For Immediate Release:
June 3, 2022
Primary Media Contact:
Public Relations Specialist
Today, LFCC officially changed its name to Laurel Ridge Community College. 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 (LPCC).
“This is an historic day – you don’t get to say that all the time in the life of a college,” Laurel Ridge President Kim Blosser said to members of the College Board and Foundation Board, students and employees Thursday at the LPCC. “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, she said.
“We’re still doing and still believe in that same mission,” said Dr. Blosser.
College Board Chair Michael Wenger said he shared Dr. 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.”
Laurel Ridge Student Government Association President Athena Binibini, who is studying liberal arts, raised the new flag in Luray.
“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 industry.
“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 Dean 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.”
Besides Dean Foltz, Information Systems Technology Professor Art Lee, who has taught at Laurel Ridge for 36 years, spoke at the Middletown ceremony. Two 2022 graduates, Mary Hess and Stephanie Lopez, both of whom served as student ambassadors and were active on campus, served as flag raisers.
At the Fauquier Campus, Associate Vice President, Student Services and Academic Support Caroline Wood and Psychology Professor Elaine Cassel spoke, while student ambassadors Logan Strack and Jessica Bagby raised the flag.
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 taskforce consisting of stakeholders, such as students, staff, alumni, community members and board members, spent several months consulting with our communities on possible new names.
Laurel Ridge symbolizes the positive spirit and can-do attitude the college embraces. It expresses to students that everyone can succeed here. It also reflects the natural beauty of our surroundings and is representative of our entire service region. The laurel has been symbolic of victory and achievement all the way back to Greek and Roman times.
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.