Seattle Central College kicks off 50 years of being central to the community for education and social activism


Media Contact:
David Sandler, Director of Communications


Sept. 22 celebration will feature a march to the college’s front doors followed by a ceremonial “reopening” of campus for the next 50 years

Seattle Central College, a fixture of education and career training in the city, is celebrating its 50th anniversary throughout the upcoming academic year. To kick off this special year, the college is inviting the public to join current and former students, faculty and staff for a community-wide celebration on Thursday, Sept. 22, recognizing Seattle Central’s unique history and tradition of education and social activism.

“Throughout our five decades of history, Seattle Central College has been central to delivering quality and accessible higher education to the city’s diverse communities,” said Sheila Edwards Lange, Ph.D, president of Seattle Central College. “In addition to educating generations of Seattleites, we pride ourselves on being at the forefront of significant social movements that have shaped this dynamic city.”

Since its founding in 1966, Seattle Central’s students, faculty and staff have been vocal advocates for social change, and the campus has served as a gathering place for community demonstrations and free speech.

The event on Sept. 22 will honor this rich history of education and activism with a march from the Egyptian Theater, through campus, and ending in the South Plaza; attendees are encouraged to bring signs and placards from protests of years’ past as a tribute to Seattle Central’s tradition. The march will culminate with a “reopening” of the campus for the next 50 years by President Edwards Lange.

Following the ceremony, attendees are invited to celebrate the college’s legacy of activism with a variety of engaging activities. Five stations will highlight the college’s connection to significant social movements during each decade of the college’s history, and community members will have the opportunity to share their memories of Seattle Central through a video booth and other media.

“As we look forward to the next 50 years, we will make sure that anyone seeking affordable and accessible undergraduate education has a place at Seattle Central College,” continued President Edwards Lange.

The 2016-17 academic year marks Seattle Central College’s 50th year of operation. It began in September of 1966 as the city’s first two-year college, filling a large unmet need for affordable and accessible higher education for residents of Seattle. Approximately 500,000 students have attended the college, using the education and training here to transfer to a four-year university, prepare for a new career, learn basic skills, and more.


WHAT:  Celebration of Seattle Central College “50 Years of being Central to Social Impact,” featuring:

  • Community march
  • “Reopening” of the college by President Sheila Edwards Lange
  • Displays honoring the college’s connection to social movements by decade
  • Engaging opportunities for guests to share their Seattle Central memories

WHERE:  Seattle Central College, 1701 Broadway, Seattle, WA  98122

WHEN:  10:20 a.m. – March begins at the northwest corner of Broadway and Pine streets

WHO:  The event is open to the public. All members of the media are welcome to attend.