Come Sept. 1, Odessa College will kick off a year-long celebration to mark reaching 75 years of serving the community.
The day’s festivities start at 9 a.m. for the community, OC alumni, employees and students will culminate in a live concert by the Little River Band at 7 p.m. at the Ector Theatre.
At 10 a.m., the groundbreaking for the 83,000-square-foot, four-story Wood Health Sciences Building, a pep rally with the OC Blues Dance Team and the OC Drum Line and a hospitality and VIP Room in the Saulsbury Campus Center.
Afternoon activities will include campus tours from 1 to 4 p.m. showcasing schools and programs on and off campus, including the Sewell Auto Tech facility, which opened in the spring of 2020.
Department Chair Visual & Performing Arts Eric Baker said this will be part of the Music Masters Series.
“We have some fans in the house, so please mark that date on your calendar, Sept. 1, seven o’clock at the Ector Theatre, again in partnership with Music Master Series and Odessa Arts,” Baker said.
OC President Gregory Williams said he was excited to announce the anniversary and that Sept. 1 will be a wonderful day.
“… As you think about 75 years, Odessa College has been a concept. Odessa College has helped so many people, has changed so many lives. It has given so many individuals hope. There were people who didn’t think they were college material and they showed up in Odessa College’s doors and some of our wonderful professors helped them to realize their potential. There were people who were amazing students in high school, but did not have great resources and didn’t think college was for them, didn’t feel they could go to a university, didn’t think they had the resources to make that happen. And Odessa College showed them the way. That’s what we’re about. We’re about helping; we’re about hope; we’re about opportunities; and we’re about finding a way to get the job done for 75 years,” Williams said.
The exciting part is preparing for the next 75 years, he added.
“So we thought we’d throw in a brand-new building … just for those people thought we were getting a little stale a brand-new Health Sciences Building; the tallest building in the history of our institution; the most technologically advanced building in this institution, with its own little hospital floor on the first floor just to get us excited and to help individuals to be inspired to do great work …,” Williams said.
While it’s a joyous occasion to reach 75 years, Williams said you also feel a responsibility to make sure it endures.
“… So my job is to make it better, to continue to be innovative and to keep our community with us and supporting what we’re trying to do, but while also bringing our community along from an educational standpoint and continuing to look at what’s possible for them and helping them …,” Williams said.
Jacqui Gore, vice president of advancement, business and governmental relations, attended OC.
“I think Odessa College reaching 75 years is exciting. We’re looking forward to the celebration with the entire community — our alumni, employees, students and retirees. Odessa College has made an impact here for a very long time … As I go to community events, I’m hard pressed to find someone who didn’t attend Odessa College at some point. Maybe they didn’t complete their degree, but they attended a class or two through the years. So, Odessa College has touched a lot of people,” Gore said.
“Odessa College has really touched my family. Both of my parents attended Odessa College. My dad attended in the early 70s using his GI Bill to learn how to weld and reared our family as a contract welder for many years here in the Permian Basin. My mother took classes in the early 70s, and went on to be a secretary and bookkeeper,” she added.
“I attended classes here before I transferred off to (Texas State). My brother attended here and got his CDL and he’s had a successful career as a truck driver. So just in my own immediate family, my daughters have both attended dual credit courses and transferred on to universities with 40-plus hours apiece of dual credit hours, thanks to Odessa College. So personally, my family has been impacted greatly by Odessa College and we’re so thankful and fortunate Odessa College is here. But now as an employee, I get to see firsthand so many students (who are) positively impacted by Odessa College,” Gore said.
- The Little River Band concert, a special Odessa College Music Masters Series concert sponsored by the Odessa Arts Council, will begin at 7 p.m. Sept. 1. Tickets are $25 plus fees and are available online at tinyurl.com/vfr8z79a.
- Special lodging rates are available to OC alumni at the Odessa Marriott Hotel and Conference Center and rooms can be booked online at tinyurl.com/58x449zx.