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New name is chosen for W.Va. college

November 03, 2005|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - The Community and Technical College of Shepherd will be renamed Blue Ridge Community & Technical College if the name is approved by the state Legislature.

Of 10 new name possibilities, Blue Ridge received more first-choice votes than any other - garnering 101 of 342 votes, according to Sandy Sponaugle, a public relations official working for the college.

The college's Board of Governors approved the name during a meeting Wednesday afternoon. It still must be approved by the state Legislature during its upcoming session, which begins in January. If legislators approve the name, it likely will become official July 1, 2006, Sponaugle said.

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A new name was needed because the college was required to become independent of Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, W.Va.

Classrooms and offices for the college, which has been in operation since 1974, were moved from Shepherdstown to Martinsburg four years ago.

Sponaugle said discussion was held on whether Blue Ridge was the best name, given that 106 people voted for names that had the word "Shenandoah" in them. Those votes were split among the names Northern Shenandoah Valley Community and Technical College, Shenandoah Gateway Community and Technical College and Shenandoah Valley Community and Technical College, with the latter garnering 61 first-choice votes, Sponaugle said.

An open nomination process generated 140 new name possibilities, which were narrowed to 10. A poll then was placed on the college's Web site.

The college offers 16 associate's degree programs, including programs in automotive technology; business; criminal justice; culinary arts; fire science; heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration technology; office technology; nursing; and paralegal studies.

"We are thrilled to have a new name," Peter Checkovich, president of the college, said in a press release. "We believe the name Blue Ridge CTC respects the historical significance of the name in this region and will be different from other organizations in the Eastern Panhandle."

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