Palm Beach State College, Florida’s first public community college, is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year.
LAKE WORTH — Palm Beach State College, Florida’s first public community college, is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year.
To mark the College’s historic milestone, the Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners presented a special proclamation during its regular meeting Feb. 7 to PBSC President Ava L. Parker, J.D., and Carolyn L. Williams, chair of the College’s District Board of Trustees.
When presenting the proclamation, Commissioner Michael Barnett, a PBSC alumnus, was joined at the podium by Commissioners Sara Baxter, also an alumna, and Mack Bernard, who took classes at the College. Barnett spoke about the College’s impact on his life.
“I tell everybody all the time about the second chance Palm Beach State College gave me when it was Palm Beach Community College back in 2002,” Barnett said, noting that he enrolled at PBSC to complete his Associate in Arts degree after dropping out of Florida Atlantic University.
“I thought I was ready for higher learning, but I had to take a few years to grow up and realize that my education was the most serious thing for my future,’’ continued Barnett, who went on to complete his bachelor’s degree at the University of South Florida and juris doctor from the University of Miami School of Law. “I certainly wouldn’t be standing here without having had that opportunity.”
Parker and Williams thanked the commissioners for their recognition of the college and its stature in the community, with more than 140,000 alumni.
“We’ve made some significant impacts over the 90 years, and we look forward to doing more,” Williams said.
Parker noted that more than 80 percent of the college’s graduates remain in the county. “We really are part of the infrastructure that helps to make things work here.”
PBSC opened its doors with 41 students in three classrooms. Today, the College serves more than 40,000 students at five campuses in Belle Glade, Boca Raton, Lake Worth, Loxahatchee Groves and Palm Beach Gardens and through PBSC Online. PBSC employs more than 2,600 and has a more than $1.1 billion impact on the county’s economy.
Throughout the year, PBSC will celebrate its 90th anniversary milestone with activities such as campus celebrations, open houses, innovation initiatives and capital projects. Stories will spotlight the achievements of alumni, students, faculty, staff and community partners on the college’s website. Social media posts and special events will use the hashtag #PBSC90th.
A special logo was also created to commemorate PBSC’s 90th anniversary. The logo incorporates the founding motto on the college seal. The motto, “Sabiduria es Poder,” is the Spanish term for “Wisdom (Knowledge) is Power.” For the 90th anniversary, the college further refined this motto as a new slogan: “Knowledge is Forever,” which reflects the significance of the legacy of teaching and learning at PBSC on its diamond anniversary.
To learn more, visit Palmbeachstate.edu/90th.