Tompkins Cortland Community College celebrates 50 years

Tompkins Cortland Community College President Orinthia Montague addressing an audience of current and former TC3 staff and faculty members.

DRYDEN, N.Y. — Tompkins Cortland Community College celebrated its 50th anniversary Wednesday at its Dryden campus.

The Tompkins County Legislature also recognized the milestone by passing a resolution of support and thanks to mark the college's 50th birthday.

A lunch was held for retirees and donors, including a panel with past president Carl Haynes, former president Walter Poland, recently retired provost John Connors and Janet Swinnich, engineering professor at the college.

Panelists spoke about the college's beginnings in the late 1960s.

"Its origins come from a desire and a desperate need for local businesses to have highly trained, well-educated employees," Poland told the audience.

Haynes and Connors stressed that the individuals on campus—students, staff, and faculty—made the campus what it is today.

"There's something special about the culture of this college," Haynes said. What we've cultivated here in terms of love and genuine care for students is what makes us truly unique in what we do."

"Look around the room. It's the colleagues here that made this a place that I never really wanted to leave," Connors said.

Tompkins Cortland Community College is supported by Cortland and Tompkins counties, with extension sites located in Cortland and Ithaca. The college opened in 1968 in Groton, N.Y., moving to its current Dryden campus in 1974. In 2007, the college expanded with the addition of a new athletics facility, a student center, and enhancements to the college library.

TC3 President Orinthia Montague, who will be inaugurated this Friday, delivered closing remarks to the crowd.

"I wish this could happen every year," Montague said. "I don't know if I'll make it 50 years, but I plan to be around here for a long time. This is a great group of people with a wonderful history. My goal is to build on that foundation and keep moving TC3 forward."