50 years of Opening Doors


WCC President kicks off new academic year by acknowledging a half century of achievements


WCC President Dr. Rose B. Bellanca ushered in the 2015-16 academic year on Aug. 18 as she welcomed back faculty and staff in a festive gathering during which she delivered her State of the College address and kicked off the college’s 50th anniversary celebration.

Dr. Bellanca carried the 50th anniversary’s theme of “Opening Doors” throughout her speech, citing the college’s humble beginnings in the roots of an apple orchard and its transformation over 50 years into a state-of-the-art college that has educated hundreds of thousands of students.

Her address centered on the college’s mission-driven focus in providing high quality, student-centered teaching and its strong commitment to remaining an affordable institution of higher learning.

She acknowledged the faculty and staff for their ongoing commitment and dedication to each student who has passed through the college’s doors over the past century.

Among other highlights:

  • WCC’s number one ranking among the 28 community colleges in Michigan in the percentage increase of performance based aid awarded by the State
  • The $4.4 million grant from the State to support WCC skilled trades programs
  • WCC’s connection to Mcity – University of Michigan’s future transportation facility at its North Campus Research Center
  • The historic $8.5 million student-focused Campaign For Success fundraising effort
  • Washtenaw Technical Middle College charter school’s ranking as one of the top 10 high schools in the country
  • The multi-disciplinary Advanced Transportation Center designed to train for jobs in the rapidly growing industries of advanced manufacturing and Intelligent Transportation Systems
  • The economic impact the college has on the wider Washtenaw County Community in the amount of $373.4 million.

“I’d like to take one more opportunity to thank each of you here today,” said Dr. Bellanca. “It’s because of your efforts, the spirit and mission of this college will carry on for future generations, as our students go on to open doors for those who will follow in their footsteps.”