State unanimously approves name change for John Tyler Community College

The college will drop the name of the 10th U.S. President.
John Tyler Community College logo
John Tyler Community College logo(John Tyler Community College)
Published: Jul. 17, 2021 at 12:58 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 22, 2021 at 12:58 PM EDT
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CHESTER, Va. (WWBT) - Virginia’s State Board for Community Colleges unanimously approved on Thursday the renaming of John Tyler Community College.

John Tyler is changing its name to separate itself from the 10th U.S. president for whom the college is named. The school’s board approved the name “Brightpoint Community College” last week, but the change required approval at the state level.

“I am grateful for the State Board’s support,” said Dr. Edward “Ted” Raspiller, president of John Tyler Community College. “I believe the name Brightpoint celebrates the heart and energy of our college; connects to the experiences people have here; and speaks to the uplifting and welcoming environment we strive to create for all.”

A school spokeswoman says the name “Brightpoint” reflects an uplifting and welcoming environment.

Tyler, who died in 1862, was the 10th president of the United States and owned two plantations.

According to the college’s website, Tyler broke ties with the United States and joined the Confederacy in 1860. He owned many enslaved people and supported slavery in his political life. He served as Virginia’s governor, a delegate in Virginia’s state legislature, and a member of both chambers of Congress.

He is the only U.S. president to be buried and honored ceremoniously under a non-U.S. flag. The website states he was buried with the Confederate flag.

The college’s Naming Task Force unanimously recommended in November renaming the college, two buildings and several streets associated with Tyler.

The college anticipates it will take 12-18 months to fully roll out its new name.

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