Laurel Ridge and Belle Grove partner on “Unearthing the Past” program

For Immediate Release:
February 6, 2023

Primary Media Contact:
Sally Voth
Public Relations Specialist
[email protected]
Phone: 540-868-7134

Park Ranger Shannon Moeck
Park Ranger Shannon Moeck will lead a discussion on Judah, and enslaved cook who lived at Belle Grove.

Laurel Ridge Community College is partnering with Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park on a unique program as part of Black History Month. “Unearthing the Past” is scheduled from noon to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 15, at the park.

Park Ranger Shannon Moeck, a Laurel Ridge alumna, will give a 30-minute presentation on Judah, an enslaved cook at the plantation, who, along with her two young sons, was sold to the home’s owners, the Hites. The day’s events also include a discussion and the chance to explore Belle Grove, including a new exhibit on archeology conducted at the Enslaved Quarter Site.

“The park rangers and staff have done a wonderful job of researching the names and stories of the enslaved, including partnering with historical experts and organizations such as The Slave Dwelling Project,” said Laurel Ridge student activities and recreation specialist/Professor Angela Schroeder. “Acknowledging truths in history is the best way forward, and the program at Belle Grove Plantation is an engaging and informative journey to the truth. I encourage everyone to take advantage of this opportunity.”

The event is set up just for Laurel Ridge, but all are welcome to attend. The college’s Office of Student Life is providing a shuttle service from the college to Belle Grove every 15 minutes beginning at 11:45 a.m. Those needing accommodations may email [email protected] at least a week before the event.

For more Black History Month events at Laurel Ridge, visit


Founded in 1970, Laurel Ridge Community College is a multi-campus public institution of higher education. With three locations — Middletown, Warrenton, and Luray-Page County — 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 is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate degrees. Laurel Ridge Community College also may offer credentials such as certificates and diplomas at approved degree levels. Questions about the accreditation of Laurel Ridge Community College may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (

Laurel Ridge Community College is an equal opportunity institution providing educational and employment opportunities, programs, services, and activities. Laurel Ridge shall promote and maintain equal employment and educational opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, marital status, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions including lactation, age (except when age is a bona fide occupational qualification), status as a veteran, national origin, or other non-merit factors. Laurel Ridge also prohibits sexual misconduct including sexual violence or harassment. Inquiries may be directed to the Associate Vice President, Human Resources, [email protected]173 Skirmisher Lane, Middletown, VA 22645, 540-868-7226.

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.