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It’s official: Dabney S. Lancaster to be renamed Mountain Gateway Community College

New name will go into effect next summer

Mountain Gateway selected as new name for Dabney S. Lancaster Community College

ALLEGHANY COUNTY, Va. – On Thursday, the Virginia State Board for Community Colleges unanimously approved a new name for Dabney S. Lancaster Community College.

The Board approved the name that the college’s local board selected last month: Mountain Gateway Community College.

“I am grateful for the State Board’s support. Mountain Gateway is the result of a great deal of work on the part of many people. The name reflects the geography of our service region and celebrates the inclusiveness and welcoming environment to all the students, businesses, and the community,” said Dabney S. Lancaster Community College President John Rainone.

The name change process was prompted last summer when state leaders asked the college to change its name after researchers discovered Lancaster was an active member in an Anglo-Saxon Club described by historians as an “elitist KKK” organization and at one point a national officer.

In May 2021, the State Board told the college to reconsider not changing the name.

A month later, the college decided to drop its namesake for a moniker that would be determined at a later time.

That new name, Mountain Gateway Community College, was voted on and approved by a 25-member task force in October.

The final name came from a pool of more than 430 names.

DSLCC will keep its name through the remainder of the academic year, and rebranding will start soon.

The new name will go into effect on July 1, 2022.


About the Author:

Jeff Williamson arrived at WSLS 10 in March 2016.