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The Story of GCC:
The Millennial 1990s

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The Millennial 1990s

In the College and the Community

Image of GCC College President during the era, Dr. Tessa Martinez Pollack

In 1992, Glendale Arizona celebrated its centennial. Concurrently, Glendale Community College celebrated its 25th anniversary. During the 1990s, GCC experienced a number of changes. The computers brought onto campus during the previous decade where linked together with the Internet and World Wide Web. GCC President John Waltrip retired at the end of over 20 years of service and the college welcomed new GCC President Dr. Tessa Martinez Pollack (pictured to the right receiving a Soleri Bell from the campus community at the start of her tenure). The college significantly reached out into the Glendale community as it began to offer events, speakers, and cultural programming that solidified its place as an institution of learning and culture throughout the community. Below you will find the photos, stories, and documents of the decade:




Waltrip Retires, the End of an Era

In 1995, after twenty years as president of Glendale Community College, John Waltrip announced his retirement. President Waltrip has been the longest serving president in the college's history and had been with the college since near the very beginning, serving as both a professor and administrator since 1966. These photos were taken during the end of his tenure on Wednesday, November 30th, 1994 during a true day of celebration. Upon this day, Dr. John Waltrip invited “Friends of Glendale Community College” to celebrate the voters' approval of the $386 million dollar bond to be allocated over seven years. These funds were used to build new classrooms, remodel aging buildings, replace equipment, make lasting investments in technology, and fund major capitol projects across the Maricopa Community College District.

President John Waltrip

President John Waltrip

Dr. Waltrip is all smiles as he greets attendees at the Bond Celebration.                          


Waltrip hands award to Karl Abel

Waltrip Hands Award to Karl Abel

Dr. Waltrip presents an award to Karl Abel who chaired the Northwest Valley Citizens for Community Colleges committee with his wife Enid. Volunteers from this committee included business, educational, and community members and leaders. These volunteers worked tirelessly phoning voters and canvasing neighborhoods to encourage voters to support the bond.1


Waltrip Poses with Attendees

Waltrip Poses with Attendees

Dr. Waltrip poses with attendees at the GCC Bond Celebration in the Student Lounge.


Surf's Up! GCC Goes Online...

With the advent of the World Wide Web, GCC along with many other colleges and organizations went online. On the first website, the Web Mission Statement for this venture read as follows: "Glendale Community College's Web pages reflect the many ways in which technology enhances community college life for students, faculty, and staff. In addition to providing current information about campus resources, procedures and activities for those in our community and beyond, Glendale's Web is an extension of the college itself, a flexible, supportive, and responsive environment for those who wish to teach, learn, and do research in new ways. Like the library and the classroom, these pages provide space for the voices and viewpoints of many authors."2

First GCC Website (1995-1997)

The First GCC Website (1995-1997)

The World Wide Web was a much different creature today from when it first began. Slow processing speeds and meager graphics capabilities forced web designers to limit the amount of images and content on pages. As well, many of the web application technology used today still had yet to be developed. Nonetheless, GCC strove forward with this first web page to showcase both the school and the classes available to students.


GCC Website Version 2 (1997-1999)

GCC Website Version 2 (1997-1999)

Even in a few short years, GCC took significant steps to develop its website. This page showcases some of the improvements made to the site during its formative years.


GCC Website Version 3 (1999-2000)

GCC Website Version 3 (1999-2000)

This was a somewhat short-lived version of the GCC website, but it is evident that continuous improvements were taking place on the site.


GCC in the Community

Although the college's primary focus has always been its students, GCC has also endeavored to be an educational force within the community as well. In the 1990s, the college entered a seeming Renaissance of community education and activities, a tradition that carries on to this day. The pictures in this collection showcase some of the community events that occured during the decade.

Readfest '96

Readfest '96

Readfest '96 was held in the Center Mall of Glendale Community College. Readfest '96 was the first of ten annual Readfests, the last being in 2005. Readfests promoted literacy and the GCC Literacy Center through a variety of activities including programs for children, book sales, readings by authors and GCC community members,and much more.


GCC President Dr. Tessa Martinez Pollack at Readfest '96

GCC President Dr. Tessa Martinez Pollack at Readfest '96

Leading by example, GCC President Dr. Tessa Martinez Pollack shows her support for reading as she reads to a crowd at the GCC Readfest event.


Readfest '96 (Image 2)

Readfest '96

A crowd of students eagerly waits to attend GCC Readfest events and activities. Readfest was a signature annual event of the college drawing more than 6,000 community students every year along with a host of authors, local celebrities, and community leaders.3


Science Olympiad

Science Olympiad

This photo was taken in February 1995 during the 8th Annual Science Olympiad at Glendale Community College. The Science Olympiad is an academic competition between high schools that allows Arizona high school students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in the areas of science, technology, and mathematics.


National Chemistry Week

National Chemistry Week

These photos were taken during the 1997 National Chemistry Week celebration held at Glendale Community College on November 7-13. At the celebration, students had the opportunity to observe a variety of fun chemistry demonstrations and activities.


Band Concert

Band Concert

Pictured is the Glendale Community College Band on the opening of their twenty-first season. During their season opener, the band delighted the college community with a free performance on Tuesday October 17, 1995 in the GCC Performing Arts Center. During the performance, band director John Thrasher led the GCC players through a program that included “The Magic of Andrew Lloyd Webber”, selections from “Oklahoma”, “Their Finest Hour March”, “A Slavic Farewell”, “Espana Cani”, and “The Inferno from the Divine Comedy”.


Intercultural Festival

Intercultural Festival

Featured is a photo of a performance during Glendale Community College's 7th Annual Intercultural Festival held on April 7-11, 1997. This festival featured a variety of musical, dance, and performance acts to celebrate diversity and support intercultural dialogue.


GCC Drama: Biloxi Blues

GCC Drama: Biloxi Blues

Another way in which GCC has delighted the community through generations have been the plays sponsored by the college. In what is perhaps part advertisement and part preparation, GCC students starring in the play Biloxi Blues had their heads shaved in the center mall of college. This military crew cut was necessary for the actors who played servicemen in World War II. This play was staged at GCC from November 7-17, 1996. It was written by Neil Simon and directed by Virginia Ludders.


Career Expo '92

Career Expo '92

Held on March 4, Career Expo ‘92 was perhaps one of the most elaborate Career Expos in human history. Truly, it had it all. Well beyond the many numerous career booths, you will find a helicopter, a race car, a horse, military personnel and weaponry, parachuters, a very photogenic McGruff the Crime Dog, a hot air balloon, mascots, military dog training demonstrations, live bands, and a giant inflated camel. This photo shows one of the many career booths where GCC students and community members could apply for jobs and positions.

Career Expo '92 (Image 2)

Career Expo '92

During Career Expo '92, excited community members view the back of the helicopter that landed at the event to showcase jobs in the emergency health fields.


Famous and Distinguished GCC Visitors

At GCC, we have welcomed a number of renowned visitors over the years. Never was this more true than in the 1990s. Below you will see some of distinguised guests who visited the college during the decade.

Super Bowl XXX Coach's Clinic

Super Bowl XXX Coach's Clinic

Photos taken during a Coach's Clinic that was held at GCC as part of the NFL experience for Super Bowl XXX, in which the Dallas Cowboys were victorious over the Pittsburg Steelers in a 27-17 game that was played at the Sun Devil Stadium in nearby Tempe, Arizona. At the clinic, the GCC Football Team had the opportunity to meet and learn from several notable people in football including Ernie Stantner (ex-Dallas Cowboys defensive coach), ASU football coach Frank Kush, and sportscaster Gary Bender.


Senator Barry Goldwater at GCC Speakers Forum

Senator Barry Goldwater at GCC Speakers Forum

On April 3, 1996, Senator and former presidential candidate Barry Goldwater spoke to a crowd of GCC students, faculty, staff, and community members as part of the GCC Speakers Forum. This photograph shows the Senator at the event and you can access the video through the link above.


Senator Barry Goldwater Fields Questions

Senator Barry Goldwater Fields Questions

Senator Goldwater answered questions from the crowd during the GCC Speakers Forum.


Paolo Soleri at Aphitheater Groundbreaking

Paolo Soleri at Amphitheater Groundbreaking

On Thursday May 4th at 4pm, Glendale Community College broke ground on the Paolo Soleri Amphitheater. This amphitheater was designed by famous architect Paolo Soleri, renowned for his futuristic Arcosanti and beautiful wind chimes and bells across the GCC campus and Arizona. Paolo Soleri's model of the amphitheater built with the same materials used in construction was on display for the event. This photo shows the legendary architect speaking at the groundbreaking beside this model.


Soleri Bells

Soleri Bells

In addition to the Soleri Amphitheater, Soleri also designed many of the signature bells that adorn the campus. This photograph is of some Soleri Bells currently located at the West entrance of the GCC Library.

GCC In the News

In the 1990s, College Voice reporters delved into a host of serious issues. Whether it be the Persian Gulf War, LGBT discrimination, the rising crime rate, the HIV/AIDs crisis, or the record breaking storm of 1996 which tore through GCC with 120+ mile-per-hour winds, GCC reporters were there to uncover the story. They also captured important events in the community such as the intercultural festivals, career expos, and GCC Readfests along with the pop culture titans of the time: Beavis and Butthead, Charles Barkley, movies like Titanic and the Phantom Menace, and much more. Take a look at some of the events and milestones of the college and time through the eyes of its student reporters:

GCC Student Newspaper Image of the Era

The Traveler


GCC Traveler Image of the Era

Continuing the tradition of literary and artistic excellence was student literary and arts magazine: The Traveler. Below are links to the Nineties issues of this premier annual title.

Course Catalogs

GCC Course Catalog Image of the Era

Curious as to what GCC students were studying in the 1990s? Look no further than the course catalogs of this era where you can see the different classes and programs offered during the year.

Graduations

Below are links to the commencement programs and videos for the 1990s.

GCC Commencement Program Image of the Era

Next Chapter: 21st Century 2000s

 

 


1Glendale Community College. "Annual Report 1994-1995". Found at: http://azmemory.azlibrary.gov/cdm/singleitem/collection/gccarc/id/133/rec/1
2Glendale Community College. "Web Mission Statement". June 1997. Found at https://web.archive.org/web/19970609031345/http://www.gc.maricopa.edu/frame.html
3"Readfest draws 6000". Gaucho Gazette. December 2004. Found at: http://webapp.gccaz.edu/archive/Gaucho/6288.htm
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