State Board approves new community college names

Virginia’s Community CollegesThe State Board for Community Colleges has approved new names for two colleges and accepted a local advisory board’s recommendation to clarify the name of a third college.

As a result of Thursday’s decisions, John Tyler Community College will become Brightpoint Community College, Lord Fairfax Community College will become Laurel Ridge Community College, and Patrick Henry Community College will insert an ampersand in its name, becoming Patrick & Henry Community College, highlighting the names of the counties that it serves.

“I applaud the hard work these colleges and their leaders have done to ensure that their institutions are welcoming and connected to the students they serve and the students they seek to serve,” said NL Bishop, chair of the State Board for Community Colleges. “As a graduate of a Virginia community college, I know how life-changing our colleges can be and I want every single person, regardless of gender, race, or background, to know that we exist to welcome them and help them succeed.”

The board also approved a recommendation from the local advisory board of Dabney S. Lancaster Community College to change its name. That college and Thomas Nelson Community College are expected to return to the board in the fall to recommend new respective names.

“Today’s decision by the State Board to rename our institution Brightpoint Community College allows us to move forward with a name that reflects who we are and the experiences people have with our college,” said Dr. Edward “Ted” Raspiller, president of John Tyler Community College. “Brightpoint is a name for all. It speaks directly to the experiences people have with our institution, connects with our vision of a success story for every student and describes what our students and communities mean to us.”

“As we begin our next 50 years, we are embracing a new name that better reflects our college’s positive spirit, can-do attitude, and welcoming culture. Laurel Ridge Community College exemplifies our mission to provide a positive, caring and dynamic learning environment that inspires student success, values diversity and promotes community vitality,” said Dr. Kim Blosser, president of Lord Fairfax Community College. “Today’s decision by the State Board allows us to move forward in a way that acknowledges all of the great work that’s happened at LFCC with a renewed commitment to our students and our business community that even better things are ahead at LFCC.”

“On behalf of the faculty, staff, students, alumni, and local board of Patrick Henry Community College, I express my deep appreciation for the leadership of the State Board in this important renaming process. We are grateful that the State Board has put forward a name for our college that allows us to maintain the names of the counties that we serve,” said Greg Hodges, president of Patrick Henry Community College. “Patrick & Henry Community College will reflect our rich history of serving students, closing equity gaps, and lifting families out of poverty, and we are excited to move forward in this work with this new identity.”

The State Board’s decisions represent the latest steps in a process that began nearly a year ago when it asked local college advisory boards to review the appropriateness of the names of their college, campuses, and facilities. In May, the board adopted a new policy requiring college names to “(r)eflect the values of inclusive and accessible education articulated in the VCCS mission statement, with special emphasis on diversity, equity, and opportunity, and be relevant to the students it seeks to serve and to the geography of its service region.”

The board, by policy, carries the sole authority to decide the names of Virginia’s Community Colleges.


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