50 Years of Building Brighter Futures
ACC opened its doors on September 17, 1973, with an extraordinary vision to provide everyone access to an affordable, quality education.
Today, we honor our past, celebrate our future, and highlight our work of building brighter futures since 1973. We invite you to join the celebration by sharing your journey. Let us know how ACC helped shape your life.
College education since 1973
Over the last 50 years, ACC has shaped futures through learning. In our endless pursuit to be among the best colleges in the nation, we embraced a model of innovation and collaboration. We invite you to scroll through the videos here to meet the people and explore the programs and facilities that helped ACC transform the landscape of higher education.
Austin Community College District will honor its 50th anniversary with a series of exciting events and celebrations in 2023. This is a community affair, and we want to hear your ideas! Our anniversary provides a unique opportunity to honor ACC’s past and celebrate our mission to provide access to the American Dream and upward mobility to all who seek it. If you have an event or celebration in mind, let us know!
On Saturday, December 9, 1972, Austin voters said “Yes” to a new community college. Whether Austin needed or could afford a community college had been debated for years. Within nine short months, ACC hired faculty and staff, leased the former Anderson High School building and renamed it Ridgeview, and opened its doors on September 17, 1973 to 1,726 students. What started as an extraordinary vision is today the primary gateway to higher education and career training serving about 70,000 students each year.
In celebration of the college’s founding in December 1972, ACC is reconnecting with our founders — Trustees, administrators, faculty, staff, and students who were here in the beginning. We’d like to thank you and add you to a special list of alumni.
Maxine Montgomery is a self-described “founding mother” of Austin Community College. She joined the full-time English faculty at the College’s inception in 1973. Maxine holds a B.A. in History/English, an M.A. in English, and a Ph.D. in English Education, all from the University of Texas at Austin. Maxine’s husband, Bill Montgomery, also is one of ACC’s original history faculty members.
Roland C. Hayes is a founding faculty member of Austin Community College. He continues to serve as Director of the college’s African-American Cultural Center and as a history professor.
William "Bill" Montgomery
Bill Montgomery is an Austin Community College District founding member and professor of History. He was named Emeritus in 2001 and a Fulbright Professor in 1989-90. He was awarded the 1998-99 Teaching Excellence Award, the Choice’s Outstanding Academic Book Award for Under Their Own Vine and Fig Tree: The African-American Church in the South, 1865-1900, and the Lecturing award to the National University of Lesotho, in Southern Africa.
Dr. Barbara Mink
Photocopy of a portrait of Dr. Barbara Mink taken in 1973 and published in Austin American-Statesman along with a story announcing Mink’s (then known as Dr. Washburn’s) appointment as the new Associate Dean for Instructional Services for Austin Community College. The printed photograph belongs to Dr. Mink, one of the founding members of ACC.
1973 Group Portrait
This group portrait was taken in 1973 and shows Linda Smith, Librarian, Barbara Wilkerson, Media, and Janice Templeton, Testing Center. All three were among Austin Community College’s first employees. The printed photograph belongs to Dr. Barbara Mink, one of the founding members of ACC.
ACC Story Project
There’s one-degree of separation from Austin Community College. If you didn’t go to ACC, you know someone who did. The ACC Story Project is an effort to collect unscripted stories from the hearts of those who have been impacted by the ACC mission— our students, faculty and staff, founders, partners, and alumni. Become a part of history. By sharing your ACC story.
Upload your story to your socials! Join the conversation on social media — @ACC
From scavenger hunts and volunteer opportunities to Founders Day and 50 year reunion, updates and additional information will be added here. All ACC departments and organizations are encouraged to plan your own events or suggest collegewide celebrations.
January 2023 ›
First Day “Welcome Riverbats”
February 2023 ›
ACC Story Project Launch
March 2023 ›
Amplify Austin – Student Emergency Fund Fundraiser
UFCU Pavilion Groundbreaking @ ACC Highland
April 2023 ›
Latin American Cultural Center Grand Opening
Boots & Bats Gala
May 2023 ›
Graduation Ceremony (Spring)
July 2023 ›
Student Success Summit
August 2023 ›
First Day “Welcome Riverbats”
September 2023 ›
ACC Day on September 17, 2023
November 2023 ›
December 2023 ›
50th Anniversary Holiday Party
Graduation Ceremony (Fall)
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