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State board approves new name for community college

Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 7:26 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ) - Effective immediately, it’s Patrick & Henry Community College.

Thursday afternoon, the State Board for Community Colleges approved the addition of an ampersand to the name of the Martinsville school, concluding a discussion that began a year ago.

The new president of the college, Dr. Greg Hodges, described the name as the best of both worlds, maintaining the connection with the communities the college serves while addressing concerns about diversity, equity and inclusion.

“We have said many times that we are this community’s college, the only college in Virginia named for the two counties we serve,” Hodges told reporters during a virtual news conference after the board meeting. “And now that is clearer than ever.”

A representative of the community college system said board members are passionate about creating an inclusive community, while working to maintain the local identity of the community college.

“I think they heard loud and clear the importance for the institution of retaining the names of the counties it serves,” said Director of Communications Jeffrey Kraus. “And I think their decision really reflects that.”

We’re excited about moving forward with this new identity, which also preserves the names of the communities that we serve,” added Hodges. “We’re delighted with the cooperation of the local board and the state board, and we’re excited to move ahead, because we’ve got important work to do.”

The state board also approved a recommendation from the local advisory board at Dabney S. Lancaster Community College to change its name. But that decision will wait until the fall, when school leaders are expected to return with a proposal.

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