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The Story of GCC:
GCC Today, 2010-

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GCC Today, The 2010s

Honoring the Past, Looking Towards the Future

GCC President Dr. Kovala Speaking at Graduation Ceremony

In the 2010s, GCC continued to strive forward with its commitment to student success and educational excellence. Time was also devoted during this period to mark a special milestone: GCC's fiftieth year. In 2015, Glendale Community College celebrated its golden anniversary. During the occasion, former GCC President Dr. Irene Kovala (pictured to the right) along with the campus and community looked back at the rich history and legacy of the college which has consistently striven to help students succeed and achieve their dreams since 1965. GCC also took the time to look towards the future. After all, the story of GCC is far from finished. It is a future still being written in the hallowed halls and walls of the college, in the lives of students, faculty, staff, and in the generations of students, teachers, and community members yet to come.

The Golden Graduation

Held on May 15th in the home of the University of Phoenix Stadium, GCC celebrated its most important 50th anniversary celebration: Graduation. At the event, students were regaled with speeches from notable figures such as MCCCD Chancellor Rufus Glasper, GCC President Irene Kovala, Student Ricardo Moran, Faculty Speaker Mary Jane Onnen, MCCCD Governing Board member Jean McGrath, and notable GCC alumnus Morris Callaman who delivered the keynote address. At the event, students also celebrated their success through the announcement of their names and the conferring of degrees. It was a very special night for all who attended. Below are just a few of the pictures from the Graduation Ceremony. More can be found on GCC's Flickr Page.

Students at Graduation

Students at Graduation

Graduates sit before the main stage at the ceremony eagerly anticipating the acceptance of their degrees. Note that many of the students had decorated their mortar boards with festive celebratory designs to honor the occasion.

Student Receives Degree

Student Receives Degree

In this photograph, GCC student Ricardo Moran is all smiles as he receives his degree and poses for a photograph with MCCCD Chancellor Rufus Glasper and President Irene Kovala.

Student Celebrates With Classmates

Student Celebrates With Classmates

This GCC student raises her degree in celebration of her success in front of the sea of graduates, family members, and friends in attendance at the event.

Selfie Time (Graduation Image)

Selfie Time

What would a graduation in 2015 be without a selfie? In this photograph, an excited student snaps a pic with President Kovala while picking up his degree.

50th Anniversary Celebrations

While graduation might have been the most important celebration of the year, there were many other celebratory events to mark GCC's fiftieth year. Below are just a few highlights from these events.

Celebrants at GCC's Golden Gala

Celebrants at GCC's Golden Gala

Veteran students, founding faculty members, and students who attended GCC during its first year were honorees at the 50th Anniversary Golden Gala at the Renaissance Glendale Hotel. Proceeds from the gala were donated to the Veteran Spirit of National Service scholarship. The event featured tributes to the accomplishments of GCC student veterans, a silent auction, and a cocktail reception. Entertainment was provided by GCC's Jazz, Guitar, and Clarinet Ensembles.1

Time Capsule

Time Capsule

When GCC reached its milestone 50th year, it not only looked back at its past but looked forward to future generations of GCC students. In this spirit, members of the campus community buried a time capsule to be opened in 2040, the 75th anniversary of GCC. Mementos of our time and place in history along with messages to the future from the GCC campus community were buried in the capsule. What stories will future students in 2040 tell? What will they think of the campus of 2015? Find out in 2040.2

GCC Celebrates its Founding Faculty

GCC Celebrates Founding Faculty

Do you recall that photograph of founding faculty in the 1965 chapter of this decade-by-decade journey? Well, here they are 50 years later as they were honored for their contributions to the founding of the college.

Dr. Charles Vawter

Dr. Charles Vawter

A celebration honoring Dr. Charles Vawter's 50 years of service as a GCC instructor was held in May 2015 and he was presented a special abacus at the event. When the college opened in 1965, Dr. Vawter taught accounting.When asked if he had future plans to retire, Dr. Vawter responded, "No, not yet."3

50th Anniversary Photo

50th Anniversary Photo

Taken on the central mall of GCC Main's campus, GCC employees spell out the number 50 in honor of the fifty years GCC has been educating students.

Still Going Strong...

The story of GCC is far from over, and although the decade is not done, GCC has continued to reach several milestones depicted in the photographs below.

Dr. Teresa Leyba Ruiz Becomes GCC Interim President

Dr. Teresa Leyba Ruiz Becomes GCC President

After the retirement of Dr. Kovala, GCC's Dr. Teresa Leyba Ruiz became GCC's President. "Dr. Ruiz is an educator with a long history of serving students, faculty, staff, and the community. She has served in many capacities during a 20-year tenure at the Maricopa Community Colleges, including Associate Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs at GCC; the Interim Dual Enrollment District Coordinator; Faculty-in-Residence at the District Office; Division Chair for Mathematics, Science, and Engineering and a Mathematics faculty member at South Mountain Community College (SMCC); GCC’s Interim Dean of Instruction; SMCC Faculty Senate President; SMCC Higher Learning Commission Reaccreditation Coordinator and Tri-Chair; and Mathematics Instructional Council member. As a first generation college student herself, Ruiz believes that the strength of a community college is based on developing internal and external relationships; it is her mission to build bridges and strengthen relationships that will serve the college and the community. She is a strong advocate for student success and believes in the power of education and that all students can learn and achieve great things with the right support and hard work." -- The Maricopan Employee Newsletter

Veteran Supportive Campus Designation Earned

Veteran Supportive Campus Designation Earned

GCC has had a long tradition of supporting its veteran students. In March of 2014, GCC earned the Veteran Supportive Campus Designation. GCC and Scottsdale Community College were the first community colleges in the nation to be given this honor. As GCC President Dr. Kovala noted "Being certified as a Veteran Supportive Campus affirms the priority that we've already placed on ourselves to help veterans succeed as students. But it also allows us to create an even more robust environment of support for vets." This photograph, taken on Veterans Day, showcases many of our student veterans and the staff of GCC's Veterans Center.4

Veteran's Heritage Project Videos

Veteran's Heritage Project Videos

As a Veteran Supportive Campus, GCC does its utmost to both support and honor the country's service people. One great project, started this decade, that illustrates some of these efforts is the Veteran's Heritage Project. This project was led by Dr. Jennifer Lane at the GCC campus and is a part of the Veterans Heritage Project. In this project, students at either Glendale Community College or one of the other Maricopa Community Colleges interviewed a number of veterans, many of which were also affiliated with these colleges either as students or staff. In these interviews, veterans tell the story of their service and offer both fascinating and revealing conversations about their time in the military. The link above will take you to videos of these different veteran interviews.

Ribbon Cutting of Dr. Phillip D. Randolph Automotive Technology Center

Ribbon Cutting of the Dr. Phillip D. Randolph Automotive Technology Center

MCCCD Chancellor Rupert Glasper, GCC President Irene Kovala, and former GCC President Phillip Randolph cut the ribbon to celebrate the opening of the Dr. Phillip D. Randolph Automotive Technology Center (ATC) on Friday, January 15. The 40,000 square-foot building features dedicated instructional space, vehicle and tool storage bays, a library, open learning spaces and work bays specific to HVAC, brake, suspension, steering, and engine performance. With three certificate programs and four associate degrees, including factory-sponsored programs with Ford, Chrysler, and General Motors, the new ATC helps GCC expand the student capacity of these signature programs.5

The GCC Website Today

The GCC Website Today

In this decade by decade journey, we have covered two decades of GCC websites. We would be remiss if we did not show the current iteration of the site. Using the cutting-edge Drupal platform, the new site is beautiful, robust, and filled with a wealth of information and campus-related content.

Former GCC Student Jan Brewer

Former GCC Student Jan Brewer

Ever wonder how far you will go as a GCC student? The sky is the limit. One such example is former GCC student and retired Arizona Governor Jan Brewer. Here she is photographed speaking with President Obama in the White House.6

GCC In the News

Throughout it all, GCC reporters have kept a chronicle the happenings, events, and history of the college. Without the contributions of Voice Student reporters, this decade by decade chronicle of college history would not have been possible. Today, Voice reporters continue their rich legacy of reporting by publishing both print and online versions of the Voice student newspaper. You will see online versions of papers from this decade below along with a link to the online version of the Voice.

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. A recent edition of the college magazine recently earned a Pinnacle Award for Two-Year College Best Literary Magazine from the College Media Association (CMA).7 Click on the links below to find issues of the The Traveler published during the decade:

Course Catalogs

GCC Course Catalog Image of the Era

The GCC College Catalog is now digital, but you can still find copies of it in our archive and at the GCC's College Catalog page.


GCC Commencement Program Image of the Era

Last but not least, here are links to the graduation commencement programs and videos for the first half of the decade. More will come as the decade continues and new generations of GCC students continue their paths to success.

Back to GCC Library Archives Home Page



1"Golden Anniversary Gala to Support Veteran Student Scholarships". Glendale Community College.. October 7, 2014. Found at:
2Sharpe, Bette and Ed Sharpe. "GCC dedicates 50th anniversary time capsule". The Glendale Star. April 8, 2015. Found at:
3"GCC's Longest Serving Faculty Member". Glendale Community College: Alumni and Donor News. May 2015. Found at:
4"Veteran Supportive Campus Designation Earned". . March 2014. Found at:
5"Randolph Automotive Technology Center Opens January 2015". . March 2014. Found at:
6"Meeting with Arizona's Governor". The White House Blog. June 3, 2010. Found at:
7"The Traveler Named Best Two-Year College Literary Magazine". Glendale Community College Website. December 2, 2015. Found at: “The Traveler” Named Best Two-Year College Literary Magazine
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