Hills of the North Umpqua

Buildings get new names


Umpqua Community College will host three renaming ceremonies in June.

In honor of the contributions of longtime college supporters, UCC will be hosting ceremonies on the following dates:

At 4 p.m. Wednesday, June 4, the college will rename the Campus Center Building in honor of LaVerne Murphy, who helped organize the college in 1964 and served on the budget committee until 2011. Murphy was the recipient of a number of service awards throughout his life, including his designation as the King of Sutherlin at the city’s 150th anniversary celebration. Murphy passed away in 2011 at the age of 96. The LaVerne D. Murphy Center for Student Development is home to such campus services as financial aid, student life, counseling, and human resources.

At 4 p.m. Monday, June 9, the college will rename the fitness center in honor of Tom Keel, a lifelong fitness enthusiast who served on the UCC board from 1975-2011. Keel is the longest-serving community college trustee in Oregon history. Keel is a regular visitor to the campus fitness center, which will now be known as the Tom Keel Center for Physical Fitness.

At 4 p.m. Tuesday, June 10, the college will rename the Administration Building in honor of Del Blanchard, who served 32 years on UCC’s board. Blanchard served 20 years in the US Navy and Ready Reserves, and founded Oregon Metalcraft in Myrtle Creek. The Del Blanchard Welcome Center serves as the starting point for all new students and includes such functions as admissions, registration, the president’s office, and the boardroom.

Each naming ceremony will include a formal program at the site followed by refreshments. The community is invited and encouraged to attend.