College is important to community
Jefferson Davis Community College will this week mark its 40th anniversary.
When then-Gov. George Wallace pushed the two-year college system through the legislature in the 1960s, he did so without a complete plan of how the system would be structured. Brewton's leaders lobbied hard to get a college here.
Act No. 93 of the Alabama Legislature established the college in May, 1963.
The system was still in its infancy when Woodfin Patterson was tapped in 1964 to lead the college that would be established here. In the fall of 1965, classes began in the educational facilities of the First United Methodist Church. Patterson's vision was that the school would grow and expand to a four-year college, and he built the campus with that dream in mind.
Most would agree that JDCC is un ique among community colleges in our state. While many communities are pleased to have any building in which higher education is provided, Brewton is fortunate to have a campus which is similar in appearance to a small four-year college. With its beautiful setting and interesting architecture, its facilities provide a pleasant backdrop for many community events.
But more importantly, JDCC offers local students access to higher education that many would not pursue if that pursuit required them to leave home immediately after high school. The college's accessibility and affordability also make it attractive for non-traditional adult students who schedule their classes around the demands of a full-time job and/or a family. It prepares both students who choose higher education and those who seek immediate work – like nurses – for the "real world."
The civic leaders who fought the political battles necessary to land a community college, the college's founders, its generous benefactors, its employees and students through the years have made it an important part of our community.
Join JDCC in celebrating this milestone on Tuesday, when the college will host a reception in the lobby of Woodfin Patterson Auditorium.