History of OC


Olympic College began fall quarter 1946 with 575 students. The main building (the former Lincoln School) was located on 11th Street in Bremerton. Classes were held there as well as Bremerton High School and several buildings vacated by military personnel located nearby on Chester Avenue. Tuition for a full-time student (12 or more hours) was $35/quarter, or a student could pay $100 (in advance) for three quarters. Students were to register early..."since classes will be offered the first year, except in those instances where demand justifies a limited number of sections."*

* 1946 Bulletin of Information and Announcement of Courses

Student Associations & Clubs

All students enrolled at the college were members of the Associated Students. A Student Council consisting of a President, Vice-President, and Secretary-Treasurer, was elected by the Associated Students. The first clubs were Men's Club, Co-ed Club, School Paper, Musical Clubs, Drama, Debate, Athletics (basketball, baseball, track, golf, and tennis), and various assemblies to hear "noted speakers on topics of national and local interest."*

* 1946 Bulletin of Information and Announcement of Courses


1946 Purpose

"The Junior College will offer the citizens of the Olympic Peninsula opportunity to receive study in advance of high school graduation. The students will find a closer relationship between student and faculty than in the large universities an colleges. The adjustment to college methods is made much easier. Vocational training is offered in the Junior College for the benefit of those who may not wish to transfer to an institution of higher learning."*

* 1946 Bulletin of Information and Announcement of Courses


Names & Notables

The name of Olympic (Junior) College was suggested by Commander Wallace Howe, USN, and Al Huguenin of the Bremerton School Board, two of the eleven-member College Advisory Committee formed in 1945. Other Advisory Committee members: A.L. Venn- Watson (Kitsap County Superintendent of Schools), Lulu Haddon (City of Bremerton Finance Commissioner), Joe Knowles (South Kitsap Superintendent), Carl Jenne (Central Kitsap Superintendent), A.C. Erickson (North Kitsap Superintendent), R.T. Thordarson (Bainbridge Island Superintendent), Buel Gosset (Bremerton Chamber of Commerce Education Chair), Lester Anderson (Metal Trades Council), Bernard Burke (Labor Board for PSNS), and Dr. William Black (Washington State Department of Education). The Advisory Committee surveyed area high school seniors and visited the eight community colleges already operating in Washington State in 1945.


First Board of Trustees

The first Board of Trustees for Olympic (Junior) College were Bremerton School Board members: Lester Anderson, Neva Davies, George Giblett (Chair), Owen Patterson, and Merrill Wallace. Charlotte Ross served as Secretary to the Board.


School Board/Administration

 Stanley Wynstra - Superintendent of Schools - Bremerton School District (100C)
Don Patterson - Acting Dean of the Junior College
Gerald Cannon - Assistant Dean of the Junior College


College Planning Committee

 Planning Committee members: Romaine Nicholson (Chair), Helen Chamberlain, Arthur Broetje, Gerald Cannon, Don Patterson, Harry Sorenson, William Carter, Charlotte Kern, and Fred Graham.

Olympic College Timeline

1946 - The first day of instruction begins on September 5 with 575 students enrolled at Olympic Junior College (OJC) of which 423 are men and 152 are women. Of these, 55.6% are veterans (226 men and 5 women).

1946 - The first clubs and student organizations are the student governance structure of Association of Olympic (Junior) College Students (ASOC), the clubs are Co-Ed, Debate, Drama, Flash, Men's, Musical, Pep, Radio, and the student newspaper. The first athletic teams play basketball, baseball, track, golf, and tennis. The first inter-collegiate sports are basketball, track, and baseball.

1946 - The College maintains a list of available housing for students where they can find room and board. Any student not residing at a home must live in a place approved by the Dean of the Olympic Junior College (9/46).

1946 - The first science classes hold lab sessions at Bremerton High School (afternoons and evenings). Olympic Junior College also uses the Bremerton High School gymnasium. The first library is located in the former military administration building on the corner of 16th and Chester Avenue.

1946 - The first summer session classes begin on June 16.

1947 - The first student newspaper, The Spartan, is established with Brian Corcoran (editor), Al Fairchild (Business Manager), Joyce Ferguson (Women's News), Vivian Harris (Exchange Editor), Pat Kuhns (Association Editor), and Cub Wall and Bob Torseth sharing the Sports Editor position. Reporters are Dick Casad, Al Stewart, Don Schreiber, Dave Young, Roy Barrett, and Joyce Leyden. The advisors are Ken Fick, Dot Fick, and Mrs. Cleg.

1947 - The first cheerleaders are Patti Anderson, Emma Zoret, and Marjorie Spooner. (Ed Earing, Jack MacDonald, and Harry Linbergh, pg. 53 of 1947 annual.)

1947 - The Olympic Wives League begins with the club motto: "To have a good time at the least possible expense."

1947 - "Rocket to the Moon" is the first play performed by Olympic Junior College students.

1947 - The OJC Chorus makes its first appearance before the student body.

1948 - Patricia Kuhns who transferred to the University of Montana as a journalism major (winter 1948) was one of the first graduates.

1948 - The 1947 Lettermen (first at Olympic Junior College) are: Pierre Almacen, John Bishop, Jim Braunberger, Fred Brinkman, Don Bryant, Dick Craft, Jim Craswell, Sam Denniston, Don Ellis, Bart Faherty, John Gill, Roy Green, Serdello Heinrich, Warren Hill, Glen Jarstad, Howard Kinney, Ivan Lamb, Walter Pomerenk, Ray Pruefert, John Schindele, Gene Shaw, Bill Slonaker, Gene Teel, Roy Teel, Chuck Triggs, Harry Widener, Clyde Wilson. Ore Evans is Coach.

1948 - The 1948 graduates hold the first graduation ceremony with (approximately 100 students) on June 10, 1948.

1948 - President Harry S. Truman visits Bremerton and Olympic Junior College. He receives the first honorary degree on June 10, 1948.

1950 - The first Ranger Revue, a variety/talent show, is held on campus (9/50).

1951 - The student newspaper, formerly The Spartan, is re-named The Ranger Roundup (9/51).

1951 - The Board of Trustees officially rename the college to Olympic College.

1953 - A groundbreaking ceremony is held to mark construction of the Science Building, Olympic College's first permanent building (6/12/53). The Science Building is designed as an elementary school in the event the College does not continue in operation (President's Report 10/1/69).

1953 - Olympic College's mascot is cartooned and named "Joe Spivens" and appears in the May 15 edition of The Ranger. The first characterization of "Joe Spivens" is drawn by Jack Crouse, student newspaper advisor and art instructor.

1953 - The OC Alumni Association is formed (Ranger Roundup 12/11/54).

1954 - The first song leaders are Arlene Carter, Jackie Adkins, Dorthy Shellenbarger, and Mary Peaseley (9/54).

1954 - KOCB, the Olympic College radio station begins on campus (1955 Campus).

1954 - Fall enrollment is 2169 men and 501 women for a total of 2670. Of the men enrolled, 440 are academic transfer (full-time), 699 (part-time), and 1030 are vocational students. Of the 501 women, 141 are academic transfer (full-time, 139 (part-time), and 221 are vocational students (Ranger Roundup 11/11/54).

1955 - The first Faculty Handbook is published (9/55).

1955 - The Ranger Roundup (10/7/55) advertises a one-bedroom, furnished house for rent, all electric, on a bus line, for $57.50/month.

1956 - Students can buy an "Olympic Special" hamburger and shake (with all the trimmings) for .50 at The Ice Creamery in Bremerton (2/17/56).

1959 - The Four Freshmen appear in concert (1/8/59).

1960 - The Olympic College Theater, Science Building addition, and the English-Social Science building are dedicated (5/13/60).

1961 - Health examinations and a "personal information form" are required for admissions (9/61). The policy is rescinded in 1975. (Proof of immunization for admission is rescinded in 1981.)

1963 - The Navigator (Volume One), an arts journal, is published (4/63).

1963 - A special memorial edition of The Ranger is published to honor the late President John F. Kennedy, assassinated on 11/22/63 (11/27/63).

1964 - Lorraine Carter, Olympic College's first librarian finishes the "Olympic College Library History 1946-1964."

1967 - The Olympic College motto Cogita, Aspira, Aude, Perade (Think, Aspire, Dare, Achieve) appears in the student handbook for the first time.

1967 - An octopus is fished out of the Olympic College Library fountain pool (Bremerton Sun 4/7/67).

1967 - The first trustees for Community College District #3 (Kitsap and Mason Counties) are appointed by Governor Dan Evans. They are: Mrs. D.H. Attridge, Gordon Farrar, Jay Hamilton, Jack O'Neill, and Louis Soriano (Bremerton Sun 5/17/67).

1967 - The first Law Enforcement classes begin with 25 students enrolled (9/67).

1967 - Olympic College students are encouraged to join the Crazy Eric's 49er Club (popular burger restaurant) so they can purchase a deluxe beefy burger, fries, and jumbo Pepsi for .49 (with the presentation of their "card" stapled to paper).

1967 - "Students to Evaluate All OC Instructors," is the headline of an article in the student newspaper, The Ranger, on 11/3/76.

1968 - The Acid Test, an underground student magazine, is refused a City of Bremerton business license due to zoning violations (Bremerton Sun 1/12/68).

1968 - College President Dr. James D. Park resigns (Bremerton Sun 4/10/68).

1968 - ASOC president elect, Forrest "Frosty" Adkins, is expelled from Olympic College (4/26/68).

1968 - Armin Jahr, former Superintendent, dies of a heart attack at Providence Hospital in Seattle (age 64). He had acted as the Bremerton Superintendent of Schools for 21 years (Bremerton Sun 5/11/68).

1968 - The first Data Processing classes are held at Olympic College with 42 students enrolled (9/68).

1968 - Art, Theater, Technical, and Music Buildings are dedicated (10/10/68).

1970 - First class of registered nurses receive degrees at Olympic College (Bremerton Sun 6/4/70).

1970 - George W. Martin, Olympic College first registrar (1949- 66) dies. (Bremerton Sun 9/8/70).

1970 - Students begin to move into the new dormitory, portions of which are still unfinished. (Bremerton Sun 9/24/70).

1971 - "The Blacks" (first all-black cast/play) is presented at Olympic College. (Bremerton Sun 3/11/71).

1972 - Richard Norton is the first faculty member to receive tenure at Olympic College after the Washington State Community College Act takes effect.

1972 - Ron Richardson is the first student of African-American descent to be elected president of the Associated Students of Olympic College (ASOC). (Bremerton Sun 5/3/72).

1973 - Richard Bach, author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, lectures at Olympic College with an updated title of "Jonathan Livingston Seagull in 1973." (Bremerton Sun 10/9/73).

1973 - Olympic College opens the Day Care Center for children of Olympic College students in the basement of the First Baptist Church with a $5000 grant from ASOC funds to be matched by fees collected for "services rendered." (Bremerton Sun 10/19/73).

1976 - Comedian Steve Martin performs at Olympic College with the generous use of balloons. (The Ranger 11/4/76).

1978 - Mickey Mouse is awarded a Certificate of Appreciation for his presence at the Wenatchee Valley vs. Olympic College football game.

1978 - The Office of Women's Programs at OC begins offering information, referral services, and classes for displaced homemakers and single parents in the area (KC Dispatch, 6/15/90).

1979 - The Four Freshmen return in concert to Olympic College after 20 years. (Bremerton Sun 4/19/79).

1979 - Country-western singer Donna Fargo performs in concert at Olympic College. (Bremerton Sun 11/7/79).

1983 - Roosevelt Field is demolished. (Bremerton Sun 8/8/83).

1983 - Project Family and OC's Home and Family Life Program offers a series of lectures and films dealing with parenting, teenage problems, child abuse, and domestic violence (PO Independent, 9/28/83).

1983 - Herbie Mann, renown jazz flutist, performs in concert at Olympic College. (Bremerton Sun 11/4/83).

1984 - The 1960s group, The Association, performs in concert at Olympic College. (Kitsap County Herald 1/18/84).

1984 - Dizzy Gillespie, famous jazz trumpeter, performs at the end of the two-day Silver Anniversary Jazz Festival at Olympic College. (Bremerton Sun 5/11/84).

1985 - Sid Caesar performs at Olympic College in his "World of Comedy." (5/17/85).

1985 - Tammy Wynette appears in concert on the OC stage (11/14/85).

1987 - Fall quarter enrollment is 6,143 students, with 54% females and 46% male, and an average age of 31 years. Full-time faculty totals 110; part-time faculty is approximately 300, and there are 100 classified staff. The operating budget is $10,145,695 (1/13/88).

1987 - George Plimpton, author of "Paper Tiger," speaks at Olympic College (4/7/87).

1987 - OC's Office of Women's Programs begins offering The Women in Transition Program for displaced homemakers.

1989 - Lorraine Carter, OC's first librarian, dies (Bremerton Sun, 10/18/89).

1989 - The Student Association for Black Awareness holds their first meeting at Olympic College (KC Dispatch, 11/22/89).

1990 - Through a co-operative effort between Kitsap Transit and the Associated Students of Olympic College, OC students are granted unlimited rides on any Kitsap Transit or Paratransit bus by presenting a current student ID card (Bremerton Sun, 1/26/90).

1990 - The first Women of Color Conference is sponsored by OC's Office of Women's Programs (KC Dispatch, 2/14/90).

1990 - The Career Connection is held at Olympic College. This is the first comprehensive employment and career event in the west Puget Sound area (The Reporter, 5/2/90).

1990 - Olympic College hosts a concert of the Vienna Boys Choir (Bremerton Progress, 9/26/90).

1990 - Olympic College begins "Building for Our Future" Campaign to raise $1.5 million to construct a new building on the OC Shelton campus (KC Chronicle, 11/2/90).

1991 - Olympic College's Multi-Cultural Center receives an award from the Internal Revenue Service Hispanic Employment Committee. The Center is the first organization on the Olympic Peninsula to receive this award (KC Chronicle, 5/29/91).

1991 - Dr. Wallace A. Simpson, Olympic College president, and Harriet (Linda) Spencer, President of the Associate Students of Olympic College, receive the Advocate(s) For Equity Awards sponsored by the Trustees Association of Community Colleges (TACC) (KC Chronicle, 6/12/91).

1991 - Twenty-seven acres of land are donated by Simpson Timber for construction of Olympic College's Shelton campus.

1992 - Sponsored by the Counseling Center, Olympic College hosts the first High School Graduation ceremony for the 1991/92 year for 130 students (6/92).

1993 - Twenty acres of land are donated by the Olhava Family for construction of Olympic College's Poulsbo campus.

1994 - Olympic College offers a 2-Plus-2 Program which provides students the opportunity to earn business administration degrees through the University of Washington and Western Washington University (Bremerton Sun, 6/26/95).

1994 - As a result of Washington State's Workforce Employment and Training Act, Olympic College begins a Workforce Training Program. When the program starts in Winter 1994, 180 students are served, 66% of which are dislocated workers.

1995 - A new, phase-one building is completed on the OC Shelton campus. This addition expands educational opportunities for up to 1000 students in Mason County.

1995 - OC's Automotive Instructional Center relocates to a new site across from the OC main campus (Bremerton Sun, 4/14/95). It is later renamed the Bremer Automotive Technology Center.

1995 - A full-service OC Shelton campus opens (Shelton-Mason County Journal, 5/25/95).

1995 - The Washington State Legislature awards Olympic College funding to implement the first phase of building on OC's Poulsbo campus (Bremerton Sun, 5/25/95).

Note: This timeline was excerpted from "Time After Time," a soft-cover book written in celebration of Olympic College's 50th Anniversary. Printing was paid courtesy of a Bremer Grant. Remaining copies are free and may be requested through Public Information Services. Contact Amanda Gebhardt-Fuentes via e-mail: agebhardtfuentes@olympic.edu.