Frequently Asked Questions
What are the College’s missions, vision, and values?
Our mission statement:
Our mission is to provide an opportunity for the extension of knowledge, skills and personal enrichment that maintains high academic standards, is financially and geographically accessible, and respects students’ diverse backgrounds, rights, responsibilities, and abilities. In partnership with local businesses, industry, government, professions, and other educational institutions, our College provides programs and services that prepare members of the community to reach their potential as engaged and learned citizens.
The College changes lives, strengthens community, and provides pathways to success.
Accessibility - We value the opportunity to provide the residents of our service region appropriate pathways through which they can achieve educational and professional goals without barriers of cost, distance, or time.
Learning - We value the process of teaching and learning, the sharing of knowledge, the importance of innovation, and the empowering of all students with the tools to reach their academic potential and maximum career success.
Community - We value the diverse perspectives, backgrounds, and beliefs that collectively form the MGCC community, and we embrace these differences among students, employees, and community members as ways to enrich, grow and thrive—as individuals and as an institution.
Integrity - We value the belief that the dream of educational attainment is best realized when all members of the MGCC community respect academic honesty, promote accountability, and demonstrate responsibility for themselves and others.
Why did the College decide to evaluate the college’s name?
In the summer of 2020, the State Board for Community Colleges, which governs Virginia’s 23 community colleges including MGCC, passed a resolution, which states in part, “The mission of Virginia’s Community Colleges and their shared dedication to the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion demand we examine the names regularly facing our students, faculty, staff, and supporters on their community college journey and determine if those names are consistent with that mission and those values.”
The Local Board was tasked to review the appropriateness of its college, campus, and facilities names and to report its findings and recommendations by no later than March 2021 to the State Board for its consideration (which was extended to June 2021).
Why was the name Mountain Gateway chosen for the college?
The College was renamed Mountain Gateway Community College in the summer of 1967, honoring the prominent Virginia educator and long-time resident of the College’s service area
How was the name evaluation carried out?
Dr. John Rainone, President, and the Local College Board established a College Building and Naming Committee to review the name of the College and its facilities. The history of the College's namesake and others were researched. In March 2021, the College completed surveys to students and to faculty and staff regarding the naming.
Initially, MGCC rejected the recommendation to change the name of the College, but in light of new information, MGCC’s Local Board reconsidered. Following a brief discussion from the Local Board during a regularly scheduled meeting on June 21, 2021, it unanimously agreed that it would no longer use Dr. Lancaster's name.
How will the new name be chosen?
The college is following a guided and diligent process to rename the college and has included community surveys, faculty and staff input and feedback from students as well. The first College Renaming Community Survey administered in June received responses from over 300 individuals who offered 437 possible names for the College.
It is the top priority of the college to navigate through this process as efficiently and effectively as possible to ensure that the new name of the college follows the state board guidelines:
The new policy on college naming states that institutions’ names “should reflect the values of inclusive and accessible education articulated in the VCCS mission statement, with special emphasis on diversity, equity, and opportunity, and be relevant to the students it seeks to serve and to the geography of its service region.”
The college appointed a 25-member Task Force to review the recommendations and deliberate on final names. The Task Force used the following guiding principles:
- Be inclusive in the broadest sense of the term. The name must represent all of the communities we serve. It should welcome people from all backgrounds, ages, gender identifications, sexual preferences, race/ethnicities, and socio-economic standings.
- Instill a unifying sense of pride across the organization, fostering supportive relationships among faculty, staff and students.
- Inspire the innovative learning and collaboration that leads to positive transformation: in the lives of individuals and in the broader community.
- Maintain the timeless relevance fitting of high-quality, high-value education.
- Not be derived from an individual's name
Who is on the Renaming Task Force?
The 25-member Renaming Task Force is comprised of alumni, students, employees, donors, and the community to assist us with how our college will be known in the future.
What is the cost to the College of changing the name?
It is currently unclear what the cost to the college will be and if the state will assist with paying for the effort.
When will the official name change take place?
College officials expect to have the new name selected by October 2021 and the new name will be effective on July 1, 2022.
How many names were recommended by the first Community Survey?
The college received responses from 303 individuals during a survey administered from June 28-July 16. These individuals recommended 437 possible names. However, over 200 were immediately eliminated because they reflected an individual’s name or a name that was not reflective of the College’s entire service region.
What is the College’s service region?
The college serves the cities of Covington, Buena Vista, and Lexington, and the counties of Alleghany, Bath, Botetourt, and Rockbridge.
Why was Alleghany Highlands CC not one of the finalists?
The Alleghany Highlands represents Alleghany and Bath Counties, and the City of Covington. This is a name that does not reflect the entire service region.
Were there additional finalist names?
Yes, however, due to trademark issues, the Task Force eliminated two other names from contention.
Will the mascot be changed from the current Roadrunner?
No, there are no plans to change the college mascot.