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FRCC Celebrates 50 Years with Block Party

August 30, 2018

If you go

What: Taste of College

When: 4 to 8 p.m. Sept. 13

Where: Front Range Community College, 3645 W. 112th Ave., Westminster

Cost: Free

More info: frontrange.edu

Front Range Community College President Andy Dorsey recently got an email from a student about how a math teacher at the school “changed his life.”

“At the bottom of his email was an MIT address,” Dorsey said. “He got a full-ride to MIT.”

While that’s not the story of a typical student, he said, it proves that students can start at Front Range and “go anywhere.”

At Tuesday’s council meeting, Broomfield officials recognized the school’s 50th anniversary with a proclamation. Broomfield residents also are invited to attend an upcoming community block party — a chance to eat, listen to music by students and staff, and tour the campus.

The “Taste of College” event will include food trucks and music performances for several hours Sept. 13 at the Westminster campus, 3645 W. 112th Ave.

“We’re really wanting to bring the community to campus,” Cathy Pellish, vice president of the Westminster campus, said. “It would be great to have the community stop by.”

Mayor Pro Tem Bette Erickson, who served on the school’s 50th anniversary advisory committee, is a product of a community college in Battle Creek, Michigan, where she made many fond memories.

She highlighted a few of Front Range’s milestones, including nursing programs, strong community partnerships, and industry professionals engaging in mentoring and ensuring programs’ success and relevance.

“The first nursing student in the state to get a perfect score on the state nursing exam is a Front Range student,” Erickson said. “Thank you so much for being here, and congratulations.”

Front Range Community College opened in 1968 as the North Campus of the Community College of Denver, which was at 62nd Avenue and Downing Street.

The current location on West 112th Avenue was opened in 1977. In 1983, the name was changed to Front Range Community College, and in 1985 it became an independent institution.

Even though the first campus was at 62nd and Downing, people from as far away as Longmont both attended and taught at the college from the beginning.

The post-World War II baby boom in the late 1960s left the region crowded with young people faced with too few opportunities for higher education.

The college offered classes in leased spaces in Boulder and Longmont starting in 1983, and opened the Boulder County campus on Miller Road in Longmont in 2003.

Front Range Community College is the largest community college in Colorado.

The school celebrated the 50th anniversary in Longmont Saturday with a Brew and barbecue and fundraiser. The event included beer tasting from 10 different local breweries, along with food trucks, music and activities for children. Tickets were $15 per person and $10 for students, alumni and FRCC retirees.

The event raised $3,000 to go toward FRCC scholarships.

“We gave out a little more than $950,000 in scholarships from our foundation last year,” Dorsey said. “We also have probably $15 million in state and federal scholarships we award.”

The school serves roughly 28,000 students in a typical year inits regular credit programs, he said, another 5,000 to 6,000 in corporate training and continuing education programs.

Several communities have, or will, celebrate the 50th anniversary, including Westminster, Adams County, Brighton, Fort Collins, and Longmont.

Front Range has campuses in Larimer County, Boulder County and Westminster

“At the Westminster campus, there are semesters where the biggest zip code is the main Broomfield zip code,” Dorsey said. “We have quite a few Broomfield residents each year.”

Jennifer Rios: 303-473-1361, riosj@broomfieldenterprise.com or Twitter.com/Jennifer_Rios

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