York Technical College is celebrating 50 years as an institution of higher education. Thanks to the commitment of its leaders, staff and students since 1964, York Tech has established itself as a vital resource for residents in York, Chester and Lancaster counties.
School administration, staff and community members gathered at the Rock Hill campus Monday to mark the institutions 50th year. The theme for the anniversary is "Our Past, Your Future."
"York Tech stands for hope and opportunity for the community and the region," said Greg Rutherford, president of the school that serves about 5,000 students in 85 credit programs and 2,000 continuing education students.
Melanie Jones, vice president for college advancement, helped unveil a commemorative logo for the yearlong celebration.
The original building that housed the York County Technical Education Center or TEC in 1964, now known as C Building, is about to undergo a major transformation. School leaders and others participated in the official ground-breaking on Monday.
The purpose of the new look to C Building will be to showcase 21st-century technical education, said Tom Savory, the project's architect.
Tony Vaughan, the honorary anniversary chairman who has been involved with York Tech since 1964, said there is an "ever-occuring need for technical education in South Carolina."
To help meet that need, York Tech has grown from a Rock Hill-based school to one that serves students with branch facilities in Chester and Lancaster counties.
And for students who want to continue their higher education, York Tech has formed partnerships with Winthrop University and Columbia College for an easier path to a four-year degree.
Since 2008, York Tech and Winthrop leaders have collaborated on programs to ensure students have a seamless transition in transfer credits from one school to the other. And beginning this fall, Columbia College faculty will teach courses on York Tech's campus to students pursuing two new degree offerings: a bachelor of arts in leadership and professional communication and a bachelor of arts in health communication.
At Monday's celebration, York Tech employee Diala Curbeam said the anniversary and renovations to the C Building serve as an exciting chance to reach more people in the community.
"The whole goal is to get people back to work," she said.
That's a mission we all can applaud.
Congratulations, York Tech, on your 50th anniversary and for your continuing imagination and dedication to meeting the educational needs of area residents.