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Volunteer State Community College in Tennessee on Friday announced the "untimely" death of the institution’s president, Orinthia T. Montague.  

Montague began her tenure as the college’s fourth president in September 2021 and was known on campus as “Dr. O.” She led the institution in transforming and improving the student experience and was “totally committed” to serving students, according to the announcement.

“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,” Emily Short, vice president of student services, said in the announcement, which did not provide the cause of death.

Montague was previously president of Tompkins Cortland Community College in New York, which is part of the State University of New York System. She earlier served as vice president of student affairs and chief diversity officer and dean of students at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minn., and as associate vice provost and dean of students at the University of Missouri in St. Louis.