Rappahannock Community College stands as an embodiment of Thomas Jefferson’s vision of Virginia’s future, which included a system of colleges that would put the opportunity for higher education “within a day’s ride” of every citizen of the Commonwealth. On January 9, 1970, Jefferson’s dream began to come true for residents of the Middle Peninsula and the Northern Neck. At this time, the local board of Rappahannock Community College met for the first time in Urbanna to chart the direction of the new educational institution. With two campuses planned - one in Glenns and the other in Warsaw - the new college would serve both sides of the Rappahannock River. It, therefore, seemed fitting that the river should give the College its name. As a symbol of the cooperation that made the building of the College possible, soil from all the counties in RCC’s service region was mixed at the groundbreaking ceremony held in Glenns on September 11, 1970.
A year later, students enrolled for classes at the Glenns Campus. Although new construction for the Warsaw Campus did not begin until 1972, classes were held in the Chinn House (now the Justice Joseph W. Chinn Community Center) in Warsaw until the main building opened in 1973.
RCC held its first graduation in June 1973; 40 degrees and 11 certificates were conferred. Today, RCC continues to serve the region with an enrollment exceeding 4,041 students in 2018-19. In 2018-19 963 degrees and certificates were awarded; 638 graduates were prepared for transfer or to enter the workforce.
The College, now 50 years old, offers diverse programming including short-term credentials to two-year transferable associate degrees. RCC has guaranteed admissions agreements with 35 public and private colleges and universities, providing a wide variety of opportunities for transfer. RCC has locations in Glenns, Warsaw, Kilmarnock, King George, New Kent, and Montross.