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July 22, 2021

Community college name change officially approved

LFCC’s campus has grown significantly since it started in a renovated barn more than three decades ago.
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.
— College President Kim Blosser
The state board on Thursday officially approved Laurel Ridge as the new name of the community college that has operated in Fauquier since 1989.

A task force of Lord Fairfax Community College students, faculty, alumni, retirees, community members and college board members selected the new name, drawn from the native laurel flower characteristic of the region and the proximity of the college’s four locations to the Blue Ridge Mountains, officials said

“As with our sister colleges within Virginia’s Community College System, we are very proud of what’s been accomplished in our first 50 years, and the thousands of lives in our region that have been changed because of Lord Fairfax Community College,” LFCC President Kim Blosser said. “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.”

The State Board for Community Colleges last summer asked all of its institutions to review their names because of concerns about racial insensitivity.

Lord Fairfax Community College took its name from 17th-century colonial land baron who owned slaves.

The college’s 14-member board, which includes two Fauquier representatives, voted Feb. 4 begin the process for selection of a new name.

Dr. Blosser said the laurel flower’s association with academic achievement goes all the way back to ancient Greek and Roman times. The term “laureate” identifies those attaining the highest levels of creative and intellectual success.

Development of the college’s new visual identity – including logos and signs – will begin immediately. Incoming students in the fall will be officially enrolled in Lord Fairfax Community College while work toward completing the transition to Laurel Ridge continues. Degrees will begin reflecting the new name in the 2022-23 academic year.

“Since the state board’s resolution to review all named facilities, campuses and colleges was passed July 16, 2020, the college has engaged with hundreds of students, employees, alumni, retirees, college supporters, and community members,” Dr. Blosser said Thursday. “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 LRCC.

“I want to thank the task force, our employees, the many individuals who participated in roundtable feedback groups, and our College Board for their dedicated and painstaking work.”

The transition to Laurel Ridge will have no impact on the degrees and certificates students earned from 1972 through next spring. The former name will be printed in parentheses on new transcripts.

Founded at Middletown in 1970, the college has expanded to Warrenton, Luray and. most recently, Vint Hill. The college service area includes Fauquier, Clarke, Frederick, Page, Rappahannock, Shenandoah and Warren counties and the City of Winchester.

LFCC offers more than 75 associate degree and certificate programs and provides on-site access to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs offered a four-year institution. LFCC also offers workforce preparation programs for employees and employers.

The college has about 9,000 credit students and more than 11,000 individuals in professional development and business and industry courses annually.
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