On the Renaming of Community Colleges

by Dick Hall-Sizemore

A school task force has recommended that John Tyler Community College be renamed Brightpoint Community College.

I can understand getting rid of the John Tyler name. He was a slaveholder and a member of the Confederate Congress. He also happened to be a former president of the United States, but only because William Henry Harrison died from pneumonia after a month in office. Tyler was not a founding father and his presidency was undistinguished.

But Brightpoint? I’m sorry, but that is a stupid name. It sounds like one of those made-up names for banks.

The Richmond Times Dispatch quotes a spokesman for the college explaining that the new name “reflects the uplifting and welcoming environment we strive to create for all. Brightpoint also aligns with our mission, vision, values and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.”  The president of the college said, “The name is vibrant, like the people and communities we serve, our employees and the work we do.”

What a load of PR nonsense.

There are any number of alternatives better than Brightpoint, such as Chesterfield (that is where it is located), Appomattox River, Two Rivers (it is near the confluence of the Appomattox and James Rivers; this is was one name considered), Henricus (if we want to be historical; this was one of the first settlements beyond Jamestown and was located near the site of the community college). The task force decided not to recommend naming the college after a person. Otherwise, they could have picked Pocahontas, who is thought to have been born near this area.