Honoring Downtown Campus’ founders

Four decades ago, PCC’s Downtown Campus opened its doors with a commitment to helping the people of this community achieve and succeed. On May 20, I had the great pleasure of attending a reunion of the founding members of the campus.

It was a special day as we honored former staff, faculty and administrators who laid strong roots for this campus. Between 75 and 100 people attended the event, including students and employees both past and present, members of the community and the PCC Board of Governors.

It was gracious of Robert Agrella to speak at the afternoon reception in the Amethyst Room at Downtown Campus. Bob was the founding associate dean, a position equivalent to today’s campus president. He admittedly got a little emotional during his time at the lectern.

Bob recalled working in an atmosphere where everybody pulled together and did what was necessary. He remembered the camaraderie, trust and teamwork that existed among co-workers. He described being part of the founding of the campus as “exciting, invigorating, sometimes frightening, challenging, but always very satisfying.” I hope we all feel that way about working at Pima today.

Bob also put into perspective the current challenges Pima faces when he noted the College always “emerges as a much stronger and better institution.” Pima is well on its way to doing the same today.

Again, my heartfelt thanks go out all those who built the campus into what it is today. I also want to express my gratitude to everybody who played a role in pulling this wonderful event together, including retired Pima employees Art Evans and Tim Murphy; Interim President Gwen Joseph; Acting Vice President for Instruction Pat Houston and the rest of their team at Downtown Campus; and the Events, Marketing and Media Production teams at District Office.

View a photo album of the event on the College’s Flickr Page.

One thought on “Honoring Downtown Campus’ founders

  1. Margie

    Hello,
    What I remember of the Downtown Campus was that it had strong & successful occupational programs such as Auto Mechanics, Drafting, Welding , etc., plus traditional transfer courses. It was also a leader in bringing attention to Tucson’s diverse history. For example, Mike Enis, a member of the Tohono O ‘Odham tribe at San Xavier, was hired to teach Welding…his classes prepared many school-to-work graduates. Mike stayed at PCC until he retired. Dr. Johnson Bia served at DVC or DTC. Then Dr. Miguel Palacios, local Tucsonan, started at Downtown and became its very successful President increasing its diversity with staff and course programs. At DVC, Miguel was very faculty driven, like his predecessor, Dr. Angela Zerdavis, and helped the very diverse south Tucson student community find pathways and support to higher education goals. Our Multicultural Convocation was one of Miguel’s many contributions to PCC’s goal of globalization starting with diversity. I recently saw Miguel and he kindly introduced me as “nuestra profe” (our teacher/professor) to his dear mother. This attachment, emotional and otherwise, to our southern Arizona community, educators, and its pathways to opportunities, employment, and careers is what PCC represents.
    Our very best wishes to Chancellor Lambert in his leadership position at PCC!
    PCC History faculty

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s