W&L Law Alumna Honored by ODU
Angelica D. Light, a 1975 graduate of Washington and Lee’s School of Law, is being honored this Friday as an honorary alumna of Old Dominion University.
Angelica is president and CEO of the Hampton Roads Community Foundation in Tidewater. She joined the foundation (originally The Norfolk Foundation) in 1999, after 20 years as an attorney with Norfolk Southern and Shenandoah Life in Roanoke, where she had helped establish a community foundation for the Roanoke Valley.
The Hampton Roads Community Foundation has thrived under her leadership. Assets and annual grants and scholarship distribution have more than doubled to $244 million, and the foundation awarded more than $12.3 million in grants and scholarships last year.
One of the first programs that Angelica helped develop when she got to the foundation responded to a study that showed one out of five kindergartners in the area was unprepared for school. The foundation helped get Smart Beginning South Hampton Roads off the ground, and Light chairs the program.
Other initiatives during Angelica’s tenure have been the Academy for Nonprofit Excellence and the Charters Basic Needs Relief Program. Angelica has received previous awards for her work from LEAD Hampton Roads, the YWCA of South Hampton Roads and “Inside Business.”
In a June 2011 interview with “Inside Business,” in which she talked of her plans to retire, Angelica talked about her shift to nonprofit work: “With my experience in law, I knew my expertise would be beneficial to the nonprofit sector. I enjoy working for nonprofits because I knew you could have an impact on the quality of life. Working in nonprofits allowed me to work in all fields, including arts, human services organizations and environmental groups, and help support those organizations in the work that they do.”