Laurel Ridge 52nd commencement exercises being held Thursday, May 11, and Friday, May 12

For Immediate Release:
May 10, 2023

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

photo of graduates
There are nearly 900 students in the Class of 2023.

The Laurel Ridge Community College Class of 2023 will graduate over two days this week. The college will be holding a commencement ceremony for students graduating from a health professions program at 2 p.m. on Thursday, May 11. All other graduates will receive their diplomas during a 2 p.m. ceremony on Friday, May 12.

This year marks the college’s 52nd commencement exercises. Both ceremonies will be held outside behind Cornerstone Hall on the Middletown Campus.

It is anticipated that 895 students make up the class of 2023. Here is a breakdown by locality:

  • Clarke County – 32
  • Fauquier County – 126
  • Frederick County – 229
  • Page County – 37
  • Rappahannock County – 14
  • Shenandoah County – 121
  • Warren County – 91
  • Winchester – 123
  • all others – 122

Among the hard-working graduates who will walk across the stage on Friday is Sheila Webster. When she receives her associate degree in early childhood development, it will mark the culmination of a 24-year journey.

She began her studies in 1999, but the obligations of being a single mother of four were too much. Webster later tackled a serious health challenge faced by her daughter, a car crash and being faced with raising her three very young grandchildren. With the support of her husband, family and the staff at Laurel Ridge, Webster overcame all of these hurdles to graduate.

“All the professors have been so amazing, they taught me a lot,” she said. “I feel a connection with Laurel Ridge that will never go away. This school has been like my family. The joy that I feel brings me to tears. I did it for my kids.”

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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.