LFCC middletown

The Lord Fairfax Community College Middletown campus.

A news release issued on Thursday by Lord Fairfax Community College:

Virginia’s State Board for Community Colleges today approved changing the name of two of the commonwealth’s 23 community colleges, including Lord Fairfax Community College, which will become Laurel Ridge Community College.

The new name, selected by a task force of students, faculty, alumni, LFCC retirees, community members and college board members, is drawn from the native laurel flower that is characteristic of the region, and the proximity of the college’s four locations to the Blue Ridge Mountains. 

[Dropping Lord Fairfax’s moniker generated opposition among regional elected officials and in Rappahannock County, where the Board of Supervisors sent a letter to state officials disapproving of the name change. Read coverage of that debate and action here and how the state board responded here.] 

“As with our sister colleges within Virginia’s Community College System, we are very proud of what’s been accomplished in our first 50 years, and the thousands of lives in our region that have been changed because of Lord Fairfax Community College,” said college President Kim Blosser. “As we begin our next 50 years, we are embracing a new name that better reflects our college’s positive spirit, can-do attitude, and welcoming culture. Laurel Ridge Community College exemplifies our mission to provide a positive, caring and dynamic learning environment that inspires student success, values diversity and promotes community vitality.”

Dr. Blosser noted that the laurel flower for millennia has been associated with academic achievement – all the way back to ancient Greek and Roman times.  The term “laureate” – as in Nobel and poet laureate – is bestowed on those attaining the highest levels of creative and intellectual success. 

President Blosser said that development of the college’s new visual identity – logos and signage, for example – will begin immediately. Incoming students in the fall will be officially enrolled in Lord Fairfax Community College while the college works toward completing its transition to Laurel Ridge during the academic year. Degrees will begin reflecting the new name during the 2022-2023 academic year.

“Since the State Board’s resolution to review all named facilities, campuses, and colleges was passed July 16, 2020, the college has engaged with hundreds of students, employees, alumni, retirees, college supporters, and community members,” said Dr. Blosser. “Today’s decision by the State Board allows us to move forward in a way that acknowledges all of the great work that’s happened at LFCC with a renewed commitment to our students and our business community that even better things are ahead at LRCC.

“I want to thank the task force, our employees, the many individuals who participated in roundtable feedback groups, and our College Board for their dedicated and painstaking work.”

The transition to Laurel Ridge will have no impact on the degrees and certificates students attained between 1972 and 2022. The former name will be printed in parentheses on new transcripts.

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