The founding of Genesee Community College exemplifies the importance of community action and the long-term positive impact of civic responsibility. In the early 1960s, the Genesee County Board of Supervisors conducted a study on the regional need and viability of a locally established community college and determined student enrollment would never exceed 75 students. The Batavia Jaycees, however, prevailed with its own study, and its findings were quite different. In February 1964, the Jaycees reported to the Board of Supervisors there was not only a desire and need for a community college, but also the financial ability to support a college, a favorable economic climate, and a growing population that included a sufficient student base necessary for a successful community college. The Board of Supervisors determined that a public referendum was the best method to make this important decision.
Through the course of the next year, a community-wide debate ensued over the possibility of establishing a college. Proponents of the community college developed a “Citizens Committee” and led a vigorous and well-planned campaign. In November 1965, the public voted “YES” by a margin of over 1400 to the proposition of establishing a community college in Genesee County. Genesee became one of only two voter-established community colleges in New York State.
On September 27, 1967 Genesee Community College welcomed its first class of 378 full-time and 243 part-time students—approximately 200 more students than projected, and 500 more students than the Board of Supervisors had anticipated! Little did the original founders know that their original 75-student, one-campus college would expand to another six campuses and over 6000 students. This digital collection features the early history of Genesee Community College from Citizens Committee brainchild to the construction of the College Road campus in Batavia
This digital collection features the early history of Genesee Community College from Citizens Committee brainchild to the construction of the College Road campus in Batavia.