DCCCD Timeline

DCCCD Timeline of Events and Milestones

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1960s

  • 1960

  • 1964

  • 1965

    • On March 1, the Dallas County Junior College (DCJC) Steering Committee, chaired by R. L. Thornton Jr., produces a petition for Dallas County residents to sign and calls for a referendum and bond issue vote. Businessman and civic leader John Stemmons donates $100,000 to run the petition drive. In the end, more than 50,000 citizens sign the petition to call an election.
      The DCJC Steering Committee in 1967
    • The Dallas County Junior College District (DCJCD) is approved for creation by the Texas Coordinating Board of Higher Education on April 3.
    • The citizens of Dallas County vote May 25 to establish a junior college district.
    • The Board of Trustees meets and approves a district seal June 16.
    • Bill J. Priest is hired as president and CEO of the DCJCD on Aug.4.
      Bill J. Priest
  • 1966

    • In April, the Sanger Bros. Department Store building on Main Street is purchased for $2,165,036. An estimated 40,000 people attend the open house and dedication of the first Dallas County Junior College.
      The Sanger Bros. Department Store building
       The Sanger Bros. Department Store building(now El Centro College) from the northwest corner of Elm and Market streets.
    • On May 3, the Board of Trustees considers possible names for the first DCCCD college. Suggestions include Crossroads, Coronado, Cibola, Nimitz, Tejas and Trinity. A few minutes before the vote, Hattie Bell Hoffman, executive secretary to the trustees and the only full-time employee of the district, suggests El Centro. The name is unanimously adopted. Dr. Bill J. Priest serves simultaneously as chancellor of the newly formed district and president of El Centro College during its development phase.
    • El Centro College opens in downtown Dallas, and first appointed college President Donald T. Rippey presides over the ribbon-cutting. Enrollment is 4,047 students on the first day of classes Sept. 19.
    • The El Centro College Student Council votes on the college’s colors and mascot (Nov. 1-14). Powder blue and black and the roadrunner, Chaparral, win.
    • The Motley family homestead is sold to DCCCD. The future site of Eastfield College, the land was once farmed by Zachariah Motley, one of the first settlers of Mesquite.
    • The construction of Mountain View College begins on 203 acres atop a rugged limestone quarry.
  • 1967

    • Bill J. Priest's job title is changed from "President and CEO" to "Chancellor" starting Sept. 1 by the Board of Trustees.
    • The first Faculty Association meeting is held in September.
    • Eastfield College begins construction on five campus buildings.
      Eastfield College construction in 1966.
      Eastfield College construction, showing the exterior stairways to the second floor of L building, where the library is located.
  • 1968

    • El Centro holds its first graduation ceremony May 29 and graduates 153 students.
  • 1969

    • During the 1968-1969 school year, its third year of operation, the El Centro counseling staff holds more than 18,000 interviews with students.
    • Dallas Congressman Earle Cabell and civil rights leader Julian Bond speak at El Centro College.
    • Construction of the Mountain View College campus begins.

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1970s

  • 1970

    • Mountain View College opens for classes under the leadership of founding President Erwin Dale Douglas, with 77 founding faculty members and an enrollment of 2,060.
      Sign that reads 'Welcome to Mountain View College' The entrance sign to Mountain View College.
    • Eastfield College opens for classes under the leadership of President R. Jan LeCroy. The first day of classes is held Sept. 14 with an enrollment of 3,522.
  • 1971

    • The formal dedications of Eastfield College and Mountain View College are held April 18, with U.S. Senator John Tower serving as keynote speaker at both events.
      Students at Eastfield and Mountain View show off their school banners
    • Intercollegiate sports competition in basketball and baseball is introduced at Eastfield College.
  • 1972

    • Dallas County Junior College District (DCJCD) becomes the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD) on Jan. 1.
    • Richland College opens for fall classes under the leadership of founding President Deon Holt, with 3,500 credit students and 4,000 noncredit students. Located in North Dallas, the campus includes sheep grazing on the farmland and ducks swimming on the lake that separates the campus buildings. Architects carefully protected the trees, the lakes — even the animals — as they planned the campus.
      Class is conducted outdoors by the lake at Richland College
      A class is conducted by the lake at Richland College shortly after the college opened in 1972.
    • Mountain View College is granted full accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Faculty member Jean Brown writes the song “A Small Moment” for the college’s first graduating class.
    • The Instructional Television (ITV) Center (now known as the R. Jan LeCroy Center for Educational Telecommunications) opens to produce broadcast-quality telecourses. At the time, DCCCD is one of only three community college districts in the nation and the only community college district in the state to produce and offer telecourses.
    • The Harvester mascot is introduced at Eastfield, and the college colors of brown and orange are selected.
    • El Centro College undergoes three campus expansions from 1972-1977.
  • 1973

    • The Instructional Television Center (now the LeCroy Center)'s first telecourse, American Government, begins to be broadcast from KERA Channel 13 television studios; 399 students register.
  • 1974

    • Cedar Valley College holds a groundbreaking ceremony Nov. 13.
    • Construction of Mountain View's Olympic-sized swimming pool is completed in December. The pool opens to swimmers in March 1975.
      Diving at the Mountain View swimming pool.
      A diver takes part in a competition held at the Mountain View College swimming pool.
    • Solar Magnet #29 (Silver Ball), a 4,000-pound sculpture by Italian-born artist Raphaele Martin, finds a home in the Upper Courtyard of Eastfield College.
    • The Thun
    • derduck becomes Richland College’s official mascot. Original college logo colors were red and black.
  • 1975

    • Construction of North Lake College begins on undeveloped farmland donated by the John Carpenter family.
    • At one point during the North Lake construction, a mudslide shifts one building’s original configuration, creating an additional open space next to the Performance Hall. Rachel McClung-Beer, the college’s first full-time art professor and a member of the DCCCD Planning Team, asks the administration to designate the space “Gallery” on the new set of plans.

      North Lake College under construction in 1976.
    • Olympic gymnast Cathy Rigby Mason performs in the gym at Mountain View College. Actor, writer and director Ossie Davis also performs at the college.
    • The ITV Center moves to portable buildings on the Richland College campus.
  • 1976

    • The Motley family cemetery on the grounds of Eastfield College is designated as a historical site by the Texas Historical Commission.
  • 1977

    • North Lake College opens for the Summer I semester under the leadership of founding President Don Newport, the youngest founding president in DCCCD at age 36. During the first fall semester, nearly 2,900 students register for credit classes and 2,000 for continuing education classes.
      Brick structure with North Lake logo is completed at Walnut Hill Lane entrance.
      A brick structure at the Walnut Hill Lane entrance features the logo of North Lake College.
    • Cedar Valley College opens for the Summer I semester with Dr. Floyd Elkins as founding president. The formal dedication is held Oct. 23, the same day as North Lake College’s dedication.
      Cedar Valley College seen from above 
    • The Archives and Records Management program is formally established.
  • 1978

    • Brookhaven College opens under the leadership of founding President H. Deon Holt, registering 3,565 credit students and 4,235 noncredit students. Located in Farmers Branch, it is the final campus to open in the seven-college master plan.
    • Cedar Valley College begins offering its campus-based Veterinary Technology program, and the college graduates three students in May. The program gives the college the distinction of having a barn and pasture with farm animals.
      Animal surgery at Cedar Valley College Surgery takes place in the Veterinary Technology program at Cedar Valley College.
  • 1979

    • Brookhaven College holds its first commencement ceremony, and 13 students graduate.
    • The college scenes of the movie “The White Lions” with Michael York and Glynnis O'Connor are filmed at Eastfield College. Many students and staff are hired as extras. The movie is released in 1981 and lists “Eastland College” in the closing credits.
    • Richland College is featured in the January 1979 issue of Southern Living magazine. The article highlights the college’s goal of preserving the original features of the land on which the campus sits.

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1980s

  • 1980

  • 1981

    • The Veterinary Technology program at Cedar Valley College is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association.
    • On Nov. 2, the college presidents receive a memo titled “RE: Sharing Day” from Eleanor D. Ott, president of Eastfield College, discussing Conference Day. There is no solid evidence showing for how long, or how formally, the term “Sharing Day” was used among the faculty/administrators before the name “Conference Day” was adopted.
    • Dr. R. Jan LeCroy becomes the district’s second chancellor. He serves for eight years.
      Dr. R. Jan LeCroy
    • The ITV Center becomes the Center for Educational Telecommunications.
    • The N Building is completed at Eastfield College.
  • 1982

    • Lightning strikes the southwest corner of the Mountain View College campus April 19.
    • The Wellness Program begins for DCCCD employees in June.
    • The District Service Center opens as a business services extension of the District Office in July.
    • A satellite nursing program opens at Brookhaven College as an extension of El Centro’s Associate Degree Nursing program.
    • The Pink Ladies Sorority is founded with the Eastfield College Alpha Moo Chapter.
    • Headquartered at DCCCD, the National University Technology Network (NUTN) is founded. A consortium of higher education institutions, NUTN provides a networking and professional development arena for the advancement of teaching and learning.
  • 1984

    • The DCCCD Retirees Association is formed through the insight of Chancellor R. Jan LeCroy. Its first official meeting is held at Eastfield College on Feb. 28.
  • 1985

    • The renowned Brookhaven College Windmill is taken down due to Farmers Branch height restrictions and the windmill’s inability to generate power.
      Brookhaven College Windmill
      The windmill was meant to be a representation of the steps education could take in the search for new energy sources and to honor the history of Farmers Branch as the oldest farming community in Dallas County.
    • Irving’s first indoor pool, an Olympic-sized Aquatic Center, opens at North Lake College. The bubble-roofed pool launches thanks to a partnership between the college, the city and the school district.
    • Eastfield College holds the first Día de la Familia to encourage families to engage with DCCCD college programs and services.
  • 1986

    • Novelist LarryMcMurtry, author of “Lonesome Dove” and “The Last Picture Show,” speaks at Brookhaven College as part of Celebrate Texas, the state sesquicentennial.
    • Vice President George H.W. Bush visits Eastfield College in November.
  • 1987

    • “Prometheus,” a sculpture by Texas artist Octavio Medellin that is donated by Mr. and Mrs. John Weisenbaker, is unveiled at North Lake College’s 10th anniversary convocation.
    • Astronaut and commander of the Apollo 13 missionJames Lovell visits Richland College.
  • 1988

    • KDNT-TV 2 begins broadcasting DCCCD telecourses.
    • El Centro Middle College High School (now called Dr. Wright Lassiter Early College High School) is formed.
    • Dr. Larry Tyree becomes DCCCD’s third chancellor, serving for two years.
      Dr. Larry Tyree
  • 1989

    • The Bill J. Priest Institute for Economic Development (now the Bill J. Priest Campus of El Centro College) opens May 4, serving individuals and businesses of all sizes with training programs customized to meet their needs. It is a 120,000-square-foot, $7.8 million facility south of downtown Dallas.
    • Motivated by industry needs, North Lake becomes DCCCD’s sole location for construction trades programs. Carpentry, air conditioning and electrical programs are operated out of the Q Building at the college’s Central Campus.
    • Brookhaven College changes its mascot from the Pioneers to the Bears.
    • The State of Texas Academic Resource Link (STARLINK) is established with an initial three-year Perkins State Leadership grant awarded to DCCCD and Austin Community College jointly by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. STARLINK is designed to provide professional development for technical faculty via one-way video and two-way audio live satellite-based programming. It begins as a network of 54 community and technical colleges receiving these video teleconferences.

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1990s

  • 1990

    • Dallas TeleLearning is established as the national marketing operation for the LeCroy Center, paving the way for national licensing of courses. Groundbreaking begins for the new center on the Richland campus.
    • DCCCD launches its first TV ad campaign using the "Go to School" song, which is written by students. It is filmed at El Centro College.
      DCCCD's first TV ad
    • The T Building is constructed at North Lake College to accommodate the college’s Construction, Office Technology, Diesel Mechanics and Information Technology programs.
    • Richland College’s International Multicultural Center (now the Multicultural Center) opens its doors to promote knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the diverse cultures represented by the student body, staff and community.
    • Dr. Bill Wenrich becomes the district’s fourth chancellor. He leads the district for 13 years, becoming, after Dr. Priest, the chancellor with the second-longest tenure to date.
      Dr. Bill Wenrich
  • 1991

    • In March, the Center for Educational Telecommunications moves to its new location and is renamed the R. Jan LeCroy Center for Educational Telecommunications. Today it is one of the largest producers of online learning courses in the nation and the primary distance learning contractor for the U.S. Navy.
    • El Centro College celebrates its 25th anniversary.
  • 1992

    • DCCCD celebrates its 25th anniversary at the Grand Kempinski Hotel (now InterContinental Dallas) on Feb. 27. Speakers include Dr. Bill J. Priest (DCCCD chancellor emeritus) and Dr. Bill Wenrich (DCCCD chancellor).
      25th Anniversary of DCCCD
      Luncheon celebrating the 25th anniversary of Dallas County Community College District.
    • Brookhaven College receives a U.S. Department of Education Title III Grant of $2.5 million to improve student support systems and strengthen academic programs.
    • The Construction Management program at North Lake College becomes the second community college program nationwide to be accredited by the American Council for Construction Education. It has maintained continual accreditation since that time.
  • 1993

  • 1994

    • DCCCD begins offering early retirement to faculty districtwide.
  • 1995

    • Eastfield College celebrates its 25th anniversary.
    • The Global Learning Network is established as the first virtual learning environment for online courses for DCCCD.
  • 1996

    • Colleague, an accounting system, is implemented districtwide.
    • Mountain View College becomes a Hispanic-Serving Institution.
    • The T Building opens at Eastfield College. Today it houses the Career Technologies Division as well as the Automotive Technology and Auto Body Technology classrooms.
  • 1997

    • Eastfield College men’s basketball team is NJCAA Division III National Champion.
      Eastfield's 1996-1997 Mens Basketball Team
      Eastfield College's 1996-1997
       championship team.
    • North Lake partners with the city of Irving, the Irving Community Library, the Texas Workforce Commission and Irving Cares to open the South Irving Center.
    • The Virtual College of Texas is founded.
  • 1998

    • Rolling Stone magazine features Brookhaven College as one of the best community colleges in the country for its curriculum, job placement services and relationships with local businesses.
    • Renovations are completed on the west side of the Mountain View College campus to enhance student services.
    • The DCCCD Foundation, under the leadership of Chairman Robert L. Thornton III, creates the Rising Star program to remove financial barriers for students from low-income families who want to attend a college of DCCCD.
  • 1999

    • The colleges of DCCCD welcome their first group of 693 students into the Rising Star program.
    • The Bill J. Priest Institute for Economic Development aligns with El Centro College, officially becoming the Bill J. Priest campus in 2005.
    • Richland College begins offering its Women in Technology program.
      Women in Technology program
    • Richland College’s men’s basketball team is named NJCAA Division III National Champion. The team also won this distinction in 2009 and 2015.
    • The Mountain View College Garden of Learning is dedicated.

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2000s

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2010s

  • 2010

  • 2011

    • Mountain View College’s men’s basketball team is NJCAA Division III National Champion.
    • The T Building expansion and Buildings W and K open at Eastfield College.
    • President Barack Obama visits Eastfield College on Oct. 4.
      President Barack Obama talks to children at Eastfield College
      President Barack Obama talks with children in the Eastfield College Center for Child & Parent Studies.
    • The LeCroy Center receives the National University Technology Network (NUTN) Institutional Achievement Award.
    • Mountain View College opens their nursing program.
  • 2012

  • 2013

    • Outlook becomes the new official email system for employees in September 2013 (rest in peace, GroupWise!)
    • The Counseling Center at Brookhaven College wins a Texas Higher Education Star Award for its SkillsShops program.
    • North Lake is awarded LEED Silver Certification for its Student Life Center.  
    • Cedar Valley College hosts an “Evening of Recognition” at the Dallas City Performance Hall to honor Chancellor Wright L. Lassiter Jr. and raise funds for student scholarships.
    • Early College High School is initiated at Eastfield College with W.W. Samuell High School.
      Halls of Samuell ECHS adorned with pennant banners from colleges and Universities
      The halls of Samuell ECHS are adorned with pennant banners from several regional colleges and Universities.
    • Dallas TeleLearning changes its name to Dallas Learning Solutions.
    • DCCCD receives grants from the Texas Workforce Commission for the College Credit for Heroes program, which provides U.S. veterans with college credit for their experience and training.
    • The Richardson Chamber of Commerce Business and Industry Awards honors Richland College for achieving LEED Platinum-level U.S. Green Building Council certification from 2010-2013.
  • 2014

    • The Ready2Go online associate degree debuts at Cedar Valley College. The degree plan lets students take two eight-week classes at a time to graduate in two years.
    • Dr. Joe D. May is named the seventh chancellor in February.
      Dr. Joe D. May
    • Wind turbines are installed on the rooftop of El Centro’s Downtown Campus, making the building the first Dallas County structure to harness its own wind power. As of summer 2015, the college has installed 80 wind turbines that provide 10 percent of the building’s power.
      Wind turbines atop El Centro's Downtown Campus
      Dallas' Reunion Tower is seen behind El Centro's new line of wind turbines atop their Downtown Campus.
    • The Bill J. Priest Institute (BPI) celebrates its 25th anniversary in November. Festivities include a time capsule opening, a green contribution presentation, an open house and a luncheon with speakers Chancellor Emeritus Wright Lassiter Jr., BPI Provost Emeritus Glen Bounds and current El Centro President José Adames.
    • The Alpha Zeta Omicron Chapter of Cedar Valley College is named Phi Theta Kappa’s 2014 Most Distinguished Chapter out of 1,300 international chapters.
      Phi Theta Kappa is presented their award.
    • Richland College is among 16 community colleges named an Achieving the Dream Leader College, a national designation awarded to select community colleges that are committed to improving student success and closing achievement gaps.
    • Harvester Community Garden is unveiled at Eastfield College, and student enrollment breaks 15,000.
      Children planting seeds at Eastfield Harvester Community Garden.
    • Brookhaven College is designated a Tree Campus USA by the national Arbor Day Foundation, an honor received again in 2015.
    • El Centro’s Middle College High School name is changed to Wright L. Lassiter Jr. Early College High  School.
    • The DCCCD Digital Archives Collection opens its "virtual doors." 
    • Mountain View College opens its community garden.
    • M2M (Military to Manufacturing) begins in fall 2014 when the Texas Workforce Commission launches the Veteran and Industry Partnership, uniting industry associations, local workforce partners and community colleges to develop key industry training for veterans.
    • DCCCD joins an elite group of educational institutions in a handful of cities across the U.S. in Goldman Sach’s 10,00 https://cdm17256.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/ designed to help small business owners develop a growth plan to increase revenues and hire new employees.
      Dr. Joe May announces the joining of DCCCD and 10,000 Small Businesses
      Dr. Joe May announces the joining of DCCCD and 10,000 Small Businesses.
    • Project OnRamp, part of JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s New Skills at Work program, launches, providing free training for certified nurse aides to become patient care technicians.
  • 2015