Maysville Community and Technical College celebrated its 50th anniversary Sunday evening.
Former alumni, young and old, from the campus were invited to take part in the festivities. Cara Clarke, chair for the committee that organized the celebration, outlined the numerous activities for attendees to participate in.
As soon as the festivities began, Clarke said alumni were greeted by the MCTC Mountain Boys, playing bluegrass music on the campus lawn. Inside were refreshments, with the campus library showcasing several photos and artifacts belonging to numerous eras of MCTC’s lifetime.
The Kentucky Symphony Orchestra also held a performance, playing a medley of music from different eras from the 1960s and onward. Alumni could also hear from the college presidents, both former and current, about their stories while on campus.
“We have the past presidents, at least three of them and Dr. Stephen Vacik, with John Klee moderating,” Clarke said, “and he’s talking to them about their memories and things that happened to them when they were operating MCTC.”
The forum was held in the Crockett Auditorium. Among the presidents who were on hand for the forum were Dr. James C. Shires, Dr. Augusta A. Julian, Dr. Ed Story and Vacik, the current president of MCTC.
Each president gave their account of how their careers led them to MCTC. Shires said to the many alumni in attendance that the community itself was what compelled him to work here.
“Believe it or not, I turned down a job at a college in the Virgin Islands to to come to Maysville,” he said, eliciting laughs from the crowd.
Shires said he had worked closely with colleges and universities in the past, most notably the University of Kentucky. From there, he learned of the community college system, and three new campuses —one of them was Maysville Community College.
“From the very beginning of my visit here, and then deciding to come here, I could see the support that this college, as small as it was, had,” Shrines said.
All of the other presidents echoed those remarks — that the community is what drew them to work at the college, and the community makes the college.
Former State Representative Mike Denham, graduate of the first class at what was then Maysville Community College, said he was very pleased with the celebration and with the lengths those who put the event together went to.
“It’s a great day,” Denham said. “It’s a lot of fun and they’ve gone through a lot of trouble to prepare everything. These presidents have done a good job in moving the college forward and they deserve a lot of credit for it.”
Vacik said he is humbled by being among those who have built the college into what it is today and being part of the legacy that MCTC continues to forge.
“It’s pretty humbling,” Vacik said, “you get to look back and see we started with 58 graduating students in 1970, after admitting students in ‘68; and this last year we had thousands of credentials awarded to somewhere around 700 students, give or take a few. That legacy is not one I take for granted, I feel very fortunate to be a president here, and to get to work with the faculty and staff that we do have.”
Vacik went on to punctuate the statement with a quote from Sir Isaac Newton in describing his role at MCTC: “I stand on the shoulder of giants that have gone before me.”