State Board of Virginia’s Community Colleges initiates name review at Patrick Henry Community College

Local News
(Photo: Courtesy Patrick Henry Community College)

(Photo: Courtesy Patrick Henry Community College)

MARTINSVILLE, Va. (WFXR) – The State Board of Virginia’s Community Colleges has issued a resolution for all 23 community colleges in the Commonwealth to review the names of their respective buildings, facilities or college names.

This decision was made at the most recent meeting of the Board.

Locally, each college’s board will lead the review process and will be expected to provide a full report to the State Board by March 2021 for the final review.

Any final decisions for changing the name of an institution will be determined by the State Board.

In response, College Board Chair at Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC), Janet Copenhaver wrote the following statement via email to her fellow college board members:

“The review process will include an historic review, a cultural review, a public feedback component, a philanthropic impact review, and a financial analysis. Our top priority is the success of our students and our community. [….] Our goal is to conduct this review with a commitment to mutual respect, integrity, transparency, and professionalism.”

In order to carry out the State Board’s directive, PHCC’s college board is forming several review committees, each of which will include at least one board member, college employee, student representative, subject-matter expert, and research support personnel.

Copenhaver will lead the review committee for examining the college’s name.

Dr. Denny Casey, the vice-chair of PHCC’s College Board, will lead the review committee for examining the building names.

The immediate past board chair, Berry Helmstutler will lead the Financial Analysis Review Team which will assess the potential financial and philanthropic impact that could be incurred should a change be deemed necessary.

Other teams will review the college’s mascot and any named facilities.

PHCC’s College Board is also seeking input from the communities it serves by surveying alumni, current and prospective students, area citizens, and business leaders.

Once the review is submitted, the State Board of Community Colleges will assist the information therein to determine whether a name change will be necessary.

The college invites anyone who would like to share comments or feedback regarding this review process to send an email to

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