Umpqua Community College Celebrates 50th Anniversary

Jun 25, 2014

The Umpqua Community College, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, got its start when members of an Association of University Women sought opportunities for higher education in Douglas County, Ore.  

The Roseburg Chamber of Commerce appointed plumber Wayne Crooch to chair a county-wide committee in 1960.  When the petition for an election required $1,000, Crooch asked the Chamber for $500 and raised another $500 by selling $1 buttons that read “I Want a Community College.”  Voters overwhelmingly approved the proposal in 1964 and approved a tax levy the following year. Ranchers Elton and Ruth Jackson donated 100 acres along the North Umpqua River near Winchester for the campus, where classes started in 1967. Today some 15,000 students attend classes for credit, certification training or community education. Soon after classes began, Harry Jacoby, former Roseburg Senior High School principal and the college’s first president, said, “You can’t help but feel good when you look out there and see what you’ve got and feel you might have had some small part of it. . .I feel the country we have today was built because a lot of people gave of themselves.” 

 Sources: "Umpqua Community College at 50, Making History in Douglas County." The News-Review 28 Feb. 2014 [Roseburg, Ore.] , 27-page adve ed. Print; Swanback, Betsy. "Douglas County’s College Looking Back and Moving Forward." The News-Review 2 Mar. 2014 [Roseburg, Ore.] : 1+.