Friday night, El Paso Community College (EPCC) celebrated its 50th anniversary with a gala attended by more than 400 education, business and industry partners and community leaders as well as distinguished members of its past and present student body and staff.
The event celebrated the institution’s legacy and its vision for building the future.
“EPCC has a long history of excellence,” Keri Moe, 50th Anniversary Co-Chair and Associate Vice President of External Relations, Communication & Development said. “This gala honors the great work that has been done and renews EPCC’s commitment to continuing that legacy.”
EPCC was honored with the attendance of Former Texas State Senator Joe Christie who spearheaded the formation of the college in the late-1960s and secured the funding to establish the college. “Every time I comeback to El Paso, I am amazed at the growth of El Paso Community College,” Christie said. “I feel it was the most important event of my legislative career.”
On June 28, 1969, the voters of El Paso County passed the ballot item that created EPCC and formed its first Board of Trustee chaired by prominent businessman Joe Foster.
In the fall of 1971, the first class of 901 students began a path that over one million have taken since. Today, more than 80,000 graduates have received associate degrees or workforce certifications.
“Honoring the past at El Paso Community College is really looking at the legacy of the institution. We have a history of strong community leaders who were determined to ensure individuals in our community had access to a community college, visionary trustees and past-presidents along with faculty and staff who have built a solid foundation so we can help students achieve their dreams and strengthen our community,” EPCC President Dr. William Serrata said. “EPCC has reached great heights because of a supportive community, dedicated staff and committed students.”
During the past 50 years, EPCC has become a nationally recognized institution of higher learning. EPCC just received the Seal of Excelencia by Excelencia in Education for promotion of equity and college completion for Latino students.
Since 2006, Hispanic Outlook on Education magazine has consecutively recognized the college as the #1 grantor of associate degrees to Hispanics in the nation.
In 2015, EPCC was named one of the Top 10 Community College’s in the Nation by the Aspen Institute. In 2016, the college received the prestigious Award of Excellence for Student Success from the American Association of Community Colleges.