This week’s Founders Celebration feature is a set of key dates from the early days to the present – a perfect opportunity to test your knowledge of OCC history!
- In 1962, a Citizens’ Advisory Council completed a study that concluded Oakland County “urgently needed” a community college to provide college, technical-vocational programs and other services.
- Oakland County electors voted in favor of establishing OCC, but failed to approve a millage levy to under write construction and operations in 1963.
- In 1964, voters passed both proposals on the second try and elected six-member charter board of trustees. They were: Chair George R. Mosher, Vernon M. Fitch, Earl M. Anderson, Lila Jones Johnson, Frederick A. Chapman and Clifford H. Smart. Also in 1964, Dr. John Tirrell was appointed OCC’s first president. In October, the board purchased OCC’s first two campuses – Auburn Hills and Highland Lakes and hired its first faculty and staff.
- In 1965, OCC gained national attention when it instituted the audio-tutorial teaching method During OCC’s opening semester, 3,860 students enrolled for classes, a national community college record at the time.
- Between 1965 and 1966, OCC offered 20 vocational programs including automotive technology, nursing, data processing, executive secretarial and law enforcement. Transfer programs included liberal arts, business and engineering/science.
- Orchard Ridge Campus opened on the site of a former apple orchard in Farmington Hills in 1967.1967
- Dr. Joseph Hill was named OCC’s second president in 1968
- In 1973, the Southeast Campus System (later to become the Royal Oak/Southfield Campus) opened in rented facilities in Oak Park and Royal Oak.
- Robert Roelofs was named OCC’s third president in 1978. The OCC Foundation was established with Doris Mosher as “charter” chair in 1979.
- In 1980, the new Southfield Campus opened and in 1982, the new Royal Oak Campus opened. 2
- In 1985, Dr. R. Stephen Nicholson was named OCC’s fourth president. The board later changes his title to “chancellor.”
- In 1989, OCC introduced Touch Tone telephone registration.
- In 1991, Dr. Patsy Fulton-Calkins was named OCC’s fifth chancellor. That year, OCC launched Advanced Technology Center, Economic and Workforce Development operations.
- In 1995, OCC passed a supplementary .8 millage levy to fund building restorations, new programs and scholarships.
- In 1996, Richard Thompson was named OCC’s sixth chancellor.
- In 2000, OCC opened the CREST first responder training site and th eM-TEC facility at the Auburn Hills Campus.
- In 2003, Dr. Mary Spangler was named OCC’s seventh chancellor.
- Between 2007 and 2010, OCC experienced a 24% increase in enrollment, with a total of 30,000 students attending in winter 2011.
- In 2008, Dr. Timothy Meyer was named OCC’s eighth chancellor.807-10
- In 2009, a $25.3 expansion of Southfield Campus’ health facilities began. It’s the fastest growing OCC campus and the largest construction project in OCC’s history.
- Today, OCC is the largest of 28 community colleges in Michigan and 23rd largest of the country’s 1,200 community colleges. It enrolls approximately 76,000 students annually and has enrolled more than 700,000 students since its founding. It offers more than 162 degrees and certificates, including transfer degrees in business, science and liberal arts.
The Annual Founders Celebration honors the contributions of those who founded OCC. A major feature of the month’s celebration is a Community Service Competition for students and employees. Participants are asked to track hours of community service. The top three employees are honored on Excellence Day, and the top three students at Honors Convocations. Special pins will also be awarded for four, 20 and 40 hours of service. Celebratory cakes will also be served at each campus on March 19.
By Margarita Bauza Wagerson