LAUREL RIDGE

Laurel Ridge Community College unveiled its new sign at the Middletown campus.

Lord Fairfax Community College officially changed its name to Laurel Ridge Community College on Thursday. Small ceremonies, with speeches and the raising of the new Laurel Ridge flag, were held at each of the college’s three locations — the Middletown Campus, the Fauquier Campus in Warrenton and the Luray-Page County Center.

“This is a historic day — you don’t get to say that all the time in the life of a college,” Laurel Ridge President Kim Blosser told college officials, students and employees Thursday at the Luray-Page County Center. “This is an exciting day for us. We get to reintroduce ourselves to our community, to talk about what we do. What we do isn’t changing.”

When the college opened its doors in 1970, the goal was to change the lives of people in the community by providing a trained workforce and preparing students for four-year universities.

“We’re still doing and still believe in that same mission,” Blosser said.

College Board Chair Michael Wenger said he shared Blosser’s enthusiasm as the college invites those in the community to “grow with us.”

“This past year, we have been building the foundation, not for an ending today, but for a beginning,” he said. “That starts right away.”

Last July, the State Board for Community Colleges approved the name Laurel Ridge Community College, one year after instructing each of the 23 colleges in the Virginia Community College System to review the appropriateness of their names. A task force consisting of stakeholders spent several months consulting on possible new names for the former Lord Fairfax Community College, which was named for an 18th century figure in the region who hailed from Scotland. A name change was recommended because Lord Fairfax owned enslaved persons.

Laurel Ridge Student Government Association President Athena Binibini, who is studying liberal arts, raised the college's new flag in Luray on Thursday.

“I came to the college as a Lord Fairfax student, and just knowing we’re all going through this transition, it’s really inspiring and exciting to be a part of,” she said. “I think the name is pretty and I think the laurel logo and aesthetic is pretty, too. I think ‘grow with us,’ is an awesome motto.”

Dean of Students Amber Foltz, who has 18 years with the college, was one of the speakers at the Middletown Campus ceremony. She said she has watched as students thrived at the college before going on to four-year universities, the military and workforce.

“I have seen our alumni become CPAs with Fortune 500 companies, earn top-secret clearances, accept fellowships, become police detectives, teach and inspire children, run nonprofits, and even provide nursing care to my loved ones,” said Foltz. “I have watched our students develop passion and talents, nurture leadership skills, role model the value of education to their children, siblings, peers, and sometimes even their parents, and succeed against incredible odds.”

Laurel Ridge was chosen as the college's new name, in part, because it reflects the natural beauty of the region. Also, laurel has been symbolic of victory and achievement dating back to Greek and Roman times.

(2) comments

Varider424

LFCC. You should be ashamed. When all this "woke" stuff going to end?

BeetleJuice

This make me so much better and so much more welcome. Now I no longer have to drive by this campus in fear of being triggered by some innocuous accusations against Lord Fairfax.

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