PGCC Celebrates 60th Anniversary of Educating the County and Region

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Article by: Tabresha B. Langham

For Immediate Release

PGCC Celebrates 60th Anniversary of Educating the County and Region

LARGO, Md. (Oct. 18, 2018) – Prince George’s Community College (PGCC) is celebrating its 60th anniversary of educating people in and around Prince George’s County. This anniversary comes during a period of strategic growth and provides an opportunity to reflect on the ways the college has been a viable option for educational and economic progress in the region.

With humble beginnings at Suitland High School in 1958, Prince George’s Community College’s rapid expansion and growth has made it possible for nearly 40,000 students annually, to obtain a college degree and train for the competitive workforce in the Washington Metropolitan area. This growth would not be possible if it were not for various partnerships and grants that have strengthened the college’s program offerings, improved campus infrastructure, and helped make the cost of college more affordable over the last 60 years.

To celebrate the anniversary, the college will honor three partners at the PGCC Foundation’s biennial Partners for Success Gala on Friday, October 19, at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center. The Honorable Rushern L. Baker, Prince George’s County executive; Melonie D. Johnson, president and COO of MGM National Harbor; and the late David H. Hillman of Southern Management Corporation will all receive recognition at the gala for outstanding support of the college’s initiatives and students.

“Over the past 60 years, Prince George’s Community College has created educational opportunities and pathways for students from diverse backgrounds to pursue and achieve their personal and professional goals,” said PGCC President Dr. Charlene M. Dukes, who is celebrating the 10th anniversary of her inauguration as president. “It’s an honor for the Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, and administration to be part of an institution and a community that is committed to bridging the education gap and fostering economic mobility.”

Dr. Dukes is the first woman and African-American appointed president at PGCC, a notable milestone in the college’s 60-year history. Her active involvement in the county, not only as a leader, but also as a resident, has played a vital role in some of the college’s partnerships, including its partnership with Prince George’s County and Prince George’s County Public Schools. Under her leadership, the college started the first middle college in the state of Maryland, the Academy of Health Sciences, in partnership with Prince George’s County Public Schools. It was also the first community college in the state of Maryland to offer a Promise Scholarship Program, in partnership with Prince George’s County.

The most recent years have been very successful at PGCC, but even prior to Dr. Dukes’ appointment as president, the college served as a pillar for student success, regional impact, and organizational excellence. Prince George’s Community College students have become Truman Scholars and Jack Kent Cooke Scholars, two prestigious honors. The college has also expanded to five degree and extension centers, creating a solution for those with limited transportation to conveniently access programs and training in different areas of the county.

This year, the college is also celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Book Bridge Project. The project launched in 1998 to create a way for the college community and members in the county to engage in discussion about literature reflective of the diversity at the college, the county, and the region. This unique anniversary exemplifies the college’s longstanding tradition to serve as a hub for learning and community engagement.

Prince George’s Community College’s expansion and growth has increased over the last decade, and there is no sign of it slowing down. Last spring, the college opened the doors to the Culinary Arts Center, a state-of-the-art center equipped with tools and resources to train and develop students in wellness, culinary arts, and hospitality. Prince George’s Community College also re-opened Lanham Hall, which now serves as the home for the Academy of Health of Sciences as well as other support services and professional and personal development offices that help students succeed.

In 2019, the college plans to open the doors of the renovated Center for Performing Arts – formerly Queen Ann. Queen Ann was one of the original four buildings on the campus in Largo, Maryland. The building has long served student-led productions, guest speakers, and community events. With its expansion from a little over 30,000 square feet to more than 70,000 square feet, the building will now have the capacity to serve multiple academic programs and as a revenue-generating venue. Students with interests in performing and visual arts will have the opportunity to learn and train for careers in arts and mass communications. Those in the community will be able to purchase tickets for touring shows and productions, creating yet another opportunity for the community to witness the cultural vibrancy without having to travel outside of the county.

“The 60th anniversary is an exciting time for the college and for the community,” said Dr. Dukes. “I look forward to continuing this tradition of excellence and providing resources and opportunities for Prince George’s County residents to achieve educational and professional success.”

About Prince George’s Community College
Named a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance designated by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security (2015-2020), Prince George’s Community College (PGCC) provides high-quality education and training for the progressive and career-oriented residents of Prince George’s County. 
From new high school graduates and career seekers to more seasoned professionals and senior citizens looking to enhance their skillsets, PGCC is comprised of students who represent a wide range of ages, backgrounds, and goals. Serving nearly 40,000 individuals annually, the college is the first choice for higher education for residents of Prince George’s County. Collaborative partnerships, responsive degree and training programs, and a commitment to student success enable PGCC to address diverse education and workforce development demands. For more information, visit the college website at Prince George’s Community College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104; (267-284-5000); The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council on Higher Education Accreditation.