The Elaine P. Witty Symposium is named in honor of legendary educator, Dr. Elaine P. Witty, the former Dean of Norfolk State University’s School of Education. The annual symposium seeks to illuminate critical and current educational issues and provide educational forums that give some possible responses to the topics. Additionally, the symposium brings together educators from across the region and nation to discuss these vital issues.
Dr. Elaine P. Witty, who retired from Norfolk State University in 1999 after 30 years of service, was Dean for 18 years and head of the Elementary Education Department for 10 years. She also served as Acting Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and was the founder and director of the Center for Excellence in University Teaching.
She, in addition, developed the award-winning Norfolk Teachers Corps project for training teachers. In the 1980s, Dr. Witty’s pioneering work raised the nation’s awareness of the declining number of minority teachers. At Norfolk State University, Dr. Witty sponsored 10 national conferences on the preparation and survival of African-American teachers.
Senator Yvonne B. Miller, who worked at Norfolk State for more than 30 years as a School of Education faculty member, was inspired by Dr. Witty. It was Senator Miller who provided initial financial support to fund the inaugural lecture series and symposium, which was first presented on Saturday, April 25, 2009.
The School of Education is committed to providing the Elaine P. Witty Symposium annually with the vision that students, educators, and other community stakeholders will become more enlightened and proactive in examining social and environmental aspects of the achievement gaps in public education that impact all students.