Community Day celebrates DCCC’s 50th anniversary

By Linda Pang

DCCC turned 50 this year and celebrated with a Community Day homecoming event on Sept. 23 at Marple campus, during which a new time capsule was placed in a section of the brick wall outside the Academic Building to commemorate the golden anniversary.

The family-friendly free event welcomed local residents, students, faculty, and staff with music, food, campus tours, interactive demonstrations, and a visit from the Phillies Phanatic. Additional events included a faculty artwork exhibit, alumni/student athletic games, the Alumni Awards Program, and reunions for Phi Theta Kappa members and Student Success Ambassadors.

Alumni and retirees were invited to a luncheon to meet the new college president, Dr. L Joy Gates Black. Smiling faces filled the room as attendees leafed through complimentary copies of the college’s new commemorative history book, “Great Yesterdays, Greater Tomorrows: A Fifty-Year History of Delaware County Community College 1967-2017,” by Kathleen Breslin, DCCC’s vice president of Institutional Advancement.

Founded in 1967, the Community College of Delaware County was created with just 24 founding faculty. In 1974, the name was changed to Delaware County Community College and the new Marple campus was opened.

Today, the college’s multiple campuses across Delaware and Chester Counties support around 28,000 students annually with more than 140 full-time faculty and 45 associate degree options, plus online, non-credit, and certificate programs.

Shortly after 3:00 p.m., Gates Black was honored by U.S. Rep. Patrick Meehan, Pa. Sen. Thomas McGarrigle, Delaware County (Delco) Council Chairman Mario Civera Jr., Delco District Attorney John J. Whelan, and Delco Councilman David J. White.

Meehan, McGarrigle, and Civera Jr. provided remarks before Gates Black was officially introduced to the community as the new president. The announcement was met with a standing ovation and thunderous applause.

Gates Black, along with Board of Trustees Chairman Michael Ranck, Student Government Association president Derek Washington, and professor emeritus John Cronin, then placed the new time capsule in its new home.

The container included items such as copies of 50th Anniversary marketing materials, back-issues of the The Communitarian, the college seal and brochures, a flip cellphone and car charger, and a baseball from the alumni-student game earlier that afternoon. A Glamour fashion magazine was also included to showcase current trends, along with messages to the future written by Community Day attendees.

Cronin, who was photographed placing the first time capsule during the dedication at Marple campus, had the opportunity to review the historical contents earlier this year during a staged capsule retrieval with former college president Dr. Jerry S. Parker.

“There are positives and negatives in growth because sometimes…the intimacy feel of the college disappears,” said Dr. Vivian Ford in a video interview. “But from what I have observed today… there is still that family feel here and I am really happy about that.”

Ford, a former English and math professor at DCCC from 1983-2011, added that she noticed a continued focus on the achievements of the students. “I just hope that we keep that focus—that the student is really the reason we are here, and to encourage them and help them know that we believe in them,” Ford said.

Contact Linda Pang at communitarian@mail.dccc.edu