Celebrating 50 Years
Community College of Philadelphia is celebrating an important milestone: It will be 50 years since the College opened its doors in 1965. Since then, three generations of students have been given the opportunity to pursue their goals of higher education, and more than 685,000 individuals have been served. In its inception, Community College of Philadelphia's purpose was to be a local, affordable alternative to four-year colleges. Through the decades, it has become so much more to the students it serves: a way to a better life and a community of learners powered by possibilities.
Looking ahead, Community College of Philadelphia will continue to challenge and prepare its students to meet the changing needs of business and industry. Join in the celebration as the College remembers the past 50 years and looks forward to many more.
Moving Philadelphia Forward
A Closer Look at the History of Community College of Philadelphia
Share Your Story
Date: December 4, 2014
Name: Rita Marie Spear
Story: I was "pushed" to go back to school at the age of 36 by my boss, Mike Cantwell, who I still work for today and it has been 14 years and counting. My parents also had always wanted me to go to college, but I never thought I had it in me. As it turned out, I not only graduated from college while working a full time job, but I graduated with honors. I never in my life thought I would finish, but to graduate with honors was beyond me. I had a lot of good people behind me, who gave me a push when I didn't think I could finish.
I have to say there were a lot of great professors, and Kathy Smith was one of them. At the time, Kathy was teaching Introduction to Paralegal Studies. She was a teacher that wanted what she wanted, but she made class very interesting. Trust me, coming from work and then going right to a four hour class, it was not an easy thing. But when I had teacher that really cared and wanted me to do well, I did not mind going to class. That is a great teacher!
What I was taught in Community College helped me realize what I liked about being a paralegal, and also what I did not what to do as a paralegal. I work for an Appellant Service company. I started as a data entry clerk. I wanted to do more, which involved paralegal work, and by going to school, it helped me understand what I was doing. I was able to expand my work duties, which led to a salary increase and promotion.
Going to school was one of the best decisions that I have made.
Date: November 8, 2014
Name: Lakeya Marks
Story: My '98 class and my teacher were the catapult to me continuing to get my education at Community College of Philadelphia. I did check out many other schools but Community College of Philadelphia has been my one and only, and the best choice. In 2011, things hit rock bottom and I did not want to come back because I failed all three class I was in. Now I am back and it feels good. I have a great 101/108 teacher and I am on my way. Thanks to all the staff at the College for their support.
Date: Monday, October 6, 2014
Name: Gwendolyn (Dammon) Tucker
Story: I was a first-time freshman in the Fall of 1966. I transferred to Cheyney State College in 1969. After graduating from Cheyney, I became a Spanish/English as a Second Language (ASL) teacher for the School District of Philadelphia until I retired in 2000. From 2001 to the present time, I have been back and forth to Community College of Philadelphia.
I am now a Senior Citizen Student taking Psych 215. When I was teaching and even now in retirement, I encourage students to go to Community College of Philadelphia. I always tell them, "If I can return after all these years, it must have something to offer!"
Date: Monday, October 6, 2014
Name: Henry Frank
Story: RE: 1971 picture with Senator Scott. In 1970-72 I was on staff with the U.S. agency that transferred the old mint building to Community College of Philadelphia. The agency was called the Office of Surplus Property Utilization, part of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. The Director, Eugene Link, and the Assistant Director/Real Property Specialist, Hazel Pierce, are both deceased. Ms. Pierce worked diligently to affect the transfer. She deserves to be remembered.
Date: Friday, March 20, 2015
Name: Rainah Chambliss
Story: I attended Masterman, on the northeast corner of 17th & Spring Garden, for my junior high education, and I must admit I had no idea what the Community College of Philadelphia was, even though I passed by every day. I do remember everyone getting excited about Eddie Murphy being outside the Mint Building when “Trading Places” was filming. Many students flocked to the windows to catch a glimpse. In 1988, the summer before my senior year of high school, I attended the Advance College Experience (ACE) Program and took Photography 101. Jon Spielberg, who still teaches here, was my instructor. It was a great class. I learned a lot and got an ‘A.’ However, and I have to be honest here, I still really didn’t know what CCP was.
It wasn’t until I was given an assignment through a temp agency in 2006 to work at the College did I become acquainted with what really happens here. I worked in the Business & Technology division office with Betty Lee and Marian McGorry. I enjoyed it so much that I decided my next permanent position would be at CCP. When my temp contract ended right before winter break, I was offered another assignment through the agency that was temp-to-hire. I turned it down and I told them that I was going to get a job at CCP, and it wouldn’t be fair to the other employer for me to start if I knew I wouldn’t stay. I never heard from the agency again. I posted for jobs and waited for almost all of 2007 to get an interview. Finally, in November of that year, I was hired to work in the Corporate Solutions office.
Since being here, I have met numerous incredible people, gotten involved, graduated, along with my husband, in 2013, been featured in College publications including the 2013 Annual Report, the Fall 2012 Pathways Magazine and the Student Vanguard, traveled as a representative of the College, was elected as a national student president of an honor society (Alpha Beta Gamma), and participated in the Leadership Institute, just to name some of my experiences. Prior to working at CCP, I was in banking for over a decade. This was not only a career change, but a life change for me. When I finally discovered what CCP was about, after all those years, I also rediscovered myself. Happy 50th, Community College of Philadelphia!!! Glad to have made your acquaintance!