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Tucker, UR graduate honored for career of military service

U.S. Army Major General Gina S. Farrisee lives to serve her country.

Earlier this month, her alma mater rewarded that service.

Farrisee, a 1978 University of Richmond graduate, received an award from the university for her distinguished service during an event at UR's Camp Concert Hall as part of the school's alumni reunion weekend June 4.

After graduating from Henrico's J.R. Tucker High School, Farrisee went on to earn a bachelor of arts degree in sociology from UR and was commissioned in the Adjutant General’s Corps. She continued on to earn her master of science degree in national resource strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University.

Farrisee assumed her current position as the commander of the U.S. Army and Human Resource Command at Ft. Knox, Ky., last October.

Her efforts, dedication and skills have been recognized during her time in the service. She has received numerous awards, including the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with five Oak Leaf Clusters, the Army Commendation Medal with two Oak Clusters, the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal and a host of others.

But though the awards and decorations are meaningful, Farrisee said she believes that true satisfaction comes from her experiences.

“The journey is the reward, not the destination,” she said. “Not a day goes by when I don’t remember the efforts of those who serve our country. Throughout this decade, they have performed magnificently.”

During her acceptance speech, Farrisee reminisced about her years at the university. She thought that many things had changed but said the faculty and staff were still dedicated to the learning experience and that the students still had the passion to immerse themselves in what UR has to offer.

The university's commitment to academics, she said, allowed her to reach the heights she has reached in the military.

"Thirty-three years ago, I graduated with two credentials,” Farrisee said. “I had my diploma in my one hand and my commission in the second.”

Farrisee's father, Robert L. Sgro, was the one who inspired her to join the ROTC. Sgro graduated from the University of Richmond in 1956 and was an Army Reserve officer for about 30 years.

Farrisee stepped out of college and took on several early assignments, spending time in New Mexico and Vaihingen, Germany. Later, she became chief of enlisted management at Fort Bliss, Tex., and commander of the 525th Replacement Company in Fort Lewis, Wash.

A second German term allowed her to take other positions, including chief of strength management and commander of the 575th Personnel Services Company.

In 1995, she returned to Fort Lewis and was assigned as the commander of the 22nd Personal Services Battalion. Farrisee later served as the 61st Adjutant General of the Army for the Human Resources Command.

Her last assignment as director of military personnel management, Army G-1, in Washington, D.C. concluded Oct. 14 after four years.

Farrisee now lives in Burke with her husband, retired Army Colonel David G. Farrisee. The pair met during their college days, when the University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University ROTC combined for activities.

In addition to Farrisee, UR also recognized Allison Marsh Bogdanovic and R. David Shimp, who earned the tenth-year reunion award from the Jepson School of Leadership Studies for their achievements.
Community

Celebrating 106 years

Former Sandston resident Mildred Taylor celebrated her 106th birthday Aug. 9. Taylor, who now lives in Powhatan, is still a member of Sandston Baptist Church. She was visited the day after her birthday by several members of the church, who played for her a recording of the entire church membership singing happy birthday to her during worship. > Read more.

YMCA breaks ground for aquatic center

YMCA officials gathered last week to break ground on the new Tommy J. West Aquatic Center at the Shady Grove Family YMCA on Nuckols Road. The center, which will featured 7,600 square feet of competitive and recreational space, including water slides, play areas for children and warmer water for those with physical limitations, is the fourth phase of a $4 million expansion at the facility. West was president and CEO of Capital Interior Contractors and a founding member of the Central Virginia Region of the Virginia Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors. > Read more.

Rotary donates to ‘Bright Beginnings’

The Sandston Rotary Club recently donated $1,000 to the Sandston YMCA for its Bright Beginnings program, which helps provide children in need with school supplies for the new school year. > Read more.

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Entertainment

Weekend Top 10


Enjoy the final days of summer with comedian Guy Torry, the Sam’s Club National BBQ Tour or mystery writer Mary Miley Theobald at Twin Hickory Library. Another great way to welcome the beginning of fall is to check out the UR Spider Football season opener with man’s best friend. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

Bottoms up

Short Pump brewery offers more than just beer
I am still (happily) thinking about my entire experience at Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery last week. Knowing nothing about this new brewery out of Denver, I was leery of brew-pub in the heart of Short Pump Town Center – this is not what I’d usually think of as a perfect fit, and yet, it was.

The restaurant and craft brewery opened in early June and features 10 beers made by female brewmaster Becky Hammond (pictured). This is the restaurant’s second location in Virginia; the first is in Arlington. Behind glass walls, customers watched the beer brewing in massive steel barrels. For our up-and-coming beer region, it makes sense that Short Pump would jump on board.

As I walked up to the back of the mall near the comedy club, I was taken aback by what I saw: at the top of the stairs was an overflowing restaurant with outdoor seating, large umbrellas and dangling outdoor lights. > Read more.

Cultural Arts Center announces 2014 fall class schedule

The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen is now registering participants for its fall 2014 schedule of classes.

The center will offer more than 100 classes for children and adults, covering topicssuch as culinary arts, fiber arts, visual and performance arts and more. Instruction is structured to appeal to a wide range of abilities, from beginners to experts of all ages. Class sizes are kept small to ensure maximum benefit for participants with generally no more than 15 students. > Read more.

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The Short Pump Ruritan Club is seeking crafters for its 24th annual craft show, which will be held Saturday, Oct. 25, at Short Pump Middle School, 4701 Pouncey Tract Road.… Full text

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