Laurel Ridge 50th Anniversary

Laurel Ridge 50th Anniversary Logo

2020 is a year of celebration for Laurel Ridge Community College. It’s our 50th anniversary, and we are commemorating it throughout the year with special events, throwback photos, and more.

The timeline of Laurel Ridge

For 50 years, Laurel Ridge has welcomed students from all walks of life.

50th Anniversary publication

Click below to download a PDF of our celebratory 50th anniversary booklet.

50th anniversary flyer

students and professors

Articles and memories from Laurel Ridge students and professors throughout the years.

Laurel Ridge Archives College History Guide

A digital repository maintained by the Library of Laurel Ridge publications, documents, and photographs.

Photo from Spotify

We’re thrilled to be able to bring some of our 50 years of history to life with our new podcast series, “Laurel Ridge Stories.” With this format, we’re able to delve more deeply into the lives of our students, alumni and professors and share their heartwarming and inspiring stories from the past 50 years.

Photo of Judy Rinker

Judy Rinker

Photo of Dr. Brent Kendrick


Laurel Ridge’s 50th Anniversary

Laurel Ridge first opened its doors to students on Sept. 28, 1970 – before the finishing touches could even be put on its lone building, and less than a year after ground was officially broken on a 120-acre tract in Middletown.During that first academic year, 577 students were enrolled. Now, 50 years later, Laurel Ridge has educated nearly 260,000 students, awarding 22,517 degrees and certificates in the process.Over the past 50 years, in addition to providing a high-quality education to our students, Laurel Ridge has played a pivotal role in our service area’s economic development, working closely with local governments, area schools and our partners in business and industry.Over the past five decades, Laurel Ridge’s original campus in Middletown has grown with the expansion of Cornerstone Hall, and the construction of Alson H. Smith Hall, the Corron Community Development Center, the Science and Health Professions Building, and most recently, the Student Union Building.In 1988, our second campus was opened in Fauquier County. That campus, too, has undergone major expansions, and in 2016, we opened a second location in Fauquier County at Vint Hill. We opened the Luray-Page County Center to better serve our students in Page County in 2006. Ground was broken on a new Luray-Page County Center in 2019.Today, Laurel Ridge serves approximately 20,000 students each year through academic and workforce training programs. They come from our service regions of Clarke, Fauquier, Frederick, Page Rappahannock, Shenandoah and Warren counties, the city of Winchester, and even further afield thanks to our online offerings.Through dual-enrollment courses, thousands of young people are able to obtain a college education while still in high school. Many of them even earn their associate degree before their high school career is finished.Now as we look back proudly on this half-century of providing students with a quality education, we also look towards the future as we endeavor to bring a first-rate education and relevant workforce training to all those who desire them. Stay tuned to this space as we will continue to update it throughout our anniversary year.