Patrick Henry Community College looking for feedback on name review

Published: Nov. 16, 2020 at 1:20 PM EST
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MARTINSVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - The Patrick Henry Community College Board listened to committee reports Monday regarding a review of the college’s name. Now, they want community feedback on the matter.

In July 2020, the State Board of Virginia’s Community Colleges mandated all 23 community colleges in Virginia to review their names for appropriateness. PHCC has been conducting a review for the last three months and is now looking to the community’s help in determining appropriateness.

Anyone who is interested in sharing their thoughts about PHCC and the names of any of its facilities is asked to do so over the next two weeks. The college says that feedback will guide its report to the State Board.

“We are aiming to provide the State Board with an accurate assessment of the appropriateness of every name that we have been asked to review. Ultimately, though, PHCC’s mission and purpose are to serve the local community. Therefore, we will rely heavily on the community’s perspective to inform our response,” said PHCC’s College Board Chair Janet Copenhaver, who is leading the review process.

In Monday’s meeting, committees proposed that the report to the State Board should include a recommendation to remove the Patriot mascot and request that college officials be allowed to suggest a new name if the state deems that change necessary.

PHCC says its board will vote on those recommendations at its next meeting. From there, the report will be sent to Richmond, and a decision regarding a name change will be up to the State Board.

“I am very pleased with the work of the committees so far,” says Copenhaver. “The review process has included a historic review, a cultural review, a philanthropic impact review, and a financial analysis. Now, the public feedback component will underscore everything. In all that we are doing, our top priority is the success of our students and our community.”

“We need to hear from our community. What our students, our alumni, and our supporters think of our names, to me, determines how appropriate these names really are. Since all power to retain or change the name rests with the State Board, we want to make sure that the report we are submitting clearly reflects the heart of this community,” said PHCC President Dr. Angeline Godwin.

If you are interested in providing feedback, email the college at You can also leave a message at 276-299-0640.

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