Kathy Alsberry Temple (right), a 2014 graduate of Eastern Mennonite University, accepts the Distinguished Alumni of the Year Award from Lord Fairfax Community College President Kim Blosser, also an EMU graduate. Blosser earned her bachelor's degree in 1991 and a master's in education in 1998. (Courtesy photo)

Lord Fairfax Community College names EMU graduate as 2022 Distinguished Alumni of the Year

Kathy Alsberry Temple ’14, the very first person to graduate from Lord Fairfax Community College (LFCC) during its inaugural commencement ceremony in 1972, was presented with the 2022 Distinguished Alumni Award during the LFCC Educational Foundation’s Appreciation Luncheon in spring 2022. She accepted her plaque from LFCC President Kim Blosser ’91, MA ’98.

The youngest of 11 children, Temple attended Sunset Hill Elementary, a school for Black children in Strasburg as education was still segregated at that time. She is now on the alumni committee of the school. A 1970 graduate of Strasburg High School, Temple was thrilled when she found out a community college was opening up just a few miles away.

Graduates at the 1972 ceremony were called alphabetically, and with her maiden name being Alsberry, she was first in line. After earning her associate degree in secretarial science, Temple went on to have a successful 27-year career at IBM, beginning in the typing pool and advancing to become an award-winning manager. After retiring, she returned to LFCC, and in 2012, graduated with her degree in liberal arts. She then transferred to Eastern Mennonite University where she earned her bachelor’s degree in organizational management in 2014.

“It was a very pleasant surprise [to learn about the alumni award], and it still seems surreal to me,” Temple said. “Being selected is truly an honor and a blessing. I did not get here alone.”

She paid tribute to many family members and mentors, including her parents, Roberta and Jordan Alsberry; her late husband, Harry Thomas Temple Jr.; and several employees at LFCC – Sociology and Human Services professor Larry Friedenberg, who was her advisor during her second time at the college, late Math professor Evan Humbert and Agnes Creasy, the college’s word processor who was Temple’s work-study supervisor.

“Mrs. Creasy was a very good boss and mentor,” Temple said. “She taught me so much. She was caring and kind.”

She brought with her the college brochures she’d made as part of her job, as well as the receipt for her very first tuition payment of $60.

“You never know, I may be back for a third time,” Temple said.

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