A letter from a former COCC President
COCC President from 1967 to 1990
Relations between the Broadside, the Student Government and COCC administrators have been under discussion recently and I was very pleased to see recent actions fit neatly with my concept that most college students are mature and thoughtful human beings and COCC is a place of reason and good judgement. These thoughts brought back to mind student leadership which took place during my tenure as President (1967-1990) and much earlier to the beginning of COCC in 1949.
In a recent tour of COCC I observed that the campus was teeming with students. Cars were parked in every conceivable nook and new buildings were going up on a number of sites. In 1949-1955 things were not so rosy. Don Pence, the first president of the college wrote at length about those tremulous days in COCC History – Part 1- 1949-1967.
“A momentous decision was reached in 1950 whether the less than fledgling Center (College) should be allowed to continue or be terminated.” The enrollment of 1949-50 was 150 fall term with 28 of these full time. The cost per student for the first year was $89.” In September of 1952, as reported in the Bulletin,” Enrollment in Central Oregon College may reach the 100 mark before the registration deadline. Pence further stated that 60 students had enrolled the previous fall and only four were full time college students taking courses for transfer credit: where 13 have signed up for regular college programs this year”. However, is spite of this apparently small enrollment, Pence had great hope for the future . He wrote, “I would recommend, in the light of my studies and the general trend of educational concepts and recent legislation relative to community colleges across the nation, that this college be kept in operation and that those in charge be increasingly cognizant of the modern concept of the function of a community college.”
In 1952 the College had provided few means for student participation in the affairs of the college. As examples, students had no student government and no newpaper. Students were to become very instrumental in bringing both of these activities to fruition.
Again from the 1949-1967 history: “In the fall of 1953 a young woman from the Bear Creek country East of Bend enrolled in the college. She was a very brilliant girl and had spent most of her earlier years in private academies.
June Scott was destined to make a great contribution to the development of the college. June’s initial interest was nuclear physics but she soon became interested in journalism and worked with her English instructor Mr. Robert Tuttle to create the first college newspaper. The students in a naming contest, named the newspaper ‘The Broadside’ after a one-side news sheet from the colonial times and that has been its name ever since. The first edition came out Oct. 15, 1953 and was named Nov. 2, 1953. Before the year was out the paper had grown to four pages and was printed outside the college. With a means of getting information out to students the pressure was on to form a student government…Just as June Scott had arisen to the challenge of promoting and developing a school newspaper, another student Fred Stenkamp rose out of the ranks to push for student government. Fred was a Korean veteran and university drop out who was pulling lumber on the green chain at Lundgren’s saw mill in Bend. Fred became interested and eventually after shepherding a new constitution through for the student body, became the first student body president. Fred was to be an honor student, a Fulbright scholar , a Ph.D. fromU.C. Berkley and from Rhenish Fredrick William University in Germany. For many years Dr. Fred Stenkamp served as Professor of History at the University of Michigan.
These are just two examples of the importance of individual students to the growth of COCC. Many similar student leaders came to the fore in later years.
Who is Fred Boyle?
‘COCC’s Board announced the selection of Dr. Frederick H. Boyle as President, on Aug. 4, 1967. Boyle was previously the dean of instruction at Rockingham Community College in Wentworth, North Carolina.
When he began at COCC, there were less than 800 students enrolled and only seven buildings on campus. When he left, there were nearly 3,000 students and ten additional buildings. During his years at COCC, Boyle also established the College, Student and Instructional Affairs committees.
Information courtesy of “Blazing a Trail: The 50-year History of COCC” by Frank X. Fiedler.