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The Story of GCC:
Early Years, 1965-70

Photo of the GCC's Founding Faculty
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1970s
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2010-

Early Years, 1965-1970

The Beginnings of GCC

Photograph of John F. Prince, founding executive dean of GCC

Once construction was completed, the college was ready for students. It was here that the legend of GCC truly began, with its first classes in the fall of 1965. Pictured above are the founding faculty who first began instructing students at the college. Thirty-one additional faculty members were added the following fall1. To the right is a photo of John F. Prince, who was named Executive Dean of Glendale Community College under the leadership of Maricopa County Junior College District Governing Board President Dr. Robert F. Easley. Prince led the college during these first critical years and left an indelible mark upon the institution. Below you will find both images and documents of this early era that capture both the birth of the college and those first students who blazed the collegial trail that scholars continue to follow to this day.

Dedication Ceremony

On October 16, 1966, GCC had its dedication ceremony. The event was held on the center lawn to a crowd of dignitaries and well wishers. Here are some photos of this happy and historic day.

Dedication Ceremony

Dedication Ceremony

The GCC Dedication Ceremony drew 3,000 visitors to campus. Governor Sam Goddard was a featured speaker. The GCC Alma Mater, written by faculty members C. Paul Harper (music) and Flo Kitts (English), was first sung by the choir from the second story balcony of the Business Building for the Dedication.2


Arizona Governor Sam Goddard at GCC Dedication

Arizona Governor Sam Goddard at GCC Dedication

Arizona Governor Sam Goddard delivers a brief speech at the Dedication Ceremony. In the speech, Goddard declares "Education is our magnum opus.... We spend 46 cents out of every dollar for education". He then went on to cite the growing contribution that the junior college system is making to the progress of education in the state. The cost of the buildings, grounds, and equipment for GCC was about $5 million dollars.3


Dedication Ceremony

Dedication Ceremony

Assistant Dean Dr. Matt O. Hanhila at the Dedication Ceremony October 16, 1966 at Glendale Community College (GCC) in Glendale, Arizona. A few years later, Hanhila would become executive dean of GCC as Prince was promoted to lead the MCCCD Junior College District.

A Growing Campus

The early GCC campus was quite literally growing under students' feet with new buildings seemingly added by the week. Below are photos depicting the construction that continued throughout the early years of the college:

Ongoing Construction -- Spring 1966

Ongoing Construction -- Spring 1966

This aerial photo shows ongoing construction of Glendale Community College during the Spring 1966 semester. This view is from SE to NW. You could see a few of GCC's signature buildings taking shape: Going clockwise from the left, you will see Office Buildings 01 and 02, the Instructional Materials Center (IMC) or library, office building 03, the Fine Arts Building, and Music Building. [Note: Office building numbering varied between 1966 and 1974]


John F. Prince Surveys Construction (1966)

John F. Prince Surveys Construction (1966)

This 1966 photo depicts Executive Dean John F. Prince and Maricopa Governing Board President Dr. Robert F. Easley surveying the construction of the brand new Business Building.


Business Building, November 23, 1967

Business Building, November 23, 1967

About a year after the above photo was taken, comes this photo of the newly constructed Business Building. Also note the mature landscaping of the college nearing completion.


Student Government Elections, September 1966

Student Government Elections, September 1966

This photo, taken outside the library or Instructional Materials Center (IMC) as it was called in 1966, shows the first student government campaign signs. In a vote that took place on September 21-22, 1966, Associated Students elected Tom English for Association President, Alice Dunn for Vice-President, Maria Sherman for Secretary, and Byron Limbers for Treasurer.4


Student Walks Through the Early Campus

A Student Walks Through the Early Campus

This 1967 photo depicts a student walking towards a parking lot from the GCC campus. Note the ongoing construction in the background along with a lack of landscaping and greenery.


1967 Center Mall

1967 Center Mall

GCC students walk from Student Services Center onto the Central Mall in 1967. This view shows the signature campus columns and original palms that were relocated to line the mall.


Instructional Materials Center (Library), 1960s

Instructional Materials Center (Library), 1960s

This photo depicts the Instructional Materials Center or campus library. Pictured is the library interior, card catalog, circulation desk, reading area and book stacks during the late 1960s.


Early Yearbooks


GCC Yearbook Image

The first years of Glendale Community College were also unique in another way. They were the only years to have yearbooks. Below are links to the GCC Yearbook from 1965-1968.

  • 1965
  • 1966
  • 1967
  • 1968
  • GCC In the News

    The beginning of the Glendale Community College also marked the beginning of the Glendale Community College student newspaper. Today this paper is called The Voice, but when it was founded it was knows as El Tiempo Pasando. These early issues really capture both the spirit of the early college and the mood of the country during the late 1960s. Intrepid student reporters worked to capture it all from the growth of the early college, to student elections, Gaucho sports, school dances, and collegiate life. These first issues also covered many issues of the era including the war in Viet Nam, the spectre of communism, and the vibrant music of the time which included bands like the Jimi Hendrix Experience, The Doors, and a little-known band called The Spiders whose frontman Vince Furnier, would later become famous as Alice Cooper.5 Below are links to the digitized issues of this early era:

    GCC Student Newspaper Image of the Era

    Student Bulletins

    Today, colleges often send important messages to students through large email blasts. However, even in the 1965-1970 era, the college had important messages it needed to relay to its students. To do so, the college would send out student bulletins to inform students of the different activities and events happening during that time.

    GCC Student Bulletin Image of the Era

    Course Catalogs

    GCC Course Catalog Image of the Era

    Curious as to what GCC students were studying from 1965-1970. Look no further than the course catalogs from this era where you can see the different classes and programs offered during these first academic semesters.

    Graduations

    While video wasn't available of the initial graduation ceremonies, we do have the graduation programs for the years in which we had GCC graduates.

    GCC Graduation Program Image of the Era

    Next Chapter: The Stellar 1970s

     

     


    1"New Faculty Heads For New Campus". El Tiempo Pasando. May 20, 1966. Found at: http://azmemory.azlibrary.gov/cdm/singleitem/collection/gccarc/id/133/rec/1
    2News-Herald (Glendale AZ) 20 Oct. 1966: A1
    3News-Herald (Glendale, AZ) 20 Oct. 1966: B4
    4"Of interest: El Tiempo Pasando (student newspaper) lists full election results for Associated Women, Associated Men, Freshman, and Sophomore class officers (Oct. 7, 1966, p. 1). See also El Aņo 1967 college yearbook, pp. 14-15.
    5Dunaway, Dennis (as told by John Perkins). "These Spiders Spin Musical Webs". El Tiempo Pasando. November 7, 1966
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