Ohlone College will celebrate its 50th Anniversary Year throughout 2017, officially designated at a Board meeting of Ohlone’s Board of Trustees in January 2016. May 2017 will mark the 50th graduation ceremony, and in September 2017 the College will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the start of classes.
We mark 1967 as Ohlone’s first year because that is when the first classes were offered. Fall semester began on September 25, 1967, with about 1,300 students. However, planning for a junior college (as they were called then) in Fremont and Newark actually got underway in earnest in the early 1960s. The Fremont Newark Junior College District was officially created by the voters on December 7, 1965, with 73% in support.
The first meeting of the newly elected Board of Trustees was conducted on January 3, 1966. The Board worked on planning the new college over the next 18 months. This included the hiring of Dr. Stephen Epler as the first President/Superintendent in July of 1966, and bringing together a cadre of administrators and full- or part-time faculty to set the stage for classes beginning in September 1967.
For the past 50 years Ohlone has been in the business of transforming lives. This includes the lives of students, of course, but also of faculty and staff. These lives are the legacy of Ohlone College. Although an institution’s history is important, its human legacy is more so.
During this 50th Anniversary Year, we are committed to re-connecting, re-engaging and recognizing the former students, faculty and staff we hope to have energize our legacy. And through this process, we aim to remind all of us, in a very deep way, of the value of this college. This deepened awareness can be a compelling force when looking ahead to the next 50 years.