Columbia-Greene marks 50 years of classes


College’s First Day of Classes in September 1969 lauded on Tuesday, Sept. 17

HUDSON, N.Y. –On September 15, 1969, Columbia-Greene Community College opened its doors for the first time. Nearly 350 full- and part-time students took their seats, while 18 faculty members headed to the front of their classrooms.

Fifty years later, some of these inaugural students, faculty, and staff will return to C-GCC to share their memories of the past, impressions of the present, and hopes for the future.

A celebratory event will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 17 at 12:30 p.m. in the Professional Academic Center on campus, featuring an informal panel discussion with professors emeriti, alumni, retired staff-members, and others.

The stomping grounds are no longer the same; C-GCC’s first home was in Athens, N.Y., in a former elementary school. The college library was down the street in a converted grocery store, and “Doc Drum” taught physics via the game of pool in a neighborhood bar.

C-GCC moved to its 144-acre current home in Hudson in 1974, where it continues to grow. Today, more than 1,500 students are taught by a full-time faculty of 46. Its 82,000-volume library would challenge the shelves of even the largest supermarket, and 39 academic programs are now offered.

In addition to conversations with former students, faculty, and staff, Tuesday’s event will also include a photo exhibit titled BeginningsAn exhibit of photos from the Athens Era of Columbia-Greene Community College, featuring photos by Gloria Wexler and several vintage photos from past yearbooks, curated by C-GCC Professor of History Ted Hilscher.

Light refreshments will be served, and the public is encouraged to attend.

For more information, call (518) 828-4181, or visit

Photo Caption: Columbia-Greene Community College's first home in Athens, N.Y., as seen in 1969.

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