~ Press release issued by Lord Fairfax Community College
MIDDLETOWN — It was only fitting that Professor Frank Borleske was the one wielding the extra-large scissors when the ribbon was cut in honor of LFCC’s 50th anniversary on Tuesday, Nov. 10.
The math professor is the only current faculty member who has worked at the college since it first opened its doors to students on Sept. 28, 1970.
“I was there at the dedication ceremony, Oct. 17, 1970 in the old student lounge,” Professor Borleske recently recalled. “It was an absolutely beautiful day. The mountains were very clear. Gov. Mills Godwin spoke about the advantage of having a community college, how it would change lives in this area.”
Godwin also said the mission of the community college was to “educate the young men and women who never thought they would have a chance to go on to college. To many of them, it must seem like a miracle.”
In its 50-year history, LFCC has enrolled more than 400,000 credit and workforce students and presented more than 23,000 with degrees or certificates, President Kim Blosser said during the ribbon-cutting ceremony, which was organized by the Luray-Page County Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center and the Top of Virginia Regional Chamber. Shenandoah County Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Sharon Baroncelli was also in attendance.
Each year, LFCC serves about 20,000 students.
“Imagine what it would be like if we had never been built,” President Blosser said. “My hope for our next 50 years is that it doesn’t take a miracle for so many of our students to earn their credentials or degrees. We have accomplished a great deal in the first 50 years, and we’re looking forward to even greater achievements in the next 50.”
Middletown Mayor Charles Harbaugh IV, an LFCC alumnus and adjunct professor, said any town would love to have a community college in its midst.
“I have had many friends and family members who have come through the community college, mainly at the Luray-Page County Center,” said Page County Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center President Regina Hilliard. “May your work continue to bring joy.”
Half of her family has attended LFCC, said Top of Virginia Regional Chamber CEO Cynthia Schneider. Her youngest daughter’s future was turned around by attending LFCC, and she is now studying for her master’s degree.
Coming to LFCC “was a life-changing time for her,” Schneider said. “This nurturing environment is a launch pad for success.”
Learn more about LFCC’s history and view a timeline at www.lfcc.edu/50.