MARTINSVILLE, VA – Last year, with a directive from Virginia’s State Board of Community Colleges, Patrick Henry Community College embarked on a long process reviewing its name.
Earlier this year, after a thorough review process, PHCC sent the State Board a request to retain its name.
However, the State Board, which has the sole authority to change or keep a college’s name, rejected PHCC’s recommendation to keep Patrick Henry Community College.
After receiving that feedback, PHCC’s Local Board has been busy collecting suggestions from the community and developing a short list of potential new names that the State Board could consider.
Through an anonymous survey, PHCC collected more than 800 responses from community members.
After a series of special called meetings, the PHCC’s board members have selected their two top names on Monday.
The Local Board voted to send Patriot Hills and Patriot Heights to the State Board.
The State Board will consider these options during their next scheduled board meeting on July 21.
At that time, the State Board will also review a letter from the PHCC Foundation which requests that the State Board take a second look at PHCC’s current name.
During a special called meeting of the PHCC Local Board last week, board member Gary Collins read a letter crafted by the chairman of PHCC’s Foundation Board (a separate entity that oversees donations and scholarships).
This letter requested that the State Board reconsider the idea of keeping the words Patrick and Henry in PHCC’s name.
The letter recommended adding a hyphen to delineate that PHCC is currently named for the counties it serves.
The Local Board agreed to send this letter the State Board but to also send the recommendations for a new name.
“We are now on two parallel tracks,” says PHCC’s College Board Chair, Janet Copenhaver. “We will send the Foundation Board’s letter along with our support of the statement that PHCC was named for the localities it serves. However, in good faith, we did not discontinue the work the State Board has allowed us to do in suggesting a new name. We are also submitting Patriot Heights and Patriot Hills. The State Board may choose to reconsider keeping Patrick Henry with a hyphen. However, if it does not, we want them to know what we would recommend for a new name.”