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MC Memories and Milestones Timeline

1946–1959   1960–1979   1984–1998   1999   2000   2001   2002   2003   2005   2006   2007   2008   2009   2010 


1946–1959

  • 1946
    May -- A committee forms to explore the need for a public junior college to help WWII veterans adjust to a post-war society. 
    August -- The state and county each contribute $10,000.

    September 16 -- Montgomery Junior College opens at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, offering classes in the evenings and on Saturdays. Hugh Price becomes the college’s administrator, heading a full-time faculty of eight and a handful of staff.

  • 1947
    The number of students and faculty doubles.

    F. Frank Rubini leaves the University of Maryland to become MJC’s coach and athletic director.

  • 1948 
    The first commencement is held on June 9 at Leland Junior High School. Maryland Governor William Preston Lane, Jr. delivers the commencement address as 25 graduates receive their associate of arts degrees.

  • 1950
    The College is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.

    The Board of Education buys the Bliss Electrical School in Takoma Park and the College moves onto its first campus that year. Bliss’s one-year program is absorbed by the College.

  • 1951 
    The College now has 21 curricula and 50 instructors and staff members.

  • 1953
    Dr. Donald E. Deyo becomes College president.

  • 1954
    The undefeated Fightin’ Knights play in a national bowl game in North Carolina, featuring players such as Tom Walker as both offensive right guard and defensive nose tackle.

  • 1957
    Segregated public education ends. George Washington Carver Junior College closes and students are encouraged to transfer to MJC.

  • 1959 
    Montgomery Junior College begins a medical technician curriculum, marking the first time in the U.S. that a two-year school has designed a program to fit into the curriculum of a four-year college.

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1960–1979

  • 1960
    The College receives its charter for the Kappa Omega chapter of Phi Theta Kappa National Community College Honor Society.  Twelve charter members are inducted.

    The College purchases the Spitz Co. Planetarium. The College remains the only area college that has a planetarium used in conjunction with teaching.

  • 1961
    Instructors receive professorial ranking.

  • 1964
    The College begins its honors program.

  • 1965
    The Rockville Campus opens and Dr. George A. Hodson, Jr. becomes the new president. The College now enrolls 3,700 students and employs 280 faculty.

  • 1966 
    Dr. William C. Strasser, Jr. succeeds Dr. Hodson. Recommendations are made to develop a campus in Germantown, enlarge the Rockville Campus, and redevelop the Takoma Park Campus.

  • 1967
    The College establishes the Office of Community Services, later renamed Continuing Education.

  • 1969
    The College comes under the direction of its own Board of Trustees. Montgomery Junior College becomes Montgomery College.

  • 1970
    There are now 8,000 students and nearly 500 full- and part-time faculty.

  • 1975 
    College of the Air broadcasts its first course, Classic Theatre.

  • 1976 
    The College premieres the bicentennial opera, Joshua.

  • 1978
    The Germantown Campus opens, reflecting an even farther shift to the north by Montgomery County residents.

  • 1979
    Dr. Robert E. Parilla becomes the fifth president.

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1984–1998

  • 1984
    Rockville Campus Performing Arts Center opens with Die Fledermaus. The PAC features both academic and professional productions.

  • 1986
    18,000 students are taught by more than 900 full- and part-time faculty. Cable Channel 51, the college’s station on Montgomery County Cable, begins broadcasting.

    MC becomes the first community college in the country to use NOTIS library software, already in use by Harvard University.

  • 1988
    The College launches the first capital campaign of any area community college to raise $7 million to construct and equip a technical institute. Two years later, Martha Gudelsky and her family pledge $1.5 million to the institute, one of the largest single gifts ever received by a two-year college.

  • 1992
    Presidential candidate Bill Clinton delivers an educational address at the College.

    The Homer S. Gudelsky Institute for Technical Education opens.

  • 1994
    Enrollment tops 22,300 students. More than 445 full-time and 725 part-time faculty members teach collegewide.

  • 1996
    Several hundred alumni return to celebrate the College’s 50th anniversary.

    The High Technology and Science Center opens at the Germantown Campus.

  • 1997
    Montgomery College and University of Maryland University College announce a new partnership that will offer a program assuring students the ability to complete associate and bachelor’s degrees in Montgomery County.

    Montgomery College holds its first-ever tri-campus commencement.

    Montgomery College opens its new Humanities Institute and forms a unique partnership with the Smithsonian Institutions.

  • 1998
    Montgomery College opens its new Information Technology Institute and announces a partnership with the Oracle corporation.

    The College’s nursing program celebrates its 30th anniversary.

    Montgomery College forms a partnership with the American Film Institute.

    Dr. Charlene R. Nunley is named the College’s sixth president.

    Montgomery College President Dr. Robert E. Parilla retires from the College.  More than 400 faculty, staff, alumni, and friends attend “Bob’s Big Event” to pay tribute to the leadership and legacy of Dr. Parilla.  More than $300,000 is raised to launch the Robert E. Parilla Endowment for Community Leadership.  The Rockville Campus Performing Arts Center is renamed Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center.

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  • 1999
    Gordon and Marilyn Macklin donate $1.26 million to the College to establish the Gordon and Marilyn Macklin Business Institute.  The institute offers a wide range of business honors courses and experiential training to provide County students with outstanding business education and baccalaureate transfer options.

    Paul Peck donates $1.3 million to the College’s Humanities Institute and Art Department.  Montgomery College renames the Humanities Institute and Art Department in Paul Peck’s name.  The Paul Peck Humanities Institute advances the teaching and appreciation of the humanities at Montgomery College and in the larger community.

    Dr. Charlene R.  Nunley is inaugurated as Montgomery College’s sixth president.  The inaugural theme “Our Vision, Our College” captures Dr. Nunley’s philosophy of inclusive and collaborative leadership.
    The Montgomery Scholars program opens doors to its inaugural class.  This program is a selective two-year honors program designed for outstanding high school students.

    Montgomery College, in cooperation with the Maryland Humanities Council, hosts its first Chautauqua at the Germantown Campus. 

    The College and Council for the 21st Century host a major community conference on educational challenges of the 21st century.  The Council for the 21st Century is a community-based advisory body launched by the College’s president, Dr. Nunley.

    The College hosts first-ever Montgomery Book Festival.

    Montgomery College alumni Eduardo Sanchez, Neal Frederick, and Rick Moreno produce the 1999 blockbuster–The Blair Witch Project.

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  • 2000 
    In partnership with University Systems of Maryland, Montgomery College helps to launch “The Universities at Shady Grove,” offering upper-level courses for transferring Montgomery College students.

    Montgomery College's Gudelsky Institute for Technical Education offers the region’s first training curriculum for a career as an electrical systems technician.

    Montgomery College president Charlene R. Nunley starts off the first academic year of the 21st century by introducing a dynamic new mission statement that emphasizes the primary themes of changing lives, enriching the community, and ensuring accountability.

    Montgomery College enters into an agreement with Montgomery County and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Montgomery County to create the Hispanic Business Institute. The new Institute will provide Hispanic individuals and small businesses with training and opportunities to create, expand and develop their businesses in the U.S. marketplace.

    The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation makes a $1 million donation to Montgomery College, in support of the College’s newly expanded hospitality management program. 

    Twenty-five Montgomery College students and transfers are among the nation's first to earn the prestigious distinction of being named Gates Millennium Scholars.  The College's honorees represent nearly one-fourth of Maryland’s total.

    Montgomery College introduces an array of its services online, making it possible for students to register for classes or view their academic records from the convenience of home or the workplace.

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  • 2001
    As part of a commitment to student and parent outreach, the Montgomery College/Montgomery County Public Schools Partnership announces the first edition of PrepTalk, a newsletter with advice on college preparation for students and parents.

    Montgomery College’s Workforce Development & Continuing Education unit earns “authorized provider” distinction from the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). Montgomery College is the first community college in Maryland to earn this designation, which reflects the highest standard of professionalism in lifelong learning.

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  • 2002
    Montgomery College’s Takoma Park Campus is chosen, along with 19 other colleges and universities, to take part in a National Learning Communities Project, which is aimed at strengthening innovative approaches to education.

    Montgomery College and the American Film Institute (AFI) are named joint recipients of the 2002 Business/Education Partnership Award from the Greater Silver Spring Chamber of Commerce.

    Montgomery College launches the Takoma Park Campus Expansion.  The historic first campus of Montgomery College begins branching out from Takoma Park into the south Silver Spring community.

    Montgomery College Summer Dinner Theatre Celebrates its 25th anniversary while New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a long-time supporter of the College, proclaims July 25th, as “Montgomery College Summer Dinner Theatre Day” in his city. 

    Montgomery College receives unanimous approval from the County Council for a $6.1 million supplemental appropriation that will allow for the development of a research and development park for life sciences and an expanded educational program.

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  • 2003
    The Homer S. Gudelsky Institute for Technical Education celebrates its 10th anniversary and launches a multimillion dollar expansion campaign to accommodate the growth and need for highly trained technicians.

    Montgomery College’s Marriott Hospitality Center opens in October 2003.  The center enables Montgomery College to significantly enhance educational, internship and scholarship opportunities, and to forge a partnership with University of Maryland, Eastern Shore that will effectively create the county’s first ever baccalaureate program in hotel and restaurant management. 

    Germantown Campus celebrates 25th Anniversary.

    The Germantown Campus announces a $6 million public funding package that will allow for the acquisition of 20 acres of land adjacent to the campus.  This project will enable the creation of a county-operated science and technology business park, in conjunction with a new Montgomery College biotechnology education center at Germantown.

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  • 2004
    The College dedicates and opens the new Health and Sciences Center building on Georgia Avenue in Silver Spring.

    The College formally introduces the new School of Art and Design at Montgomery College at the Takoma Park Campus.  The new program was created following the merger of the Maryland College of Art and Design with Montgomery College.

    The County Council funds 100 percent of the College's operating budget request and receives increased funding in its capital budget by 100 percent over last year's capital budget. 

    The College and The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission announce the opening of the Montgomery College Pedestrian Bridge at the Takoma Park Campus.  The bridge, located over the CSX/Metro tracks connects the existing Montgomery College-Takoma Park campus and the new section of the campus in south Silver Spring.

    Montgomery College receives a prestigious Partnership for Innovation grant from the National Science Foundation to support the development of a world-class biotechnology education and training program. The grant will work in conjunction with the planned bioscience and technology business park at the Germantown Campus

    President Charlene Nunley gives ‘State of the College Address’ where she discusses growth challenges facing community colleges and higher education institutions throughout Maryland.

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  • 2005
    Montgomery College earns the 2004-2005 Maryland ‘Workplace Excellence’ Seal of Approval from the Maryland Work-Life Alliance, a public, private, non-profit coalition founded by Montgomery County and Discovery Communications, Inc. The mission of the Alliance is to build and recognize “Excellent Places to Work” and to support Maryland in becoming a nationally recognized state for quality of work life.

    Montgomery College President Charlene Nunley is named the Association of Community College Trustees’ 2005 Northeast Region Chief Executive of the Year. As the regional award recipient, Dr. Nunley becomes one of five finalists nationally to represent their region in the running for the association’s selection of the top community college CEO in America, The Marie Y. Martin CEO Award.

    Montgomery College President Charlene R. Nunley is named to the U.S. Secretary of Education’s new Commission on the Future of Higher Education.  Dr. Nunley is one of 19 education, business, and government leaders appointed to the commission, formed by U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings.

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  • 2006
    Montgomery College and a regional consortium of Washington area higher education institutions, high schools, and a government agency have been awarded a $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF).

    Montgomery College's Rockville Campus celebrates its 40th anniversary.

    The United States Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings delivers the keynote address at Montgomery College’s 59th annual commencement.

    Montgomery College's Automotive Technology program awarded Master certification by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).

    Montgomery College celebrates its 60th anniversary.

    Montgomery College Professor Joan Naake is named the 2006 Maryland Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, a national foundation dedicated to supporting teaching, and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), the largest international association of education institutions.

    Montgomery College opens new Student Services Center at the Takoma Park/Silver Spring campus.

    The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation pledges $3 million to Montgomery College.

    Montgomery College wins U.S. Dept. of Education grant to increase number of women and minorities pursuing engineering degrees.

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  • 2007
    Montgomery College President Dr. Charlene Nunley retires from the College. Dr. Brian K. Johnson becomes Montgomery College's seventh president.

    Montgomery College student Vanessa Coleman is named to the 2007 First Team of the All-USA Community and Junior College Academic Team.

    Montgomery College Foundation launches a public, four-year capital campaign to raise $25 million in private support for the College.

    Marshall Moore named as the College’s new vice president for Administrative and Fiscal Services.

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  • 2008
    The Montgomery College Foundation is awarded a grant for nearly $50,000 through the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy Fourth Annual Maryland Grant Competition. The funds will go toward the  “Side by Side: English and Spanish Dual Language Literacy Program,” which will teach adult English Language learners how to successfully transfer the language skills they are learning at Montgomery College, to their pre-K children and better prepare them to begin school.

    Montgomery College secures a $10,000 grant from the GEICO Philanthropic Foundation to fund scholarships for special needs students who enroll in driver improvement lessons through the College. The lessons are offered by the Transportation Safety Institute, which is part of the College’s Workforce Development and Continuing Education program.

    The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy awards Montgomery College a $100,000 grant for a two-year pilot project to develop a model that addresses student attitudes and decisions about pregnancy and its impact on college education.

    The Wal-Mart Foundation awards Montgomery College a $100,000 grant to support veterans and veteran programs at the community college. Montgomery College is one of 10 higher education institutions selected to receive a grant from the Wal-Mart Foundation because of its successful veteran educational assistance programs.


  • 2009
    Montgomery College and the Universities at Shady Grove develop a new partnership to provide students with high-demand Montgomery College courses at the Universities at Shady Grove. This partnership aims to ease the transition of students from Montgomery College to baccalaureate degree programs at the Universities at Shady Grove.

    Montgomery College and Stevenson University partner to create a seamless transfer process for Montgomery College nursing graduates who want to pursue a bachelor’s degree in nursing at Stevenson University, located in Stevenson, Md.

    Students in Montgomery College’s Computer Gaming and Simulation Program partner with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to create a new educational online game, “WaterLife: Where Rivers Meet the Sea.” NOAA launches the game at the annual meeting of the National Science Teachers Association.

    Dr. Sharon Ahern Fechter, Montgomery College professor of Spanish, receives the 2009 American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP) Teacher of the Year Award for the two-year college level.

    Montgomery College’s Montgomery Scholars honors program is named one of the nation’s top educational programs that make a difference in the achievement of Latino students.

    Montgomery College will receive nearly $1.8 million over five years from the Maryland Higher Education Commission’s Nurse Support Program II (NSP II). This initiative addresses the shortage of nurses in Maryland and works to increase the number of nursing graduates Montgomery College produces.

    Dr. Hercules Pinkney named the interim president of Montgomery College.

    Montgomery College Professor Susan Bontems named the 2009 Maryland Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, a national foundation dedicated to supporting teaching, and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), the largest international association of education institutions.

    Montgomery College receives a $10,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation to support scholarships for students studying education. With this funding, a total of 20 scholarships worth $500 each will be awarded to students working toward associate's degrees in early childhood, elementary education and secondary education, and prepare students to transfer to four-year institutions to pursue bachelor's degrees in teaching.

    The Montgomery College Foundation successfully closes four-year campaign to raise $25 million in private support for Montgomery College. The funds raised will benefit students through scholarship assistance, facilities improvements and program enhancements. The campaign marked the largest fundraising effort ever at a Maryland community college.


  • 2010
    Montgomery College receives a gift commitment of $32,000 from Sandy Spring Bank to provide scholarships for students with financial need participating in the Gordon and Marilyn Macklin Business Institute (MBI) honors program.

    Montgomery College Professor Tammy Peery, English department chair at Montgomery College-Germantown, named the Distance Educator of the Year in Higher Education by the Maryland Distance Learning Association (MDLA).

    Dr. DeRionne P. Pollard  assumes leadership of Montgomery College on August 2, 2010, following a national search by the College’s Board of Trustees. She is the ninth chief executive officer of the institution. As president, Dr. Pollard also serves as the secretary and treasurer of the Board of Trustees.

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