The year 2008 was eventful and historic – at Austin Community College and across the country. Here’s a look back at the last 12 months.
Early January set the stage for the year as presidential candidate Barack Obama won Iowa’s democratic caucus. The month was also a precursor for ACC as the college set record enrollments for the spring semester, setting the stage for record summer and fall registrations.
ACC joined the presidential election mix in February as Chelsea Clinton, campaigning for her mom Hillary Clinton, spoke at the South Austin Campus. Earlier that month, ACC premiered its new instructional cooking show, “Austin Cooks” (watch the new season on Channel 19 or visit the “Austin Cooks” website).
In March, Brett Favre tearfully retired, New York Gov. Elliot Spitzer resigned, and the Olympic Flame began its 85,000-mile journey from Greece to China. At ACC, former U.S. President Bill Clinton held an outdoor campaign rally for his wife at the Riverside Campus, and the well received “i am acc” campaign was launched.
April was another busy month at ACC as it dedicated a new Automotive Training Center at Crockett High School, the drama department’s “Trick the Devil” opened to rave reviews and the community celebrated family and education during Dia de la Familia at the Riverside Campus.
A major milestone in ACC’s history occurred Saturday, May 10 when the residents of Round Rock voted “yes” for ACC annexation. As a result, the college announced it would build its eighth and largest campus to date in Round Rock, set to open in 2010 (watch our progress at the Round Rock Campus website). Earlier that week, more than 1,800 students graduated from ACC during a ceremony at the Austin Convention Center.
ACC welcomed three new trustees to its board in June – John-Michael Cortez, Raul Alvarez, and Tim Mahoney – and thanked outgoing trustees John Hernandez, Rafael Quintanilla, and Lillian Davis for their dedicated service. Two thousand miles away, Tiger Woods won the U.S. Open on a bum knee, then announced he would be out of competition indefinitely for knee surgery.
In a sign of the tough economic times, July brought the Starbucks announcement it was closing 600 stores nationwide, leaving the company and a few customers suffering from withdrawal headaches. With Texas mostly avoiding the economic headaches, ACC continued to meet the needs of the community, approving its strongest budget to date and hosting a well-attended Women’s Health, Motivation and Empowerment Conference and a highly successful Summer Youth Leadership Institute.
August began with the third annual ACC Golf Scramble, raising more than $15,000 for scholarships, and ended with President Stephen B. Kinslow, Ph.D., announcing the college’s yearlong 35th anniversary celebration during general assembly. Across the Pacific, the world celebrated sport and international competition as more than 1 billion viewers watched the Summer Olympics.
In September, ACC’s fall enrollment hit 35,798, setting a record and far exceeding master plan projections. The college announced a new four-installment payment system for students and a new notification system that uses text and voice messaging to get the word out in case of emergency. The economy may have contributed to the record enrollment as the stock market continued to fall and “bailout” became the buzz word in D.C. Texas took an unexpected economic hit as Hurricane Ike slammed into the Galveston and Houston areas.
The Philadelphia Phillies won the World Series in October, but apparently no one noticed as it garnered its lowest television rating in recent history. People did notice, however, when ACC held an open house for its new and very popular Game Development Institute.
November may go down as one of the most historic months in U.S. history as Barack Obama became the first African-American to be elected president of the United States. ACC continued to add to its own history when 20 students from Denmark spent four weeks at ACC studying Texas literature and history, political science, and game development.
As December brought an end to the semester and soon the year, nearly 200 Health Sciences students celebrated their completion in ceremonies held at the Eastview Campus. The graduates included surgical technologists, sonographers, pharmacy technicians, phlebotomists, emergency services technicians, paramedics, and nearly 100 vocational and registered nurses.
Looking ahead to 2009, here are a few things to keep an eye on:
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