A college in Virginia previously named after a Revolutionary War hero has announced another name change.
Virginia Peninsula Community College, a public community college previously named the Thomas Nelson Community College, which has a campus in Hampton, will be renaming two of its halls to honor a Native American tribe that lived in the Hampton area.
The Griffin and Wythe halls of the campus, which are connected and essentially function as one building, will be renamed Kecoughtan Hall, in honor of the Kecoughtan tribe, which are native to the land where the school is located.
According to the school, the College Board determined the name was more inclusive as it acknowledged the history of the Native Americans who existed on the peninsula before European settlers.
In 2020, the Virginia State Board for Community Colleges asked college advisory boards to review the appropriateness of the names of their colleges, campuses and facilities amid a heightened sensitivity to controversial symbols included in national sports, schools and other major facilities.
Thomas Nelson, the fourth governor of Virginia, a Revolutionary War hero, and signer of the Declaration of Independence, was the school’s original namesake, but school officials decided to change the name as he was also a slave owner.
VPCC said additional changes to the school could make references to the Powhatan, Paspahegh or Chickahominy, which are all local historical tribes.