Monday, November 19, 2018
Education

HCC readies for 50th anniversary with ‘Presidential Showcase’

It began as Hillsborough Junior College with just 1,625 students and five academic programs in temporary quarters at Hillsborough High School.

Today, Hillsborough Community College boasts an enrollment of more than 40,000 and 160 academic programs spread over five campuses and three centers.

And on Thursday, the college will throw a party at Armature Works to kickoff a year-long celebration of its achievements over the last 50 years.

The gathering — the annual Presidential Showcase — also is the jumpstart of the HCC Foundation’s fundraising campaign to support scholarships, said college president Ken Atwater.

That campaign, dubbed HCC Rising: Together We Lift Our Community, will be the largest in the college’s history. Just how large will be revealed at the showcase, Atwater said.

The night also will highlight the college’s various programs.

"Guests at this year’s Presidential Showcase will get to see and experience our past, present and future, all in one night," said HCC Foundation director of development Lee Lowry. "We are bringing some of our most exciting current programs to life at Armature Works.

"Attendees will get to try our new welding simulator, meet a pet who was helped by our Vet Tech students, and help lab tech students "eat" a virus, just to mention a few."

Additionally, each campus will host an event marking the college’s golden anniversary through March. The festivities end in April with a Community Celebration in Water Works park.

Atwater, who took over the helm at HCC in 2010, said the showcase and subsequent events are a chance to thank the community for its support and recognize outstanding alums and business partners who have played a hand in the college’s success. Those partners include the University of South Florida. At a recent event touting a minority scholarship program with the Helios Foundation, USF president Judy Genshaft singled out Atwater for his collaborative efforts.

HCC’s success is reflected in its graduation rate, which has increased 50 percent in the last eight years, Atwater said.

That jump can be attributed to an increased focus on expanding workforce training and building partnerships with the business community while the economy was in the throes of one of the worst recessions in history, Atwater said.

"We looked at ourselves and put our money where it would make the most impact," he said.

That meant zeroing in on creating more collaborations, expanding technology, and boosting student success.

The college’s collective eye is now on positioning HCC for the next 50 years. A comprehensive plan is being developed that will address every part of the college’s infrastructure, but the college’s focus will remain putting degrees in the hands of students.

That’s what we do, that’s what we’re here for," Atwater said.

Contact Kenya Woodward at [email protected]

Comments
Florida education news: Employee pay, charter schools, safety checks and more

Florida education news: Employee pay, charter schools, safety checks and more

A roundup of stories from around the state.
Updated: 12 minutes ago
Pinellas School Board approves raises for administrators, support staff

Pinellas School Board approves raises for administrators, support staff

Administrators and support staff in Pinellas County schools will get a boost in salary and benefits just in time for the holidays, following a recent, unanimous vote by the School Board.Months of negotiations between the district and two employe...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Hillsborough Sheriff: Man dead after crashing into deputy, fleeing, then crashing again

Hillsborough Sheriff: Man dead after crashing into deputy, fleeing, then crashing again

Deputies said he hit a sheriff's office cruiser, then sped away before losing control and crashing again. He died on the scene.
Published: 11/17/18
Man injured in Pasco County paramotor crash

Man injured in Pasco County paramotor crash

An man was hospitalized Saturday after crashing a paramotor in rural San Antonio, Pasco County Fire Rescue officials said.The crash happened about 11:30 a.m. in the 26500 block of Fields Farm Lane, west of Bellamy Brothers Boulevard and north of Stat...
Published: 11/17/18
Sheriff: Pasco teacher filmed student undressing, arrested on voyeurism charge

Sheriff: Pasco teacher filmed student undressing, arrested on voyeurism charge

Deputies said Fivay High School teacher Thomas Kovack admitted to recording a 17-year-old student as she changed her shirt.
Published: 11/17/18
Inside the newsroom: Tampa Bay Times project team takes a deep dive inside a notorious Florida death penalty case

Inside the newsroom: Tampa Bay Times project team takes a deep dive inside a notorious Florida death penalty case

A project team at the Tampa Bay Times explores the death penalty in Florida through a notorious 1975 murder case.
Updated: 9 hours ago
Politics, practicality, price: Across Florida, rural students put off by perceived weaknesses of higher education

Politics, practicality, price: Across Florida, rural students put off by perceived weaknesses of higher education

In rural enclaves, practical-minded students are losing faith in the value of college. Many see it as an outright corrosive force and are frustrated by its outsize cost and perceived uselessness.
Published: 11/16/18
Updated: 11/17/18
DeVos releases sexual assault rules she hails as balancing rights of victims, accused

DeVos releases sexual assault rules she hails as balancing rights of victims, accused

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Friday released her long-awaited rewrite of rules governing campus sexual harassment and assault allegations, narrowing the cases schools must investigate and giving
Published: 11/16/18
USF's new dorm in St. Petersburg will get a financial assist from the Tampa campus

USF's new dorm in St. Petersburg will get a financial assist from the Tampa campus

Construction on a long-planned student residence at USF St. Petersburg will start in February and be complete in 2020. It will have room for more than 900 students and a 400-seat dining hall.
Published: 11/16/18
Greco Middle School, three others in Hillsborough get new principals

Greco Middle School, three others in Hillsborough get new principals

TAMPA – In between speeches about Lee Elementary School and the debate to rename Lee, the Hillsborough County School Board on Thursday also approved 17 administrative assignments that included new leaders at four schools.Andrew Olson is being t...
Published: 11/16/18