For Immediate Release:
January 2, 2024
Primary Media Contact:
Public Relations Specialist
Laurel Ridge Community College supporter, former administrator, board member and student Dr. Morgan Phenix was recently honored with the employee lounge at the Luray-Page County Center being dedicated to him.
Dr. Phenix was serving as principal of Page County High School when he was appointed to the Laurel Ridge College Board. Shortly after retiring from the school system, Dr. Phenix was hired as an interim dean of humanities, math and social sciences at Laurel Ridge, later becoming full-time dean and then an associate vice president.
Dr. Phenix would later drop down to part-time work at the college and served as chairman of the Page County Board of Supervisors. The Page County High School Phenix Endowed Scholarship was established by him in honor of his parents and is awarded to Page County High School graduates studying at Laurel Ridge.
There are many reasons to honor Dr. Phenix, who was the recipient of the Chancellor’s Award for Leadership in Philanthropy in 2015, said Laurel Ridge President Kim Blosser.
“Certainly, his lifelong dedication to education is one of the reasons,” she said. “His passion for helping individuals in Page County has just been something that’s definitely due to be recognized.”
Originally from New York City, Dr. Phenix lived in Denmark in the 1970s and 80s, moving to Page County in 1992.
“Morgan openly embraced Page County,” said Donna Whitley-Smith, who served as Page County Schools superintendent during part of his tenure as principal.
She noted Dr. Phenix was an early advocate for dual enrollment for Page County students.
“We all owe him a great deal,” said Whitley-Smith. “Thank you for the service that you have provided to all of us.”
The number of writing classes Dr. Phenix has taken with retired Professor Brent Kendrick is in double digits. These classes inspired him to write a memoir and a novel, whose publication Dr. Phenix described as a “milestone in my life.”
“Thank you for being my most dedicated student,” said Professor Kendrick. “Thank you for supporting faculty, and thank you for supporting students. The lounge will be a space where Laurel Ridge employees will gather for years and years to come.”
Dr. Phenix said he was moved so many people he admires were in attendance at the dedication, and said having a community college in Page County has opened doors for so many residents.
“This college here in this community has been a huge benefit for students,” he said. “Now our students can go anywhere. It’s a big world out there, and Page County is not just tucked away in the corner somewhere in the woods.”
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 (www.sacscoc.org).
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.