November 17, 2020 marked the 75th anniversary of the creation of Howard College and the college kicked off a year of celebration through various ribbon cuttings and ground breakings across the Big Spring campus.
“This is a monumental day in the history of Howard College,” said Dr. Cheryl T. Sparks, President. “And even though our celebration kick-off might not look like we originally planned due to the pandemic, we wanted to recognize the importance of this day with our community and our students.”
The first event for the day was a ribbon cutting for a roofing project that will be carried out on the Big Spring and SouthWest College for the Deaf (SWCD) campuses. Several buildings on both campuses had significant hail damage and the insurance funded project will be instrumental in making sure the buildings are repaired and set to serve students for many years to come.
“The creation of the college was about having a place for students to take the next step in their educational journey and that included having buildings for the campus,” added Sparks. “It is important for us to do everything we can to maintain those buildings in excellent condition, so we wanted to include this project in our activities for the recognition events.”
The new Howard College Adventure Club trail was second on the list for the day and a ribbon cutting was held to open the trail and recognize those who were instrumental in making this happen for students.
“Howard College is about learning, earning, and life,” said Sparks. “This new outdoor trail will give our students another outlet for fun and adventure on campus.” The trail can be used for hiking, walking/running, and trail bike riding. Howard College staff and students have been working hard to design the trail and get it cleared for student use. Thanks to an anonymous donor, two new trail bikes were also purchased for student use.
Foundation Field was the site for the third event of the day with the groundbreaking for a new softball fieldhouse. The Hawks have had their sights set on a new fieldhouse for several years and have been actively raising funds to cover the costs.
Sparks added, “We are so proud of our Hawk softball team and the effort they have put into raising funds for their fieldhouse. And with the addition of our own construction trades program prepared to build the new facility, it is a win-win for the college and the students.”
The plans for the fieldhouse are set and construction will begin soon. Richard Light, Construction Trades Instructor, was on hand for the groundbreaking and added, “When our construction trades students complete this project, they will be experienced in every facet of construction and could be prepared to build their own home if they chose to do so.”
The day concluded with a 75th anniversary brick unveiling and ribbon cutting at the P.W. Malone Plaza on the Big Spring campus. “This day is a tribute to the visionary thinking of those who created the college 75 years ago today,” said Sparks. “They saw a need for Howard County and the Big Spring community and took quick action to make higher education readily available to the citizens. Today, our students continue to be the reason we do what we do and our staff and faculty strive to carry out that initial vision every single day.”
The college will be holding various events on the different campuses through the next year with the culmination of the celebration on September 30, 2021 which will mark the 75th anniversary of the first day of class at Howard College.