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Founders’ Week: Author Rebecca Skloot visits Rock Creek, Southeast today

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Today (Thursday, May 17), in conjunction with Founders’ Week, PCC Reads presents national best-selling author and PCC Alum Rebecca Skloot as she returns to PCC to discuss her acclaimed book, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.”

She will speak at two events: 10–11 a.m. at the Event Center, Building 9, Rock Creek Campus and 6-7 p.m. at the Slavic Church Emmanuel, adjacent to the SE Center (2025 SE 82nd Ave., Portland). Transportation will be provided to and from the evening event from Cascade and Sylvania’s shuttle stops. At Sylvania, the shuttles will leave at 4:30 p.m. Two 60-seat buses will be available. The Cascade shuttle departs at 5 p.m. It requires a reservation by emailing jzunkel@pcc.edu (limited space, first come, first served).

A student in the late 1970s reads up on homework at the Rock Creek Campus.

A student in the late 1970s reads up on homework at the Rock Creek Campus.

Read all the details about Rebecca Skloot.

PCC Trivia Question of the Day:

In 1967, what did the college’s operational budget climb to after a surge in enrollment? (Yesterday’s answer: A chauffeur, who happened to be DeBernardis’ wife Jessie).

History Story of the Day: When we were champions

Founding President Amo DeBernardis was never big on sports. He and the board of directors felt that teaching and learning would be the sole functions of this community college. So, any thoughts of entertaining large-scale football, basketball, baseball and other high-cost inter-collegiate athletics was out of the question.

But PCC had a thriving “off” market consisting of sports clubs, and intramural and physical fitness programs, taking off in 1970-71 when the Sylvania Campus Health Technology Building was constructed. With it, came a 25-meter swimming pool, locker rooms, weight and exercise rooms, and health classrooms. By 1978, PCC had 26 sports teams. PCC students formed clubs and intramurals that included horse riding, rugby, karate, wrestling, fencing, and a little known sport called “soccer.”

A dedicated group of students every year enrolled in the PCC soccer club. From the late 1960s until the early 1980s the PCC soccer team was a force among collegiate teams throughout Oregon and the Northwest. Because PCC didn’t have an official intercollegiate program, the team could compete yearly with 12 other teams. The Panthers captured state titles in 1971, and 1977-81. In 1982, the Panthers beat Oregon State University 2-1 in the title game, their last trophy.

Complementing the soccer dynasty, were individual sportsmen. In 1981, student Tung Phan was a red-hot table tennis player for the Panthers. That year he won the U.S. Men’s Collegiate Table Tennis singles title at a national tournament on the campus of the University of Minnesota.

Soccer may have been axed due to budget problems in the mid-1980s, but the college still fields two basketball teams – men’s and women’s – that play regularly at the Cascade Campus gym.

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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