Thomas Nelson Community College, Named Signer of Declaration of Independence, Proposes Name Change to Virginia Peninsula Community College

After prompting from state authorities, Thomas Nelson Community College (TNCC) has proposed changing its name to Virginia Peninsula Community College. Thomas Nelson signed the Declaration of Independence and was Governor of Virginia. However, he owned a large Virginia estate that included slaves, and he had a “lifelong investment in the institution of slavery” with a desire to perpetuate it, according to a TNCC historical background article.

In July 2020, as part of a national reckoning over monuments and historical treatment of Black Americans, Virginia’s State Board for Community Colleges (VSBCC) asked Virginia’s 23 community colleges to review the “appropriateness” of school names and the names of facilities.

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Virginia Community College State Board Wants Patrick Henry Community College to Change Its Name

Virginia’s State Board for Community Colleges (VCCS) wants officials at Dabney S. Lancaster Community College (DSLCC) and Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) to revisit decisions to not change their names, according to a press release. According to PHCC Board Chair Janet Copenhaver, the VCCS board will change the name if the PHCC board does not.

“They sent us a letter back last week saying that they voted unanimously not to accept that name and that we had ‘x’ amount of time to come up with a new name or they would rename it.

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