Dabney S. Lancaster Community College in Virginia will change its name after a unanimous vote by its Board of Directors Monday. The decision was prompted by new research that emerged about the namesake of the college, WSLS 10 reported.
Dabney Lancaster was a state education superintendent and a former president of Longwood University who opposed school integration in Virginia.
The Virginia State Board for Community Colleges called on campus leaders to change the college's name last summer, but the local board decided against it. The state board asked college leaders to reconsider replacing the name again last month.
Researchers recently discovered that Lancaster was an active member, and at one point a national officer, in what historians described as an “elitist KKK” organization. The new discovery motivated college leaders to reverse their decision.
“The additional information that was found and really if you look at the body of work, I certainly think that the decision was the right one as we move forward in this time,” John Rainone, the college president, told WSLS 10.
Campus leaders said in a press release that they expect to have a new name chosen by October, which they will present to the state board in November for approval.