History of the College

In September 1964, students were admitted for the first time to the Clifton Forge-Covington Division of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

In the first two years, this branch college offered programs available at the parent institution, as well as a certificate program in secretarial science. In 1965, a pre-college foundation program was added. This was expanded into the general community college program in 1966.

Beginning with the summer quarter in 1967, all programs of this community college came under the control of the Virginia State Board for Community College. The College itself was renamed Dabney S. Lancaster Community College, honoring the prominent Virginia educator and long-time resident of the College's service area.

Dr. Lancaster began his career as Associate Master of the Chamberlayne School for Boys in Richmond. He was a professor of Agricultural Education at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and became Dean of Men at the University of Alabama in 1923. He served as the Virginia State Superintendent of Public Instruction in 1941 and became President of Longwood College in 1946. In 1955, he became the Chair of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.

He later retired to Bath County where he served on the school board. Over his lifetime, Dr. Lancaster served on the boards of Madison College (currently James Madison University), Sweet Briar College, Virginia Theological Seminary and Episcopal High School.