For Immediate Release:
July 22, 2021
Primary Media Contact:
Public Relations Specialist
Virginia’s State Board for Community Colleges today approved changing the name of two of the commonwealth’s 23 community colleges, including Laurel Ridge Community College, which will become Laurel Ridge Community College.
The new name, selected by a task force of students, faculty, alumni, Laurel Ridge retirees, community members and college board members, is drawn from the native laurel flower that is characteristic of the region, and the proximity of the college’s four locations to the Blue Ridge Mountains.
“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 Laurel Ridge Community College,” said college President Kim Blosser. “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.”
Dr. Blosser noted that the laurel flower for millennia has been associated with academic achievement – all the way back to ancient Greek and Roman times. The term “laureate” – as in Nobel and poet laureate – is bestowed on those attaining the highest levels of creative and intellectual success.
President Blosser said that development of the college’s new visual identity – logos and signage, for example – will begin immediately. Incoming students in the fall will be officially enrolled in Laurel Ridge Community College while the college works toward completing its transition to Laurel Ridge during the academic year. Degrees will begin reflecting the new name during the 2022-2023 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,” said Dr. Blosser. “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 Laurel Ridge 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 attained between 1972 and 2022. The former name will be printed in parentheses on new transcripts.
Founded in 1970, Laurel Ridge Community College is a multi-campus public institution of higher education. With four locations — Middletown, Warrenton, Luray-Page County and most recently, Vint Hill— the College serves eight localities in the Shenandoah Valley and northern Piedmont regions. The localities are the counties of Clarke, Fauquier, Frederick, Page, Rappahannock, Shenandoah and Warren and the city of Winchester. Laurel Ridge offers more than 75 associate degree and certificate programs in a wide variety of disciplines, in addition to providing access to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs offered on site by a four-year institution. Laurel Ridge also serves the business community by offering workforce preparation programs for employees and employers. Laurel Ridge serves more than 9,000 unduplicated credit students and more than 11,000 individuals in professional development and business and industry courses annually.
Laurel Ridge Community College (Laurel Ridge) is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Laurel Ridge Community College. Laurel Ridge Community College is an equal opportunity institution providing educational and employment opportunities, programs, services, and activities and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, age, religion, disability, national origin, marital status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, or other non-merit factors. Laurel Ridge also prohibits sexual misconduct including sexual violence or harassment.
Laurel Ridge Community College was known as Lord Fairfax Community College until June 2022. For consistency purposes, the college will be referenced as Laurel Ridge going forward.