Downtown Campus celebrating big 4-0

By JAMIE MAESE

Pima Community College opened the doors of Downtown Campus in 1974 to provide a “gem of an education in the heart of downtown” to thousands of students in Tucson.

During that time, students have achieved many dreams and overcome many challenges.

Sylvia Lee, a longtime PCC administrator who now serves on the college’s governing board, attended classes at Downtown Campus in 1977.

“It has changed so much, especially structurally,” Lee said.

She worked as a student aide in the financial aid department, and also worked for a “dean of the dark” who managed night classes.

“Downtown has been transformed into this incredible urban campus, and it is incredibly diverse and full of life,” Lee said. “The location of it really brings different variety of culture and people to the campus.”

Pat Houston, academic dean for science and communication arts, will host a 40th anniversary celebration for Downtown Campus on Nov. 15 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

The free community-wide birthday bash is for past, present and future members of the Downtown Campus family, Houston said.

Activities will include a wide variety of food trucks, children’s games, cookie decorating and a “show us your moves” dance contest. DJ Richie Rich will spin tunes from the past four decades.

Former Pima student Randall Rehak, more popularly known as R Dub from the internationally syndicated Sunday Night Slow Jams radio show, will emcee.

Rehak moved to Tucson as a teen, and attended PCC classes off and on for years. He returned in earnest in 2009-2011, then transferred to the University of Arizona to complete his degree.

“I am super excited to be back in Tucson, and so honored that they thought of me to be at this event,” Rehak said via telephone from his San Diego home.

“I like to joke that I went to Pima for 20 years, because I sort of did, but ever since it has been near and dear to my heart,” he added.

Houston encouraged everyone who attended Downtown Campus to share favorite memories by emailing phouston@pima.edu.

“I am so excited for everyone to come to the birthday party,” Houston said. “R Dub is an amazing emcee and we have so many fun activities planned, and a ton of food.”

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