Vol State Announces Loss of Fourth President, Dr. Orinthia Montague

Dr. O walks with her husband on the Gallatin Campus

GALLATIN (September 22, 2023) – With tremendous sadness, we announce the untimely passing of Dr. Orinthia T. Montague, President of Volunteer State Community College.  Dr. Montague began her tenure at Vol State two years ago.  Dr. O, as she was affectionately called, started and led the organization through a transformation to improve the student experience.  She was totally committed to the students and communities we serve.  Dr. Emily Short, vice president of student services for Vol State stated, “Dr. Montague was a true leader in every sense of the word.  She embodied hard work, intelligence, and compassion at every level of our organization.”  Dr. Montague will be missed by all of us.  We will honor the work she began by continuing the endeavors she set forth, making each of our campus locations the model she envisioned.

“Dr. Montague’s passing is a tremendous loss, not only to the Volunteer State Community but to the entire Tennessee Board of Regents System and higher education. She was a great leader who cared deeply about her students and their success,” TBR Chancellor Flora W. Tydings said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with her husband and family and the campus community.”

Dr. Montague was appointed the fourth President of Volunteer State effective Sept. 1, 2021. She welcomed her third class of students to the Vol State campuses last month.

Dr. Montague previously served as President of Tompkins Cortland Community College in Dryden, NY, with branch campuses in Cortland and Ithaca, NY, and part of the State University of New York (SUNY) System.

She earned her Ph.D. in higher education administration at the University of Missouri - St. Louis, a Master of Arts degree in counseling at Lindenwood College and a Bachelor of Arts in interpersonal communication at Truman State University.

Dr. Montague had a distinguished career in higher education. Prior to her service in New York, she was vice president of student affairs and chief diversity officer, and dean of students, at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, MN. She earlier served at the University of Missouri – St. Louis, including as associate vice provost and dean of students.