By BAILEY DIGH, Staff Writer
Over the span of 50 years, many aspects can change on a college campus and CCC is no exception.
Students have enrolled and graduated, professors have engaged and challenged their students, and most importantly, Cumberland County College has expanded and become a great educational institute.
It was 50 years ago when CCC became the first community college in New Jersey to open its own campus on October 17, 1966 with about 350 students enrolling and offering nine associate degree programs of study.
In 1968, the first graduating class consisted of 150 students. This past year, Cumberland County College saw its largest graduating class ever with a size of 710 students and it now offers 21 areas of study.
There are more than 50 events set to take place to commemorate Cumberland County College’s 50th Anniversary. This list consists of newer events and existing events that will have a 50th year twist to them.
The college’s website will have pages dedicated to the milestone with fun facts, photos, and timelines. Also on the website, a message from the president, Dr. Yves Salomon-Fernandez, will be displayed.
A collection of videos will be available where alumni, professors from past and present, and other faculty and staff will give their greetings and congratulate CCC on its 50th year.
The college’s Facebook page will also be part of the fun. Each Thursday there will be a throwback Thursday post about the college’s history. All year long, alumni events will take place and it will be like an all year reunion. Throughout the county, banners will be hung to help celebrate this important milestone.
This year is not only special because of the 50th Anniversary, but Cumberland County College has a new president. Dr. Yves Salomon-Fernandez is the 7th president and the first female president in school history.
I recently spoke with Sue Ann Perry, the Executive Director of foundations and alumni, who also chairs the 50th Anniversary committee.
When asked how special it is celebrating CCC’s 50th year and a new president, especially the first female president, all in the same year, Perry replied, “It is really exciting. I am appreciative and looking forward to the new opportunities a new president can bring.” From May 4 through May 6, several events are scheduled to combine the celebration of a new president and CCC’s 50th year. The Student Inaugural Celebration is set to take place on May 4, the Presidential Inauguration will be on May 5, and the Inaugural Ball is scheduled for May 6.
The difference between the first graduating class and most recent graduating class is nearly 600 students, there are now 12 more areas of study from when the college first opened, and the college now has a female president.
Much has changed in 50 years and it will be interesting to see how different Cumberland County College is in 2066.