Lynchburg College trustees to vote on name change

LYNCHBURG (WSLS 10) – Lynchburg College's Board of Trustees is expected to vote Friday on a potential name change. If approved the college will be known as the University of Lynchburg starting in the fall of 2018.

College leadership researched the potential change for two years.

Director of Media Relations Bryan Gentry said they believe it will make the institution more attractive to graduate and international students. They also received feedback from potential undergraduate students.

"More than 60 percent who were surveyed said that they would be more likely to want to learn about the institution with the name University of Lynchburg," said Gentry.

Gentry will have to change his business cards if the board votes to change the name, but says rebranding will cost less than half of the $2 million figure some alumni are sharing online.

Kathryn McDaniel, a member of the college's class of 2010 and Alumni Board member, would rather see money spent on campus capital improvement.

While not all alumni are opposed to a name change, McDaniel is concerned about support moving forward if there the new name is adopted.

"Alumni engagement is at an all-time high, which is a great thing for the college," said McDaniel  "The college has worked really hard to get to that point. We'd just hate to lose that because so many people feel so strongly about it."

"We wouldn't care if we had never enjoyed our time at Lynchburg College," said McDaniel.

Gentry said the only thing that would change is the name. He said the school will still have small class sizes and students would still get individual attention from professors.

"The programs are already here. If you look at the number, and the quality, and the breadth and depth of our academic programs," said Gentry.  "Lynchburg College has operated and functioned as a university for a long time."

The college plans to announce the board's decision following the vote.