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PCC kicks off 50th celebration at Pioneer Courthouse Square on Oct. 7
Photos and Story by James Hill
In 50 years, Portland Community College has educated more than 1.3 million people and this year is giving back to the community in a big way to say “Thank you” for its half century of support.
The college is celebrating its 50th Anniversary with a kick-off celebration from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 7 in Pioneer Courthouse Square (701 S.W. 6th Ave). The program will feature remarks from Senator Jeff Merkley, PCC District President Preston Pulliams and PCC alumni.
Other attractions include treats made by graduates of the CLIMB Small Business Development Center’s “Getting Your Recipe to Market” program; interactive exhibits from PCC academic programs; live music from Jujuba; launch of the “Diamond Alum Awards” that will identify former students who best exemplify the PCC spirit of opportunity, achievement and service; alumni welcome center, featuring a video booth where former students can share their PCC memories; and cookies and giveaways.
“The kickoff will tell the story of Portland Community College’s role in transforming individual lives and in creating a more vibrant local economy and community,” said PCC District President Preston Pulliams. “In its 50 years, PCC has grown from the simple idea that anyone with the will to succeed should have an opportunity to go to college to its current status as the largest post-secondary institution in the state.”
All year long, in honor of PCC’s 50th anniversary, the college has pledged to donate 50,000 hours of service to the community. PCC will partner with local community service efforts throughout the year to achieve its 50,000-hour goal, which means PCC will double or triple the number of projects and hours it usually organizes in one year.
“I’m super excited that the college has committed to 50,000 hours of service,” said Sarah Tillery, PCC’s service-learning coordinator and the one charged with overseeing the 50th celebration service projects. “I think these events will be a great opportunity to be together and contribute something back to this community that keeps this place going and alive. We’re the biggest college in the state so I think it’s appropriate. It’s totally in keeping with the mission of the college and where we sit with the community.”
When Oregon’s Legislature approved the formation of community colleges in 1961, the Portland Public Schools launched PCC, which was its adult vocational program at the time. And in 1962, the program took over PPS’s unused Failing Elementary School in S.W. Portland and soon after was renamed Portland Community College. Read more about PCC’s humble beginnings.
For more information on the 50th’s activities this year, visit the 50th webpage.