Wednesday, January 11, 2012
The campus in the 1960's. The campus today

Above: The campus in the 1960's

Below: The campus today

College’s Golden Anniversary Celebration Kicks Off January 26



(By Lisa Garrett)

PENDLETON --- Fifty years ago Tri-County Technical College made South Carolina history by becoming the first multi-county technical institute in the State. Never before had several counties pooled their resources to create a postsecondary educational facility in South Carolina.

Tri-County Technical Education Center opened the doors of Pickens Hall September 10, 1963, with fewer than 500 students in seven disciplines and later attracted 919 students during its first year of operation. The curricula included electronics technology, machine tool, welding, and other engineering technologies.

Since that time, Tri-County Technical College has grown from a technical education center with one building in Pendleton to a comprehensive community college with four campuses in its three-county service area. Academic offerings include technical and health education training, business and public services majors, university transfer offerings, and college credit courses for high school students. Around 12,000 residents enroll annually in non-credit courses in continuing education.

Beginning January 26, and continuing throughout 2012, special events will unite faculty, staff, retirees, alumni, friends and partners together to honor the past-and the future-of the College.

Celebrations and events are scheduled, beginning with a kick-off reception Thursday, January 26, from 5 - 7 p.m. in the library of Hicks Hall on the Pendleton Campus. Leaders from the three-county area will be present to talk about Tri-County's important role in the community, They include Rep. Mike Gambrell, chair of the Anderson County Legislative Delegation; Senator Thomas Alexander, chair of the Oconee County Legislative Delegation; and Senator Larry Martin, chair of the Pickens County Legislative Delegation. In addition, Clemson University President James F. Barker will deliver remarks, as will George B. Patrick, III, deputy secretary of the South Carolina Department of Commerce.

Tri-County President Ronnie L. Booth will unveil a new display highlighting historic milestones, located in the entrance to the library. In addition, he will present Tri-County Technical College, Five Decades of Distinction, a 100-page book written to commemorate the College's five decades of service to the citizens of Anderson, Oconee and Pickens counties. This book chronicles the events that have shaped the College into the role model for community college education that it is today and documents its history with business, industry, donors, local school districts and colleges and universities.

Through stories accompanied by historic and present-day photographs, this commemorative book illustrates the College's long-standing mission, the 1961 legislation which founded the Technical College System in our State, which states: "The greatest single resource that South Carolina has is its people."

For a historical timeline chronicling the College's milestones via photos and information, go to The link also highlights a calendar of events for the year.

For more information, contact Rebecca Eidson at 646-1507 or


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Contact Us

Rebecca Eidson
Public Relations and Communication Director

Lisa Garrett
Public Relations Associate