HISTORY OF RBC
POLITICAL FACTORS AFFECTING THE ESTABLISHMENT AND GROWTH OF RICHARD BLAND COLLEGE OF WILLIAM & MARY IN VIRGINIA 1958-1972 by DR. JAMES B. MCNEER
The need for a two-year college in Southside Virginia was enhanced by the interest of and support generated by The College of William and Mary. Even though William and Mary was not the first four-year institution approached by interested citizens in the Petersburg area, it was the one that agreed to support a local branch college. The establishment of Richard Bland by William and Mary would serve as a base for William and Mary exerting an influence on the direction of higher education in Virginia, reaching from south of Richmond to the North Carolina line and east to the Atlantic Seaboard. This political goal of William and Mary coincided with the desire of certain citizens in the Petersburg area to make available to high school graduates an inexpensive, state-supported, commuter institution near their homes. Only Virginia State College, a four-year, black, state-supported institution existed in Southside Virginia at the time of the creation of Richard Bland College.