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TSTC Getting Ready to Celebrate Golden Anniversary

Friday, June 21, 2013
By Eladio Jaimez

Texas State Technical College is taking a trip down memory lane and its asking the community to come along for the ride.

The TSTC System, a collection of four campuses across the state including Harlingen, will celebrate its 50th Anniversary next year and all campuses will celebrate the golden anniversary together in 2015.

TSTC Harlingen Executive Director of Marketing Lynda Lopez sits on a system wide committee that’s planning events to commemorate the milestone and said the committee and TSTC Harlingen officials are depending on the community to help with the planning by identifying members of the community who contributed to the success of the college.

TSTC System plans to feature the 50 most influential people to the success of the college in a coffee table book and TSTC Harlingen will provide 12 individuals. The Harlingen committee is searching for nominees for the project.

“In addition to the book, we hope to have photos and bios of all these key players on a 50th Anniversary website,” Lopez said. “We want to pay tribute to the visionaries who helped grow the college and its programs and in the process we will be able to educate our current and future students of our unique history.”

Lopez added, “We also want to get video and oral histories from key players including former students, faculty and staff about TSTI and TSTC college life and memories.  This is not just TSTC's history, but Harlingen's as well.”

Harlingen committee member and TSTC Harlingen Director for Institutional Advancement Amy Lynch said this is where the community’s help would come in handy.

“We are also asking people to go through their own archives and look for interesting photographs or home films or video that can help us tell the story of our growth and our campus life, especially from the early days,” Lynch said. “With the help of your community and alumni, we can piece together not only the history but the impact TSTC has had in the Rio Grande Valley and from many different perspectives, which is very important.”

TSTC was established in 1965 as the James Connally Technical Institute (JCTI) of Texas A & M University to meet the state’s evolving workforce needs. This college was located in Central Texas at the former James Connally Air Force Base in Waco.

In 1967, the Connally Technical Institute expanded to Harlingen moving into the old Harlingen Air Force Base. In 1969, the colleges separated from Texas A&M and became an independent state system with a new name, Texas State Technical Institute (TSTI) and its own Board of Regents.

Additional campuses were created in Amarillo and Sweetwater in 1970, McAllen in 1983, Abilene in 1985, Breckenridge in 1989 and Brownwood and Marshall in 1991. TSTI was renamed Texas State Technical College in 1991.

Today, the Texas State Technical College System includes four colleges: TSTC Harlingen, TSTC Marshall, TSTC Waco, and TSTC West Texas, which has campuses in Abilene, Breckenridge, Brownwood, and Sweetwater. More than 10,000 students attend TSTC in credit programs alone.

TSTC is the only state-supported technical college system in Texas.

To nominate a candidate for the TSTC coffee table book or to submit information about the history of TSTC Harlingen, contact Lynch at 956-364-4500 or via email at amy.lynch@harlingen.tstc.edu. Deadline to submit nominees is July 1.

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