Donna Burge jokes she became an “accidental professor.”She spent 20 years as an equine veterinarian, but had to retire after some surgeries that led to physical restrictions. In 2009, Dr. Burge learned a fill-in professor was needed for Jerome “Butch’ Austin’s classes while he was on deployment. This led to her becoming a full-time faculty member in 2011. “This was very accidental for me,” Dr. Burge shared. “I enjoyed teaching. I tell people I was a very accidental professor.” Travel is next up on Dr. Burge’s agenda with trips planned to Botswana and Nicaragua. “This summer, I’m taking my two 98-pound dogs in an RV,” she said. They’ll head to her second home in Colorado, and then on to British Columbia and possibly Alaska, “so we’ll see who gets tiredest the fastest!” The Little Washington resident said she’ll miss her colleagues. “I’m going to miss the other faculty the most,” said Dr. Burge. “Especially before we had the new science building, there was a tremendous amount of camaraderie and sense of community.” With two sons living in Virginia, Dr. Burge said she’ll be coming back to Virginia from Colorado regularly. “Thank you for putting up with me and laughing at my bad jokes,” she said.
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.