GCC Celebrates 75th Anniversary With Year-Long Events; Classes Start Sept. 3

Ani Asatryan
El Vaquero Staff Writer

Classes will officially start at 4:30 p.m. Sept. 3, after the campus kicks off the start of its 75th anniversary with Glendale Community College President John Davitt welcoming old and new faculty members.

“We want to honor people now, and those who have helped make the college what it is today,” said Davitt.
The year will be marked with many events celebrating the school’s anniversary.

GCC has come a long way since 1927 when it was first established as a junior college in the west wing of Glendale Union High School. The college had only 139 students and nine faculty members.

It moved to the Harvard school plant (the current location of the Glendale Public Library) in 1929. This site featured gymnasiums, tennis courts, an athletic field, a library and a student store.

In 1933, an earthquake caused severe damage to the Harvard Campus and classes were moved to tent bungalows from 1934 to 1937. In 1937, the campus moved to its present location.

Since then the college has undergone reconstruction and additions. With more than 17,000 full-time and 8,000 part-time students and 1,000 staff members, the campus now covers 59 acres with 20 buildings.

The college also has another site known as the Adult Community Training Center located at 1122 E. Garfield Ave. where it offers seminars, community services, and high school diploma programs.

“I’m pleased that the college has grown from an initial 139 students to 25,000,” said Davitt. “And it’s because we’re serving the community in many different ways.”

The name of the college changed from Glendale Junior College to Glendale Community College in 1944.

“The Junior College came from the K-12 system offering only two years of education after high school,” Ann Ransford, director of the Office of Communications, Marketing and Foundation. “We expanded, offering community services, job training, and doing things for the community so the people called them community colleges rather than junior colleges.”

In 1981, the college separated from the Glendale Unified School District and became an independent district under a state mandate. The community voted to support the college through taxes, thereby allowing it to continue its services.

Gradually, GCC expanded its programs to fit the needs of the community, while also providing general education for students transferring to four-year institutions.

Today the college offers associates in arts and associates in science degrees, certificates of completion, and credit and non-credit adult training courses.

“I think it’s fortunate to have a college that primarily relates to its community, said Ransford. “And to think we’ve been doing that for 75 years; it’s a wonderful wonderful celebration.”

The events scheduled today are the first in a series of events scheduled to celebrate the 75th anniversary of GCC throughout the school year. More events will be hosted by both the college and ASGCC as the year progresses.

This story was printed on Pages 1 and 2 in the Sept. 3 issue of El Vaquero.