Read other individual’s stories below and submit your own.
Want to learn more? Contact ACC Historian Bill Montgomery at [email protected] or viewÂ the History Project home page.
â€œIn September 1973, â€¦Austin Community College opened its doors to some 1900 students at the abandoned original Anderson High School in east Austinâ€¦.[which] had to be spruced up since it had been closed for three years. Details were to be worked out with the school district for the use of Austin, Crockett, and Reagan High Schools for evening classesâ€¦.Essential policies and procedures had to be put in place, a schedule of classes had to be created, and the requirements of numerous federal and state agencies had to be met.
I vividly remember creating new application and enrollment forms for the admissions office, proposing a grading system and an academic calendar, and piecing together several documents to create a â€˜catalogâ€™ to meet state and federal agency requirements.
The duties of putting the first catalog together fell on me after I met with Dr. [Tom] Hatfield [ACCâ€™s first president] to ask him who was working on these requirements. His reply was: â€˜You need it; you do it.â€™
The college gave many of us a truly unique opportunity to learn the ropes of a community college administrationâ€¦.Many of the first administrators went on to become college presidents and chancellorsâ€¦.And one of my coordinators, Margaret Spellings, even went on to become Secretary of Education.â€
– Ramon Dovalina, ACCâ€™s first Admissions and Records Officer and former president of Laredo Community College
Source: Ramon Dovalinaâ€™s personal recollections of his experiences at Austin Community College, ACC Archives
â€œI will never forget walking into the classroom that first time, noticing that there were two instructors (oh boy! double trouble!), one, a young man with a beard, who looked so young to me that he should be across town at the Big University, taking classes, the other, a woman whose manner said she might be gentle with scholars like me who hadnâ€™t been in a classroom for twenty-five years. I sat in the back, though that was scant protection, since the classes at ACC in those days were smallâ€”no more than a dozen warm bodies. And sure enough, no one looked to be anywhere near my age. Day by exciting day, I learned I could write and rewrite, cut copy, count headlines, edit for content and style and length and I got hooked on it all.â€
-Roma Weirich, a former ACC journalism student, ACC employee in Information Services, and free-lance writer
Source: The Grackle: A Student Bulletin, June 3, 1985
â€œI am not an ACC graduate, but I am a former student. Like so many others who have filled these classrooms, I wanted a college degree. Other responsibilities prevented me from pursuing it. Austin Community College gave me that opportunity. I have not yet graduated, but the goal is still alive, and when time permits, I will continue working toward that degreeâ€¦.I have taken a variety of courses and changed my major twice. However, education is never wasted! I have used this knowledge in my job, my hobbies, and everyday conversationâ€¦.I know how hard it is to work and go to school. Sometimes the burden from trying to do both causes people to drop out of school. ACC gave me the opportunity to continue my education and I believe that I can help others stay in school by introducing them to an experience that I enjoyed for several years, the NAVAL RESERVE.â€
– Floyd N. Smith, a former manager of the Vogue Store on Congress Avenue who served in the Navy during the Vietnam War, on attending classes at Austin Community College in the late 1970s and early 1980s
Source: The Grackle: A Student Bulletin, July 1, 1985
It was 1977 and I had just gotten my Military Honorable Discharge. Like many former Veterans I had just my military training as a infantryman and was jobless after I was discharged. All changed after I enrolled into ACC’s Automotive Vocational/Technical Program.
I landed my first job with Leaf Johnson Ford here in Austin. This paved the way to other opportunities in the work force. This program help me get into the work force way before I even graduated.
Like many other young men I had no knowledge of the mechanical and electrical functions of a car but after the completion of the automotive program I new all I had to know about engine over hauls, tune-ups, brakes, electrical diagnostic etc. Throughout the years this saved me thousands of dollars on auto repairs.
I still remember my instructors Mr. Tommy Thompson was the best automotive mechanic instructor I ever met.
I want to thank the ACC instructors and ACC for making this happen. Keep up the great work you all have done for this community during these 40 years.
Henry Cantu, ACC maintenance technician, former Vietnam era Marine.
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