Lynchburg College to become University of Lynchburg in 2018

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LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) Lynchburg College will be known by a different name starting next year.

The school's board of trustees voted Friday to change their institution's name to "University of Lynchburg," beginning with the Fall 2018 semester.

The decision came following a meeting of the trustees that lasted seven hours.

"It was not a unanimous decision," said trustee, Pauline Flint. "There were people both pro and con and everyone had a chance to speak."

School leaders recommended the new name, saying it better reflects the wide range of graduate offerings provided. They also believe it will help with the school's efforts to recruit more international students.

"It's not really that the institution has changed as much as it has adopted the appropriate name for what it does in terms of its programs," said Lynchburg College President, Kenneth Garren.

Some alumni have expressed opposition to the change, pointing to schools such as the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg that have strong academic reputations with the word "college" in their name.

Others believe the new title will improve the school's prestige and image.

"I feel like the change is a step in the right direction for Lynchburg College," said Brittany Peck, a junior at LC. "It will allow us to reach more International students, which will allow us to achieve the cultural diversity that we aim for here at Lynchburg College."

School leaders estimate the cost of adopting a new name will run roughly $500,000. Students who graduate after the change takes effect will still have the option of having the words "Lynchburg College" on their degree.

Lynchburg College opened in 1903 as Virginia Christian College. The school's current name was adopted in 1919.