Brad Hodgson is the 2024 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient ‣ Laurel Ridge Community College
Skip to Content

Brad Hodgson is the 2024 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient

Brad Hodgson and Kimberly Blosser holding alumni award and smiling.
Brad Hodgson with Laurel Ridge President Kim Blosser.

Brad Hodgson graduated from Laurel Ridge in 2008, and soon went on to earn his bachelor’s and master’s degrees and launch a successful career at Navy Federal Credit Union. However, his academic career was nearly derailed after it had barely started. Epileptic since infancy, Brad’s seizures became ever-more frequent after starting at the college, erasing much of the knowledge he was gaining in classes. Simultaneously, he was struggling with the decision of whether or not to come out.

After being placed on academic probation, Brad had a fateful meeting with then-Dean of Instruction and Student Services Susan Short. Dean Short was determined to help him succeed in college and in life, telling him, “Let’s figure this out.” They decided to lower his course load, which reduced his stress, and as a result, Brad’s seizures lessened.

From that point on, Brad, a James Wood High School graduate, flourished at Laurel Ridge. So much so that he was elected Student Government Association president, helped start the Gay-Straight Alliance, and became a mentor to his fellow students. After earning his associate degree in liberal arts, he transferred to Kaplan University (now Purdue University Global), where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration two years later, followed by a master’s degree in strategic leadership from the University of Charleston.

For the past 17 years, Brad has been with Navy Federal Credit Union, where he serves as a program manager of corporate social responsibility. He has been a dedicated volunteer in his personal life, too, serving on the boards of directors for the Laurel Center and the Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum. The United Way of Northern Shenandoah Valley named Brad the Special Project Volunteer of the Year in 2023.

He and his husband, Chris, who works for iHeart Radio, have been married for eight years. And, happily, Brad has been seizure-free for more than 14 years, following brain surgery in 2009.

Today, he is a member of the Laurel Ridge College Board, representing Winchester, a role he has held since 2018. Additionally, he has formerly served on the Educational Foundation Board. Learning he would be named the recipient of the 2024 Laurel Ridge Distinguished Alumni Award was both a shock and an honor for him.

“Laurel Ridge holds a very special place in my heart,” said Brad. “It’s the foundation for my education and my career. When I think of the college, I’m overjoyed and fortunate to be associated with it, just knowing how far we’ve come and the support that we continue to provide to the students here in the community.

“The college really instilled in me the values of hard work and dedication, as well as the importance of community engagement and giving back. I never thought I would be considered, let alone worthy of this honor. I’m delighted to be a part of Laurel Ridge and proud to be able to continue to give back.”

Laurel Ridge Community College was known as Lord Fairfax Community College until June 2022. For consistency purposes, the college will be referenced as Laurel Ridge going forward.