In the early days of Anne Arundel Community College, students attended classes at Severna Park High School before moving into a permanent space in 1967.
Now, as the college celebrates its 45-year anniversary with several events this semester - including a reunion for 1960s attendees scheduled for this weekend - it is set on 230-acre complex in Arnold and has won enough renown to generate visits from President Bush.
The "Classes of the '60s" reunion will be held tomorrow in the Student Union dining hall. A campus tour begins at 5 p.m., followed by cocktails, a buffet dinner and a dance that could last until 10 p.m. The event is free.
"I think it's terrific," said Janet Pumphrey, a 1967 graduate who worked at the college library for 37 years. "I want to see some of my old friends I lost touch with."
Pumphrey graduated with her father, John Henry Pumphrey, who began attending the college after the closing of the DuPont plant in Curtis Bay where he worked.
He received an associate's degree in business public administration, and Janet Pumphrey earned an associate's degree in secondary education.
"I'm sad my dad's not here to see [former classmates]," she said, noting that he died in 2002. "But I remember most of them, and I'd like to see what they've done in the years since."
"It's amazing how excited people are," said Rob Hendry, alumni relations specialist at the college.
Hendry said his effort to locate alumni included searching Web sites such as www.class mates.com and placing fliers in area grocery stores. The alumni office had trouble finding enough of the approximately 1,500 students who attended during the school's first decade.
Many who attend community college transfer after two years, rather than graduate, so records of past students were difficult to locate.
According to alumni publications dating to the mid-60s, the first graduating class had many students who continued their education and two who took full-time jobs: one as a teacher at Arnold Elementary School and another at a hospital in Miami.
The search for alumni was slow in bearing fruit. It took Hendry a year to find 40 people who could attend. But in the past week, 40 others have notified the office that they plan to attend, including a man who lives in Florida.
For information, contact Leslie Salvail at 410-777-2709 or firstname.lastname@example.org