This Month in LAGCC History


Then AND Now
In 2011, LaGuardia Community College celebrates 40 years of opening the doors of higher learning to all. By challenging expectations and daring to do more everyday, LAGCC is at the forefront of momentous shifts in the landscape of higher education in the 21st century. Now, as we did then, we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger.


LaGuardia Community College celebrates 40 years of challenging expectactions

February 5, 1973

February 5, 1973 –
Acclaimed African American novelist John A. Williams joins the faculty in the Division of Language and Culture as a Distinguished Professor. The appointment is the first in CUNY history to be made at a two-year college.

Today, LaGuardia faculty who hold Ph.D.s outnumber their community college peers by more than two to one. Every day, LaGuardia faculty uses their classrooms as labs of innovation where students can safely test, explore and experiment with knowledge conceptually and practically. Faculty guides students to move beyond their comfort zones so they can imagine new opportunities and create amazing futures for themselves.

Visit the events page of the 40th Anniversary website, 40 Years of Challenging Expectations to learn more about the African American Read-In sponsored by the Black Literature Series Committee, a time-honored, annual LaGuardia event in celebration of Black History Month, where LaGuardians will read selections from the works of former LaGuardia English Distinguished Professor John A. Williams and AfroLatino author Piri Thomas.

January 13, 1985

In the winter of 1985, ACE's Adult Career Counseling and Resource Center opened. Within six years, the Center was the only one of its kind in Queens and the largest in CUNY.

Today, LaGuardia's Division of Adult and Continuing Education continues to meet the educational, training and resource needs of job seekers and small businesses with not only the Career Development Center -the renamed forerunner of the College's early efforts to positively impact the economy- but also through such programs as the Workforce1 Healthcare Career Center and the Goldman Sachs sponsored 10,000 Small Businesses initiative.

December 5, 1970

December 5, 1970 is a day that marks a special moment in LaGuardia Community College's proud history: The College's naming ceremony took place, establishing Community College Number Nine as Fiorello H. LaGuardia Community College, in honor of New York's most popular mayor, "The Little Flower." LaGuardia was the first community college within CUNY to be named after such a prestigious historical figure. From the beginning, and in more than name only, we were destined to be unique.

Why Fiorello? Because no other 20th century American political figure embodies the LAGCC spirit: innovative, daring, idealistic and courageous.

November 16, 1981

Mayor Ed Koch declares the week beginning November 16 to be LaGuardia Community College week in honor of the College's tenth anniversary. During a celebration at the College, Marie LaGuardia, wife of Fiorello, unveils a statue of her husband to be installed on campus. That same day, the M building is formally dedicated with a public ribbon cutting ceremony.

October 16, 1970

The New York City Board of Higher Education officially names Community College Number Nine Fiorello H. LaGuardia Community College, making the College the first two-year CUNY institution named after a person.

Fall 1971

LaGuardia's first catalog is printed. Nine majors are offered: Liberal Arts and Sciences, Business Management, Business Administration, Accounting, Data Processing, offering a Machine Operations Option and a Programming and Systems Option; Secretarial Science offering an Executive Option and a Legal Option; and Education Associate.

September 22, 1971

First day of classes; LaGuardia's first freshman class consists of 537 students, 312 women and 225 men, of whom 72% are White, 19% are Black, 6% are Puerto Rican, 0.8% are Asian, 0.2% are Native American; 3% describe themselves as "Other" and 44 are foreign-born. The majority of students reside in Western Queens.

Taken from our 40th anniversary timeline, these monthly selections reflect what made us a national model for community colleges, and how we continue to build on our legacy of innovation and excellence today.