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Founders’ Week: PCC welcomes back its past presidents

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Join District President Preston Pulliams in welcoming back five of PCC’s past presidents at the Presidents’ Picnic today (Friday, May 18). All students, staff, retirees and alumni are invited to a BBQ lunch outside Rock Creek’s Building 9’s Event Center, for 1961 prices, from noon to 2 p.m.

Founding President Amo DeBernardis (second from left) has lunch with his deans at Sylvania.

Founding President Amo DeBernardis (second from left) has lunch with his deans at Sylvania.

Hear from past presidents tell how PCC has grown and changed, enjoy live music and view the dedication of the PCC Unity Project – four large-scale sculptures commissioned for the college’s anniversary, to be given to each PCC campus.  Pre-registration is required.

PCC Trivia Question of the Day:

In 1974, what legislator, who headed the Ways and Means Committee at the time, threatened Amo DeBernardis with blocking funding to build the Rock Creek Campus? And, what did he do in response? (Yesterday’s answer: $4.8 million).

History Story of the Day: Who are our past presidents?

Amo DeBernardis, 1961-1979

DeBernardis, or “Dr. De” as he was known at the college, had a strong vision that helped establish PCC’s footprint that the community knows today. He spearheaded development of all the major comprehensive campuses (Sylvania, Rock Creek and Cascade) and devised its mission. He passed away in 2010 at 96.

John Anthony, 1980-1985

Anthony took over as PCC’s second president after leading Cayuga Community College in New York. He involved faculty in decisions, promoted lifelong learning and continued Dr. De’s shopping center concept. But much of Anthony’s tenure was devoted to keeping PCC afloat during a financial crisis.

Jim Van Dyke, 1985-1986

Van Dyke was named interim president after working as a faculty member and dean since 1965. He was instrumental in getting voters to approve a higher tax base for the college, which gave PCC some breathing room while it tried to recover from budget problems.

Dan Moriarty, 1986-2001

Moriarty dealt with unprecedented growth – PCC had grown by 50 percent since his reign began. He was best known for managing a series of bond programs that helped round off facilities at the main campuses. He also helped establish PCC’s biggest public event – Art Beat.

Jess Carreon, 2001-2003

Carreon came aboard during a recession in the economy and steered PCC through tough budget decisions. Carreon proved engaging and well-suited in overseeing the build out from the $144 million bond measure of 2000.

Jerry Berger, 2003-2004

Berger served as interim president for a year so that PCC could find Carreon’s replacement. He had been the longtime president of Chemeketa Community College before retiring in 2001. In his short stay, he helped manage budget cuts resulting from a decrease in state funding.

Read the “The PCC History Series.”

Part 5: Southeast Campus: 30 years in the making

Part 4: Despite hurdles, PCC builds Sylvania Campus

Part 3: Cascade Campus an education gateway for North Portland

Part 2: The Battle for the Rock Creek Campus

Part 1: PCC’s origins started with a Failing school

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, has been the Communications Specialist for the Office of Public Affairs at Portland Community College since November of 1999. A graduate of Portland State University, J... more »

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