Currently serving as the U.S. Representative for North Carolina’s fifth district, Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., spent the afternoon Friday, March 31 answering students’ questions and discussing her childhood in Avery County.
Hosted by Lees-McRae’s Sport Management program, the discussion took place in Evans Auditorium and housed a mixture of students both within the program and without, as well as various faculty and staff.
For the first half of the hour-long discussion, Foxx shared her experiences growing up and beginning her career in Avery County. She went on to explain her higher education experience before discussing her day-to-day life as a congressional representative.
Foxx attended Crossnore High School in Crossnore, North Carolina, before pursuing her A.B. degree in English and M.A.C.T. in Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After earning her Ed.D. in Curriculum and Teaching/Higher Education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Foxx returned to the high country to become an instructor at Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute and Appalachian State University (ASU), and later as the Assistant Dean of the General College at ASU. She also served as president and later a consultant at Mayland Community College.
As for a typical day as a representative, her day usually begins around 8 a.m., she said. She spends most of the day either traveling, leading or participating in meetings, on the congressional floor voting or replying to her emails.
“I pride myself on being one of the few representatives that still personally reply to all of my mail,” she said.
Most nights she does not get home until about 9–10 p.m., “and then I do it all over again the next day,” she said. “I run pretty well on five to six hours of sleep.”
Being a representative means always being on the clock, Foxx explained. “Because you never know when something is going to happen in either your district, in D.C. or in the country…you have to always be ready.”
For the second half of the meeting, students asked Foxx questions ranging in topics. Many of the questions addressed the job’s rigor as well as her favorite elements of being a congressional representative– a journey she first began in 1994 when she ran for a seat in the state senate.
For Foxx, the most rewarding return as a member of congress is bringing solutions to those who would not have otherwise had the chance to, she said.
“I like to help people, and if I am able to help just one person, I have done my job,” Foxx said.
Ultimately, the visit for Foxx was special, especially having attended Lees-McRae for her first year of college.
“It was a pleasure to spend time today with the young men and women of Lees-McRae College, which has educated and inspired students for more than a century. Committed to leadership and service, Lees-McRae is an integral part of the larger community, putting into practice its historic motto, ‘In the mountains, of the mountains, for the mountains.’ It is an institution of which the entire nation can be proud.”
Foxx is the congressional representative for North Carolina’s fifth Congressional District, which covers the majority of North Carolina’s Northwest region. She has served in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2004.
She currently serves as the Chairwoman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. From 2013 to 2016, she served as Secretary of the House Republican Conference.
“It is a real honor to have Congresswoman Foxx back on the Lees-McRae College campus. We are very proud of her leadership as Chair of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. Virginia will always be a part of the Lees-McRae family, having attended her first year of college here in 1961,” Lees-McRae President, Dr. Barry Buxton, said.
Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina, Lees-McRae College is a private, four-year college offering diverse baccalaureate degrees, strong athletic programs and outstanding faculty. Field-specific career preparation and hands-on learning enhance the broad core curriculum. For more information, please visit www.lmc.edu or call 828.898.5241.