3 Va. community college name changes approved

Virginia’s State Board for Community Colleges approved name changes at two community colleges Tuesday, as well as a slight alteration to a third college’s name.

John Tyler Community College will now be known as Brightpoint Community College.

Lord Fairfax Community College will now be known as Laurel Ridge Community College.

And Patrick Henry Community College will add an ampersand in its name, making it Patrick & Henry Community College, to highlight the counties it serves.

The name changes are part of a nationwide trend to shed namesakes with a racist history in the months following the murder of George Floyd. Last year, the state board asked local college advisory boards “to review the appropriateness of the names of their college, campuses, and facilities.”

Back in May, the state board adopted a new policy requiring the colleges to have names that “reflect the values of inclusive and accessible education … with special emphasis on diversity, equity, and opportunity.”

N.L. Bishop, the chair of the Virginia State Board for Community Colleges, applauded the approved name changes in a statement.

“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,” he said.

In addition, the board approved a recommendation Tuesday to change the name of Dabney S. Lancaster Community College. A new name will be recommended in the fall, as will a new name for Thomas Nelson Community College.

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Jack Pointer

Jack contributes to WTOP.com when he's not working as the afternoon/evening radio writer.

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