By Sarah Richards
Pensacola State College (PSC) celebrated its 70th anniversary September 13th with a week-long series of fortunate events. These included a Bill Clover tribute, a WSRE in-studio anniversary show, meet-and-greets with PSC athletes and coaches, cake cuttings, and the opportunity to have your picture taken with the PSC pirate in the student union.
The anniversary festivities were held on all three campuses and both centers.
The Bill Clover Memorial Celebration was held Thursday, where a slideshow of photos captured the essence of Clover and sparked collective memories. A table was covered with art he’d made and the crazy aprons he’d worn, which will be auctioned off at a later date.
President Meadows had designated three minutes per speech; Mark Hopkins, who considered Clover a mentor and teaches graphic design for the PSC Baccalaureate program, took ten. Hopkins set a stack of books on the table and said that the top one was for the jokes, the bottom, for the stories he’d tell you, and tell you again, because he’d forget he told you.
This was a time for remembrance, even as there were times of celebration—not just where PSC has been, but where it was going..
The celebrations concluded with something for the families of the PSC students, staff, and faculty—a hotdog and hamburger cookout, a giant inflatable for the kids, including a rock wall and slide, which turned out to be more of a slip-and-slide from the rain that didn’t dampen the fun, and a showing of “The Incredibles.” at the Ashmore Auditorium.
The event showcased that PSC wasn’t just a college, but a vibrant part of the community.
For Dr. Brenda Kelly, dean of general studies at PSC, celebrating the anniversary is about “the people I work with and how committed they are to our students. I think back 70 years ago and imagine that commitment was there then. I take huge pride in continuing that sort of legacy for people who start at the college and all the wonderful teachers.”
There is a lot to celebrate for PSC’s seventieth, including its incredible growth.
Pensacola Junior College held its first class in a boarding house on September 13, 1948, with 136 students. That year, the first student newspaper, The Beachcomber, and the first yearbook, The Tide, were introduced.
Dr. Meadows believes it’s important to celebrate the anniversaries of the college, for “I think it’s important because it is a reflection of where we came from to where we are now as an institution. It’s an opportunity to celebrate our existence, and our service to our student and our community. It’s an opportunity to really stress the important of this institution.”
“It’s kind of like a birthday. You celebrate the person when you’re celebrating the birthday.”
As for whether there will be a 75th anniversary, Meadows said, “It’s a nice round number to celebrate the history of Pensacola State College and all that it means and all that it does.
“It will be bigger and better than the seventieth.”