Lynchburg College Board of Trustees announces name change

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LYNCHBURG (WSLS 10) - Lynchburg College is now the University of Lynchburg.

The name change was made final by the Board of Trustees Friday afternoon after an entire day of deliberation.

The school has been called Lynchburg College since 1919.

The change is a move President Kenneth Garren says will help represent the school's growing graduate program, but it's a decision not everyone on the Board of Trustees agrees with.

"You must make a clear and accurate statement about the range of programs you offer. It is transmitted through the name of the University of Lynchburg," said President Garren.

Garren defended the name change for what is now the University of Lynchburg Friday, saying it was long overdue.

"There were five schools, five private institutions that were larger than us, and all of them carry the name of university. There were eight schools that were smaller in population than us that also carried the name of university," said Garren.

Still, Trustee Board Chair Pauline Flint says it was hard to reach consensus.

"Those who were against it were worried about our changing who we are, the basic culture of Lynchburg College, and I think they came to, most of them came around to see that that's not going to be the case," said Flint.

The name change is a decision that has been in the works for about two years.

Junior Brittany Peck, the Editor of the school newspaper The Critograph, says many thought it would never happen.

"A lot of people honestly didn't take it seriously, so they're kind of going through a little bit of a shock right now, but it's something that overall I think is a huge step in the right direction," said Peck.

In addition to attracting more competitive students, the Board argued the old name was hindering the school internationally.

"If you are in, I guess a country in South America and you use college, colegio, that means high school. If you go to other countries in Korea or over into India and so on, if you use the word college, they basically think of you as a junior college," said Garren.

"We get to expand our cultural diversity, which is one of the main things that's been a, the college has been striving for since I've been here," said Peck.

Peck says, while many students and alumni are still partial to Lynchburg College, the new name will help the school move forward.

"It's something that overall I think is a huge step in the right direction," said Peck.

The Board says the transition over to the new name will be complete starting in the Fall Semester of 2018.