Celebrating 100 years of City

Allison Browne

The countdown has begun for the centennial anniversary of City College in 2014.

“I’ve been excited about this for about a decade now, and it’s
finally close enough that everyone else can be excited too,” joked Heidi
Bunkowske, information officer and head of the centennial planning committee.
“We can actually start planning now.”

San Diego City College opened in 1914 as the first community college in San Diego and the third in the state of California. It only had 35 students and four instructors, with classes taking place in San Diego High School.

In 1921, it moved to share a campus with what is now SDSU to accommodate its growing size. After 25 years there, it moved back to the high school before finally settling into its permanent home in 1953. The first buildings ever constructed were the A and T buildings.

Throughout the 70s, City College grew exponentially and added many other buildings.

Now, City offers over 200 programs and has close to 30,000 students enrolled.

“One of the biggest
things we’re trying to do right now is we want every student, faculty, and
staff member who’s ever attended City College to go to centennial.sdcity.edu and
connect with us. We’re calling it the City 100 Roll Call,” Bunkowske explained. 

“If anyone has stories they want to share with us, all they have to do is click
submit, and now they’re a part of the roll call,” she said.

Students and staff, past and present, are encouraged to go to
the City College home page and look for the roll call icon
in the lower left corner; or visit the link above, click “learn more” and look for the roll call icon. There they can share their best memories, how City
College has affected their life and where they are now.

However, students and staff can share more than just stories.

“We’re also really looking for people to share memorabilia.
Maybe old photos people have, even way back from the ’40s and ’50s.
Someone might find something in their attic. Someone might find something from
their parents or grandparents,” Bunkowske said.

The website offers an option to upload photos from your
computer, and a drop off time and location can be arranged for any memorabilia.
Some examples of memorabilia could include sports photos, jerseys, awards, play
programs and apparel.

The first event of the centennial celebration will take place
Jan. 18, 2014 with a float in the Martin Luther King Jr. parade. The Associated
Student Government produces a float annually and has won the past two years.
In 2014, City College will create a float with a centennial theme.

Currently, there are no solid plans for the centennial
celebration beyond the parade, but there are many great ideas. One idea is
to have each week of the centennial year focus on a different department.

“The centennial really needs to be owned by each department.
However they want to celebrate the centennial best for them, they can do their
own thing,” Bunkowske said.

Each department would have a chance to plan their own creative
way to showcase their programs, through open houses, events, alumni,
demonstrations, displays or whatever else they come up with.

Other ideas include a street festival involving both City College and the downtown community, a time capsule, a special commemorative
100 year graduation and having a professional historian compile a
history of the college.

“In a nutshell that’s kind of where we are right now. The
centennial will grow as people think of new ideas,” Bunkowske said.