In 1960, voters approved the creation of the East Harris County Union Junior College. And on Sept. 18, 1961, our College opened its doors to more than 800 students. Over the past six decades, San Jacinto College has changed its name, expanded to five campuses, graduated more than 93,000 students, and improved the skills and careers of more than 175,000 continuing education students. And while all of this has changed San Jacinto College, it never changed our passion to serve our community and our students.
We celebrate 60 years of service by acknowledging the amazing achievements our students have made. San Jacinto College has greatly affected the lives of so many students, and they have in turn impacted the community at large. Mrs. Teri and Mr. John Posey, a married couple who worked together to support each other’s educational goals while supporting a family, are two such students who graduated from San Jac’s respiratory care program and have been actively involved in helping patients affected by COVID. Dr. Lonnie Howard has an amazing story of how after graduation, he went on to become the president of Lamar Institute of Technology. These are just a few of the many San Jac alumni who have gone on to experience success all across the country.
We celebrate our San Jacinto College history through the storied past of our faculty and staff. You can learn more about Dr. Karen Hattaway, who has been teaching English at San Jac for more than 40 years on page 11. Learn about Dr. Ron Rucker, who retired from San Jac as a vice chancellor after leading millions of dollars in construction projects and new buildings. Dr. Rucker served in a variety of vital roles at the College – including a College administrator and the head basketball coach the first time our men’s team took the national title in 1968.
We celebrate the support this College has received from a community that has backed us every day for more than half a century. We also celebrate the generous $30 million gift that was announced in June 2021 from philanthropist and author MacKenzie Scott and her husband Dan Jewett. The outpouring of encouragement and support for San Jacinto College and our students continues to inspire and amaze me. The San Jacinto College Foundation and generous donors such as Mr. Daniel J. Snooks, attorney and former educator at San Jac, have helped us realize the impact financial contributions can truly have not only on our students but their families. From the depth of my heart, I thank each and every donor who has contributed to the continued success of San Jacinto College and our students.
For 60 years, San Jacinto College has had a major impact on our community, students, faculty, and staff. Over that time, many things have changed – the faces, the campuses, the classes, the technology, and even our name. But our commitment to helping students succeed has never wavered. We never lost our vision of serving the residents of East Harris County as our students worked to achieve their dreams and goals.
This year, we invite you to celebrate with us. Join San Jacinto College as we commemorate 60 years of service. Share your San Jac story with us. Donate to the San Jacinto College Foundation to help remove financial barriers for our students. Please join us for our 60th Anniversary Gala on May 20, 2022, as we culminate a year of celebration and salute to another 60 years. To learn how you can attend or support San Jac and our students as we Step Brightly into the Future, visit www.sanjac.edu/gala.
Brenda Hellyer, Ed.D.
Chancellor, San Jacinto College