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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
WVU Parkersburg, Southern West Virginia CTC celebrate 40 years since becoming state’s first community colleges
Parkersburg, W.Va. 6/29/11 – It’s an eventful year for WVU Parkersburg and fellow community colleges in West Virginia. Friday marks the 40th anniversary since legislation passed allowing the development of the state’s comprehensive community college system. On July 1, 1971, Senate Bill 255 allowed the Parkersburg Branch of West Virginia University to become Parkersburg Community College and the Williamson and Logan Branches of Marshall University to become a dual campus named Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College.
Now in the midst of commemorating its 50th anniversary since its establishment, WVU Parkersburg has gone through a series of changes over the years. When the institution opened in 1961, it was a branch campus of WVU with only 104 students enrolled. By the time the school became Parkersburg Community College in 1971, it had grown sufficiently with an enrollment of more than 2,000. In 1989, the college became West Virginia University at Parkersburg as part of legislation and was designated a regional campus of WVU. Currently the fourth largest college in the state, WVU Parkersburg offers more than 40 programs of study. It is the only community college in the state that offers baccalaureate degrees.
“It is incredible to see how far our state’s community and technical colleges have come. When WVU Parkersburg was founded by community members 50 years ago, classes took place in an old school building. Now, here we are with a main campus on 133 acres and a center in Ripley that is easily accessible to our students of Jackson County and surrounding areas,” said WVU Parkersburg President Marie Foster Gnage. “We provide life-changing educational opportunities that produce graduates with the skills needed to be successful in the workplace.”
Southern West Virginia Community College is celebrating 40 years since becoming an independently accredited institution. Since 1971, the college has continued to expand its academic, workforce development and community service offerings. In addition to four campus locations in Boone, Logan, Mingo and Wyoming counties, the school has added a wing to the Lincoln County Comprehensive High School, opened the Academy for Mine Training and Energy Technologies in Logan County and opened its new Allied Health and Technology Center.
"Since our humble beginning in 1971, Southern has built a strong foundation on which to build a great future. We have played a tremendous role in growing southern West Virginia both economically and academically,” said Southern President Joanne Jaeger Tomblin. “Our graduates have provided leadership and a first class workforce for business and industry in the region. Our state now enjoys the benefit of a statewide community and technical college system which will provide the education and training needed for a world class workforce of the future. We look forward to the next 40 years."
For additional information, contact:
WVU Parkersburg Director of Marketing and Communications