Lord Fairfax Community College will officially become Laurel Ridge Community College on Thursday, a name change being implemented because Lord Fairfax was a slave owner and loyalist to British Crown during the American Revolution.

The college's board decided to change the name when the State Board of Community Colleges — which governs Virginia’s 23 community colleges — asked schools to revisit their names in 2020. In July 2021, the board approved LFFC becoming known as Laurel Ridge at its Middletown, Warrenton, Luray, and Vint Hill locations.

The Middletown campus at noon Thursday will unveil a sign with the new name. There will be a flag-raising ceremony to officially symbolize the new era of Laurel Ridge.

“The world is growing and we’re growing with it,” said Brandy Boies, the school’s public relations director. “It’s an exciting time to work on the new brand, the new logo, the signage, and it’s being embraced.”

“We’re turning an exciting new leaf while also embracing the past,” Boies said.

Over the past year, the school has slowly transitioned into the Laurel Ridge brand.

“Over the last few months, we have had small working groups that have just been slowly reviewing what needs to be changed,” Boies said. “Obviously the college is sticking to our same mission, vision, and values, but it’s an exciting time that everyone seems to be getting behind.”

Last September, the school created a $265,000 budget for expenses related to the change. Craig Short, the school’s vice president of financial and administrative services, emphasized these expenses were funded by locally generated revenue from items including parking, food sales, and bookstore commissions. He noted that highway signs, which cost between $25,000-$35,000, were the most expensive aspect of the name change.

“We didn’t want to use any locality funding and we didn’t want to use any general funds,” Short said. “We were aware that people don’t want to use taxpayer dollars for this sort of thing, so we were pretty careful about that.”

The local fund is usually used for special projects, and the name change was considered one of them.

Short says the school has spent a little under $200,000 and likely future expenses include rebranding patches, badges, and on-campus police vehicles. Leftover money at the end of fiscal year 2022 will roll into the next year’s budget for name change expenses.

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Another institution fallen victim of the woke mob

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