LFCC celebrates 10 years at Luray Center; fourth annual Evening with the Stars slated for Thursday

Page News and Courier

LURAY — During the fourth installment of Lord Fairfax Community College's Evening with the Stars next Thursday, college officials will highlight its decade-long presence in Luray and the efforts of community leaders that made it possible.

“We are so fortunate to have this facility here to educate our youth and to help those who have been in the workforce receive training and retraining,” said office manager of LFCC's Luray-Page County Center Judy Suddith. “There are so many more opportunities available here that we didn't have when we opened in 2006.”

Since opening its doors in the Luray annex building on North Hawksbill Street in January 2006, the Luray-Page County Center has impacted thousands of students. But LFCC's presence in Page stretches back even further.

In the 1980s, LFCC began offering three courses a semester in Page, expanding its course offerings in the mid 1990s. The program was discontinued in 2000 until it was relaunched two years later, allowing local residents the change to enroll in evening classes at Luray High School.

In 2004, LFCC presented the idea of establishing a local center in Page County, and the Luray Town Council and the Page County Board of Supervisors each contributed $120,000 toward the project.

Two years later, the center debuted in Luray, with 180 students taking advantage of 21 classes ― as well as other opportunities.

“I owe my entire college experience to one tiny campus that opened its doors in 2006 in Luray,” said Page County native Amanda Dofflemyer.

After spending three semesters at a private, four-year college, Dofflemyer returned to Luray.

“I had given up on my dream of higher education ― until I heard about the Luray-Page Center,” said Dofflemyer.

Dofflemyer enrolled at the Center during its inaugural year in 2006, alongside her longtime friend Emily DeBenedetto, who had begun taking evening courses the previous year at LHS.

After graduating from LFCC with in 2008, both Dofflemyer and DeBenedetto went on to complete their bachelor's degrees from Eastern Mennonite University.

“One thing I know for sure, I would have never gone back to school to get either degree if it wasn’t for the Luray-Page Center and all my inspiring and motivating advisors and professors,” said Dofflemyer.

“The time I spent at the Luray Center will always hold a special place in my heart,” added DeBenedetto. “I wish for its success and growth in the coming years.”

Other students will share their stories next Thursday during LFCC's Evening with the Stars event, as the college looks back on the past 10 years and looks ahead toward the future.

“It will be a night of celebration,” said LFCC's Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs and Page County native Kim Blosser.

The fourth annual Evening with the Stars will kick off at 6 p.m. next Thursday, Sept. 15, and conclude with a finale of fireworks at the Burner Barn at Luray Caverns. Tickets are $50.

Since launching in 2013, each of the events has raised about $25,000 to go toward the center, science programs and Page County scholarships.

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