Patrick Henry Community College gets ampersand to change name

PHCC Name Change
PHCC Name Change
Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 2:31 PM EDT
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MARTINSVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - Virginia’s State Board of Community Colleges has voted to add an ampersand to the name of Patrick Henry Community College, making it Patrick & Henry Community College.

In July 2020, the State Board of Community Colleges directed all community colleges in Virginia to review their names for appropriateness. After a year of review and discussion, PHCC’s Local Board suggested PHCC should continue to be named after the counties it serves, offering to insert a hyphen or ampersand to clearly delineate the name’s geographic connotations. The school said without punctuation, the name Patrick Henry could stand for the Revolutionary War figure Patrick Henry, who owned slaves. That aspect is the reason the state board asked PHCC to reconsider its suggestion to keep the name but with a hyphen, which came up at the last state board meeting in May.

Between then and now, when the State Board agreed to insert an ampersand, the college asked for public feedback about its name, and PHCC’s local board met over a series of special meetings to review the feedback. PHCC’s Foundation Board – a separate entity from the Local Board – sent a letter to the State Board, indicating the Foundation Board would be responsible for any costs related to a name change.

“On behalf of the faculty, staff, students, alumni, and local board of Patrick & Henry Community College, I express my deep appreciation for the leadership of the State Board in this important renaming process,” says PHCC’s President, Dr. Greg Hodges. “We are grateful that the State Board has put forward a name for our college that allows us to maintain the names of the counties that we serve. Patrick & Henry Community College has a rich history of educating students, closing equity gaps, and lifting families out of poverty, and we are excited to move forward in this work while preserving the names of the regions served by our college.”

Now, according to PHCC, it and other colleges that have been directed to change their names will begin the process of creating new logos and replacing anything that displays the old name.

All the colleges have been given until December 31, 2022 to fully implement changes.

For anyone who would like to learn more about this change and what it means for the college and the communities it serves, PHCC will produce a Question and Answer session with President Hodges in the coming weeks. Follow Patrick Henry Community College on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to see it.

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