-time advocate for national standards for the uses of medical radiation. Appointed by Gov. Mark Warner to serve on the first Radiological Technology Advisory Board in 2002, and reappointed by Gov. Tim Kaine to serve through 2010, Dr. Loritsch demonstrates a commitment to healthcare, higher education and scientific research that serves as an inspiration to her colleagues, students and peers.

Chief Crawley is a Roanoke native who graduated from Patrick Henry High School in 1991. He attended Virginia Western Community College, where he met his wife, Amy, in 1995, and earned his bachelor’s degree in Management and Leadership from Bluefield College.

Chief Crawley began working with the Salem Police Department in 1999 as a patrol officer and quickly earned the respect of his colleagues and administrators. In 2002, he was voted by his peers as Officer of the Year. He was promoted to Senior Police Officer and in 2004 was assigned to the Special Investigations Unit of the Detective Division.

In 2006, Chief Crawley was transferred to the General Investigations Unit, where he rose to the rank of sergeant. He served as the services division sergeant and patrol division sergeant before being appointed Deputy Chief in 2014. He is the first African-American police chief in the city department’s 94-year history.

“We are proud to count Dr. Loritsch and Chief Crawley as among our students,” said Dr. Robert H. Sandel, President of Virginia Western Community College. “Both have served their professions with remarkable dedication and earned the admiration of their peers. They demonstrate the impact that our students can make in the Roanoke Valley.”

Prior Distinguished Alumni honorees: 

2014 – Chief Craig S. Harris ’00 and J. David Wine ’73

2013 – Cheryl Cunningham ’86

2012 – Anne Hogan ’76

2011 – Carolyn Webster ’81

2010 – Russell H. Ellis ’80

2009 – Shirl D. Lamanca ’75 and Dennis R. Cronk ’72

2008 – Donna L. Mitchell ’81

2007 – Dr. Kent A. Murphy and Charlotte C. Tyson ’84

2006 – John B. Williamson III ’75

For more information on the Virginia Western Alumni Association, see virginiawestern.edu/alumni or contact Donor Relations Coordinator Amanda Mansfield at amansfield@virginiawestern.edu or (540) 857-6962.