Many Memories of Kodiak College Over 40 Years


Jay Barrett/KMXT

Kodiak College is wrapping up its year-long 40th Anniversary celebration with an open house on Friday. At the event will be many people who were there at the inception of what was then Kodiak Community College. Two of them, Bev Horn and Marion Johnson were on KMXT’s Talk of the Rock Tuesday, along with Sue Jeffrey and current college director, Barb Bolson.

At the time, the college was conceived by the Kodiak Island Borough School District, and Horn and Johnson were members of the school board. The board voted to create the community college, and voted to select the first director. Johnson remembered how they settled on Carolyn Floyd – who later became mayor – and how the college grew in those early years:

(College 1 48 sec "We were asked to … job of designing the campus.")

The first year the school was in operation, 1968, students took classes at Kodiak High School, which is now the middle school. There were 95 students spread among eight classes. Now there are hundreds of students taking classes that fill an entire catalog. And according to Jeffrey and Bolson, the budget has also changed dramatically in that time:

(College 2 30 sec "I think it was 1970 … couldn’t pay one of our lab tutors.")

Horn said then, just like today, there are a lot of immigrant students taking English as a second language:

(College 3 :35 sec "I can remember when … technologically focused.")

Jeffrey recalled some of the more practical voc-ed classes she took:

(College 4 48 sec "You know, it’s funny … never get tired of them.")

Bolson added that the academics of the school have also advanced, and that the nursing program boasts a 100-percent hire rate among its graduates.

The open house at Kodiak College will be from 4 to 6 p.m. on Friday afternoon, and then an evening program with the University of Alaska string ensemble performing. University President Mark Hamilton will also be in attendance, and other locals with long-time ties to the college will reminisce. Best of all, it’s all open to the public.


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