John Tyler Community College renamed Brightpoint
Slaveholding, Confederacy-supporting namesake didn't reflect institutional values, college said
John Tyler Community College will become Brightpoint Community College after receiving unanimous approval from the Virginia Community College System state board in its Thursday meeting.
On July 8, John Tyler Community College President Edward “Ted” Raspiller announced that he had recommended Brightpoint Community College as the school’s new name to the state board.
The Chester college had formed a naming task force in fall 2020, after the Virginia Community College System requested that community colleges examine the names of their schools and buildings, according to the formerly John Tyler Community College’s website. The task force recommended the name be changed, and the college then asked members for possible name choices in January.
The task force provided its rationale on the college’s webpage for the renaming process. Tenth U.S. President John Tyler owned two plantations in Charles City County. “He was a slaveholder, supported slavery throughout his political career, and was elected to the Confederate House of Representatives,” the site says.
Raspiller said in a statement, “Today’s decision by the state board to rename our institution Brightpoint Community College allows us to move forward with a name that reflects who we are and the experiences people have with our college. Brightpoint is a name for all. It speaks directly to the experiences people have with our institution, connects with our vision of a success story for every student and describes what our students and communities mean to us.”