TCC Announces 50th Anniversary Celebration Plans

TCC LEADERHIP: Present at the TCC 50-Year anniversary announcement are, from left, Dr. Tom McKeon, TCC past president; Dr. Dean VanTrease, TCC’s first president; Dr. Leigh B. Goodson, TCC’s current president; Robert LaFortune, Tulsa’s mayor when TCC was founded in 1970; and G.T. Bynum, Tulsa’s current mayor

Tulsa Community College announced a series of events to celebrate the 50th anniversary of and mark its role in developing northeastern Oklahoma’s workforce. Since opening in 1970 as Tulsa Junior College, the college has been a critical piece in training generations of workers and providing higher education to the greater Tulsa area. Nearly 450,000 students have walked through the doors as has grown into one of the leading higher education institutions in the country and the third largest institution in Oklahoma.

President and Dr. Leigh B. Goodson, joined by Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum, former Tulsa Mayor Robert LaFortune, President Emeritus Dean VanTrease, Ph.D. and President Emeritus Thomas K. McKeon, Ed.D., revealed plans for a 50th anniversary community celebration. Events include student celebrations, a Admiral Twin Drive-In Night and a partnership with the Tulsa Historical Society to exhibit ’s impact on education and workforce development over the past five decades. The College also announced the call for nominations for 50 Notable Alumni and will recognize one individual a week for 50 weeks leading up to the culmination of the 50th anniversary in Sept. 2020.

“We celebrate our history by highlighting the remarkable individuals who have benefitted from by taking classes, graduating or starting their college career with us. They have all accomplished extraordinary things in their personal and professional lives,” said Goodson. “Founded in response to community demand, has played a key role in training our workforce in this state and dates back to an innovative partnership and collaboration with American Airlines resulting in the decision to move, what was then, American’s SABRE Reservation System to Tulsa.”

has served 433,775 individuals to date and awarded more than 70,000 degrees and certificates and had nearly four million course enrollments since the college started in 1970. For nearly five decades, has had a significant positive impact on the business community. A recent economic impact report showed and its students added $919.9 million in income to the greater Tulsa area economy, approximately equal to 1.9% of the region’s total gross regional product. In terms of the jobs supported by ’s economic impact, that $919.9 million supports 15,302 jobs.

“Our community is certainly stronger with as part of its core. As a member of the 50th Anniversary President’s Commission, I ask former students, family members, friends and any interested persons to nominate notable individuals whose story of accomplishment began or was accelerated as a student at ,” said Cassie Reese Tipton, 50th Anniversary Celebration Commission, Alumni Recognition Committee Co-Chair.

Nominations are open now at and can be submitted by anyone. Nominees can range from a graduate to an individual who has taken a single course with selection based on professional accomplishments, contributions to community, leadership, and demonstration of values. The 50 Notable Alumni nomination deadline is June 30, 2019.

“In addition, the 50th Anniversary Celebration Commission asks anyone who has historical items such as photos or memorabilia related to or Tulsa Junior College, as it was known for many years, to contact us so we can possibly use the materials as part of our celebration. Help us share the history of by sharing your story and memorabilia,” said Lauren Brookey, Vice President of External Affairs and Foundation President.

The 50th Anniversary Celebration is guided by a commission of former students, Tulsa area business leaders and community leaders. Commission members are Audrey Alcorn, Leeland Alexander, Anna America, Keith Ballard, Secretary of State Chris Benge, Chuck Blue, Konnie Boulter, Montie Box, Susie Brown, Mayor G.T. Bynum, Mike Cooper, Bill Corbitt, Gary Crooms, Barry Davis, Bill Derrevere, Jim Dunn, Peggy Dyer, John Gaberino, Martin Garber, Risha Grant, Wayne Greene, Jim Halligan, Susan Harris, Shiela Haynes, Yvonne Hovell, Hannibal Johnson, Michael Johnson, Commissioner Karen Keith, Dave Lawless, Nancy McDonald, Tom McKeon, Carol Messer, Susan Neal, Commissioner Ron Peters, Holly Raley, Cassie Reese Tipton, Kuma Roberts, Jana Shoulders, Kathy Taylor, Francisco Treviño, Dean VanTrease, and Michael Willis.

is one of the most comprehensive community colleges in the United States ranking in the Top 50 in the nation in the number of Associate Degrees it awards among nearly 1,100 community colleges nationwide. Serving more than 25,000 students annually in credit courses, is the state’s largest two-year college with four campuses in the Tulsa area. For more information on , visit

Mission Statement
Tulsa Community College betters its community through the intellectual achievement, creative energy, and responsible citizenship of its students, faculty, and staff by their engagement in teaching, learning, and service opportunities that transform and enrich lives. Tulsa Community College commits to innovative, flexible, and affordable public higher education that responds to a dynamic global environment.

Updated 09-19-2018

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