On September 26, 1966—50 years ago yesterday—the Community College of Allegheny County’s Allegheny Campus and East Campus locations officially opened their doors to 1,505 students for the very first day of classes.
Since then, CCAC has borne witness to incredible growth, unimaginable change and generation after generation of stellar alumni who’ve gone on to leave their mark on the city of Pittsburgh and points beyond. I am humbled and elated to be a part of the history of this institution.
Those of you who started at CCAC only a few weeks ago may not know this, but over the course of this calendar year, we have been holding a series of celebratory events in honor of CCAC’s 50th anniversary. These events have been held all across our campuses and centers and have served to highlight some of the unique programming and other opportunities each location has to offer.
After our groovy 1960’s-themed kick-off celebration at CCAC Allegheny Campus in February, we’ve hosted such events as: an interactive talk about the future of the computer gaming industry with Jesse Schell of Schell Games at CCAC North Campus in March; a car cruise featuring both antique and futuristic cars at CCAC West Hills Center in April; a reception and mosaic art installation unveiling followed by the opening night of a production of August Wilson’s “Fences” at the CCAC South Campus Theatre in June; and our most recent, a Health, Safety & Wellness Fair held on September 13 at CCAC Boyce Campus.
And there are still celebration events yet to come. In fact, I’d like to take this opportunity to extend an invitation to each and every one of you to join us at CCAC Allegheny Campus on Wednesday, October 5, for the official ribbon cutting ceremony for West Hall following extensive renovation and restoration. This will be followed by a CCAC Through the Decades presentation
in the Foerster Student Services Center, where we will be unveiling a permanent CCAC historical timeline art installation. I’ve seen a sneak peek of the new exhibit and, trust me, you’re in for a real treat.
We’ll be bringing this year’s programming to a close with a 50th Anniversary Gala
on Saturday, November 19, at the Wyndham Grand Hotel. This black tie dinner will provide the opportunity to publicly honor 50 of our most distinguished alumni for the fine work they’ve done since graduating from CCAC. Many of these alumni, nominated by their peers and selected by an in-house panel, will be present at the event to accept their awards, which should make this a joyous and engaging evening.
This year has been marked by celebration, but it has also allowed us an opportunity to reflect on our journey and on our history as an institution. I have found it immensely beneficial to examine our past triumphs and challenges, and to be able to plan for the next 50 years of CCAC accomplishments bolstered by the lessons of the past.