Contra Costa County citizens vote to establish a community college district.


October: District superintendent Drummond McCunn negotiates with the U.S. Maritime Commission for the use of a portion of the Richmond shipyards as a campus.


February 14: The first classes are held at Contra Costa Junior College, West Campus.

John Porterfield is the college’s first director.

The student newspaper, The Blue and Gray Newsletter, begins publication.

Students vote on a college mascot. “Wolves” is the winner, but opposition is so strong that the selection is set aside.

First athletes to represent the “Royal Blue and Silver Gray” is the track team.

May: First student government officers elected.

June: The first graduating class is composed of three students.

1,500 students register for the fall semester (up from 460 the first semester).

The football team is first to be known as the “Comets” (named for the celestial comets)


March 26: the Board of Trustees renames the college West Contra Costa Junior College.


April 14: The formal deed to approximately half of the property on which the current campus sits is acquired from the U.S. government.

Almost simultaneously, the remainder of the campus (the part known as “Tank Farm Hill”) is purchased from John J. Jerome.

John Porterfield resigns as the director of the college.

Joseph P. Cosand is chosen as the new director.


Construction of the Humanities Building approved. Construction begins in the summer.


February 6: A fire destroys the Life Sciences Building at the shipyard campus.

The baseball team doesn’t have a home field, but it doesn’t matter — they win the state championship trophy, the only one in the college’s history (so far).


Fall: Classes begin at the new campus (half in San Pablo, half in Richmond).

The campus consists of the Humanities and Physical Sciences Buildings, 10 temporary buildings, a temporary parking lot, and an athletic field.

Preliminary figures show a daytime enrollment of 1,134.

146 students are declared eligible to join the Alpha Gamma Sigma Honor Society.

Construction of the Physical Sciences Building and Men’s Locker Room approved.


August 3: The lease on the shipyard campus is cancelled.

Fall: Dr. George J. Faul is named the new director (later president) of West Contra Costa Junior College.

The student newspaper changes its name to Comet’s Tale


The college changes its name to Contra Costa College.

Dean of Instruction Dale Tillery resigns. He is replaced by natural science instructor Raymond S. Dondero.

Construction of the Student Association Building is approved.


Faculty members Dr. Charles Lovy and Shully Miller are granted sabbaticals, the first in the college’s history.

Construction of the Biological Sciences Building approved.



April: After months of planning by the Life Sciences Area and the Richmond Elks Club, planting of an arboretum begins along the north tributary of Rheem Creek between the Student Lounge and the Humanities Building.

September: The student newspaper changes its name to The Advocate.

September 23: The CCC football team plays an exhibition game against Diablo Valley College, the first meeting of these intra-district rivals. (CCC won.)


February: Construction of the Women’s Locker Room is approved.

The Western College Association grants CCC a full five-year accreditation, stating that “the quality of instruction is superior.”


March: A panel of students representing six campus clubs discusses the integration of on-campus clubs at a standing-room only meeting. Only one club has African American members.

April: Construction of the Library is approved.

May 28: The board of trustees asks Superintendent Drummond McCunn to resign over differences in educational philosophy.

December: Construction of Music Building is approved.


October: The new CCC Library is dedicated. Built at a cost of more than $500,000, it has the capacity to hold 50,000 volumes.

Construction on the new “doughnut-shaped” Music Building begins.


February 14: Civil rights leader Martin Luther King speaks in the college gym.

March: Karl O. Drexel is named District Superintendent.

Spring: George J. Faul resigns to become president at Monterey Peninsula College.

Fall: Raymond S. Dondero is named acting president.

November: Construction plans are underway for four new buildings: Vocational Arts, Humanities Annex, Physical Education, and administrative headquarters.


The Symphony Series brings the San Francisco, Richmond and Oakland Symphonies and the Los Angeles Philharmonic to the Richmond Memorial Auditorium.

Enrollment reaches a record 6,204 students; 3,667 of them are full-time day students.

May: Construction of the Vocational Arts Building and Student Association addition is approved.

June: 302 students graduate.

December: Construction of the Liberal Arts Building is approved.


The college has 149 instructors on its faculty.

There are 10 permanent buildings on campus and 15 temporary buildings.

The district is entirely debt-free. Its assets are more than $12 million.

The college has 22 student clubs, ranging from the Ski Club to the Society of Older Students, the Young Democrats and Young Republicans to Lambda Phi service organization, and the Auto Services Club.

May 3: Reverend Booker T. Anderson, a noted civil rights leader and head of the local NAACP chapter speaks on campus.

The CCC obelisk is added to the newly designed Mission Bell Drive entrance.

A district bond issue fails just short of the necessary two-thirds vote.

November 21: Black Power advocate Stokely Carmichael talks to the students.


The college’s address changes from 2801 Castro Road to 2600 Mission Bell Drive.

CCC offers its first African American course, History 123: The Negro in U.S. History.

January 11: Buckminster Fuller, scientist and inventor of the geodesic dome, lectures in the college gym.

February: Al Jarreau performs with the George Duke Jazz Trio at a Negro Arts Festival on campus.

March: The Student Council votes to build a new bookstore out of student funds. The new facility will cost $92,000.

The Jefferson Airplane, a popular local rock band, performs at the college.

September: The Liberal Arts Building, built at a cost of $950,000, opens.

September: Construction of the Physical Education Building is approved.

November: Construction of the Gym is approved.


January: A new system of mandatory orientation for all new students is instituted.

March: Black Panther Eldridge Cleaver speaks on campus.

April: Dick Gregory, Peace and Freedom Party candidate for the U.S. presidency, visits the campus.

April: Construction of an addition to the Humanities Building is approved.

June: 490 students graduate.

October 26: “Peanuts” cartoonist Charles Schultz speaks on campus and participates in a cartoon workshop.


Robert L. Wynne is named president of the college.

April 11: Black Student Union members begin informal picketing, resulting in the creation of special on-campus programs.

September: CCC students join a statewide strike and boycott class to protest the violent actions of Governor Ronald Reagan and Berkeley Police at a previous protest in People’s Park.



February 5: The college adds a Department of Special Programs, which aids educationally and socially disadvantaged students.

September: The addition to the Student Activities Building is completed, along with 11 new parking lots.


April 26: Students begin a 3-week strike to protest the defeat of a resolution for student participation in the election of a student government candidate.

December 15: The Board of Trustees refuses the request of the Black Students Union that the birthdays of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X be considered for school holidays.


January 14: The cafeteria, Recreation Room, student lounge and Student Association offices are closed in protest of the Board of Trustees’ refusal to make Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday a school holiday.

March: Construction of the Health Sciences Building is approved.


January 1: The Data Processing Department enters the mini-computer field with the installation of an IBM/System 3 computer.

September 14: The first campus police force is composed of 3 full-time security officers working with 9 criminal justice students.

November: Medical Sciences Building opens (now the Health Sciences Building)

December: Construction of the Physical Sciences Annex is approved.


Harry Buttimer is named Chancellor of the Contra Costa Community College District.

The Health Sciences Building opens.

Lehman Brightman is hired as chairman of the new Native American Studies Department.

Construction begins on the planetarium, which is planned to open in September 1975.

Plans are underway for the Applied Arts Building.


September: The Physical Sciences Annex and Planetarium opens.


February 6: $2.5 million is approved for construction of the Applied Arts Building.

November 19: College selects the area behind the baseball field on Castro St. as the site for the Performing Arts Center.


February 9: Frustrated with his lack of support from the faculty, Robert L. Wynne asks to be relieved of his duties as president of the college and reassigned elsewhere in the district, effective July 1.

H. Rex Craig becomes the new college president.

After nearly three decades of being funded by the Associated Students Union, the student newspaper receives its own budget from the District.

A new course withdrawal system requires students to talk with the instructor before dropping a class.


August: Construction of the Performing Arts Center is approved.

September 15: The passage of state Proposition 13 causes cutbacks in the college budget (15%) and classified staff.


March: Construction of the Applied Arts and Administration Building is approved.

June: Gene Corr, CCC’s athletic director and baseball coach, retires after 29 years.

October: Construction begins on the Applied Arts Building.



The Performing Arts Center opens in the fall.


The Applied Arts/Administrative Complex opens for use, completing the campus building plan.

President Rex Craig leaves the college.

Raymond S. Dondero becomes the president of the college for the second time.

The Gifted Children’s Association of West Contra Costa develops a summer enrichment program with the college — College for Kids — for 4th through 12th grade students.


D. Candy Rose becomes the first woman president of the college.

John I. Carhart is named the District’s new chancellor.

Beginning in the fall semester, California community college students pay an enrollment fee of $5 per unit up to six units, and a flat $50 for 6 or more units.


President Rose announces that CCC will have a second woman’s sport — basketball. Paul DeBolt is named the head coach of the women’s basketball team.


October 17: The Loma Prieta earthquake strikes the Bay Area at 5:04pm. The campus is safely evacuated. There is no major damage, but the campus remains closed for two days.





Chancellor John Carhart retires.

Robert D. Jensen is hired as the new chancellor of the District.


Chancellor Jensen resigns to take a post in Arizona; Jack Miyamoto serves as interim chancellor.

Charles Spence becomes the new district chancellor.


January: the Board of Trustees suspends President D. Candy Rose.

January: District vice-chancellor Helen Spencer is named interim president.

April: President Rose resigns.


May: Helen Spencer Carr is named the ninth president of Contra Costa College, the first African American to hold that position.

August: The Advocate launches its website,, an online edition of the student newspaper.



January 19: A ceremony is held in front of the last remaining building at the old shipyard campus. A commemorative plaque is installed.

February 14: Classes began at the old campus 50 years ago today. The college hosts a 50th birthday party for students, faculty, staff and the community in the college library.


Local voters pass Measure, A which will provide funding for new building construction across the district as well as updating and remodeling existing structures.

Phase I of the 5-year Title III federal grant from the Dept. of Education is implemented. Students enrolled in English and Math courses in the Academic Skills Dept. will be provided with Supplemental Instruction by a specially trained SI tutor who attends the classes along with the students and works closely with instructor.


May: The first honorary degree is awarded posthumously to Sy Zell.

Fall: The State raises community college enrollment fees from $11/unit to $18/unit.

Fall: Phase II of the Title III grant begins with the implementation of ACES (Automated Communications for Educational Success), a system that will improve instructor communications with counselors and counselors communications with students about their progress in their Academic Skills courses.

Fall: Tenured faculty may now choose to use the title “Professor.” Probationary faculty may use the title “Assistant Professor;” part-time faculty may use the title “Adjunct Professor.”

October: The Early Learning Center opens, the first newly constructed building on campus since 1983. It will house the Early Childhood Education Dept., the childcare center, offices and classrooms.

A new parking lot opens near the gym.

The Early Childhood Learning Dept. is awarded a 3-year Even Start Family Literacy Grant.


The CCC Foundation’s Hall of Fame inductees for 2004 are J.D. Banks, Bert Coffey, Eugene Corr, Richard Granzella Family, Mabel Hom, Mechanics Bank, Dr. Leroy Mims, Karleen Shields-Thompson, Dorothy Wendt, and Sy Zell.

Bruce Carlton (CCC librarian) and Richard McCall receive the Sy Zell Award from the College and Benefactor of the Year from the College Foundation.

Chancellor Spence resigns; Phyllis Gilliland becomes acting chancellor.

KCCC-TV wins the Western Alliance Video Excellence (WAVE) Award in local cable programming for the program “How Young Is Prostitution.”


Lois Callahan becomes Interim Chancellor.

The Library moves into the cafeteria for the duration of its building remodel; much of its book and periodical collections are placed in storage. The LAVA Division Office, the College Resource Center, and Reprographics also move into the SA Building. Media Services is divided into 3 temporary locations.

August: Dr. Helen Benjamin, formerly CCC’s president, becomes Chancellor of the Contra Costa Community College District. McKinley Williams, the vice-president becomes the Interim President.

The CCC Foundation’s Hall of Fame inductees for 2005 are B. Wayne Daniels, Elijah “Pumpsie” Green, Chizu Iliyama, Jake Sloan, and the Chevron Richmond Refinery.

The Early Learning Center opens, the first newly constructed building on campus since 1983.

The Foundation’s Benefactor of the Year is Mrs. Minnie Pearl Parker.


January: McKinley Williams becomes the tenth President of the College.

July: A new smoking policy is implemented. All buildings will be smoke-free; smoking will be allowed only in parking areas that are at least 25 feet from building entrances (except for the lots by the Early Learning Center and the track, where smoking will be prohibited).

September: The Friends of the Library receives a $50,000 matching grant from the Frank H. and Eva Buck Foundation to provide “new books for the new library.”

The CCC Foundation’s Hall of Fame inductees for 2006 are: Maria Alegria, Eddie Ray Hart, Alma Oberst-Holmgren, Fred Tarp, and Kaiser Permanente.


Spring: The Computer Technology Center (a newly constructed addition to the Vocational Education Building) opens. It houses the High Tech Center, the Computer Science and Computer Information Systems Depts., computer classroom/labs, and faculty offices.

September: The Library moves back into its remodeled building, as does the LAVA Division Office and the College Resource Center (CRC). The College Skills Center joins them in the building. The new name of the building is the Library and Learning Resources Center (LLRC).

The CCC Foundation’s Hall of Fame inductees for 2007 are Bob Dabney, Pacific Gas and Electric, and the 1955 State Championship Comets Baseball Team.


June: The Friends of the Library completes its match of the Frank H. and Eva Buck Foundation grant, raising a total of $106,000. These funds will be used to provide students with a larger and enhanced collection of books, media programs, and other research sources.

July: The new Student Services Center opens, creating a one-stop location for the major student services offices: Admissions and Records, Financial Aid, Counseling, Disabled Student Programs and Services (DSPS), Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS), International Students, and the Senior Dean of Student Services.

December: The National Endowment for the Arts Award in poetry goes to Lynne Knight, an adjunct faculty member in the English Department.

The CCC Foundation’s Hall of Fame inductees for 2008 are George Coles, Jean Knox, the Honorable John T. Knox, Doug Sabiston, Alfonse Upshaw, and the City of San Pablo.


The new Student Service Center (SSC)  building  is now the gateway to the campus and provides an outdoor plaza  for students and staff to study, interact, and enjoy.

The next phase of construction will include a new classroom building and the demolition of the Humanities Building. The College is working with the architects to finalize a design for the new building that will offer state-of-the-art classrooms.

The CCC Foundation’s Hall of Fame inductees for 2009 are Bruce Carlton, Mark Edward Jackson, Joan Tucker and Agnes Clements, and Organized Labor represented by Contra Costa Building and Construction Trades Council and Locals 159 and 342 of the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters.