About HACC

HACC History

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HACC History

On Feb. 14, 1964, HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, became the first community college in Pennsylvania. Our mission is “Creating opportunities and transforming lives to shape the future - TOGETHER.”

Our FoundersFor more than 50 years, we have grown and expanded to include campuses in Gettysburg, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lebanon and York as well as a robust online education program. HACC now offers approximately 120 associate degree, certificate and diploma programs. Study abroad opportunities also are available.

HACC has become one of the largest undergraduate colleges in Pennsylvania. We have nearly 19,000 students enrolled in credit programs and 6,000 students enrolled in noncredit programs.

Important events in HACC’s history are shown below. Please view and download “50 Years of HACC History” for more information.

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    1964

  • Feb. 14, 1964
     

    Harrisburg Area Community College became the first community college in Pennsylvania when it opened in the former Harrisburg Academy on Second Street. Shortly after opening, the College enrolled 426 students and offered 16 programs for the fall semester.

  • April 4, 1964
     

    HACC merged with Hershey Junior College.

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    1965

  • March, 1965
     

    The College purchased a 157-acre landfill in Wildwood Park from the City of Harrisburg for $1.

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    1966

  • April 16, 1966
     

    Old LibraryGround is broken for a $3.5-million project to create the Wildwood Campus. This is now designated as HACC’s Harrisburg Campus.

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    1967

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    HACC became the first community college in Pennsylvania to be accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

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    The buildings now known as McCormick Library, Blocker Hall and Stabler Hall were completed and the College moved to the Wildwood Campus (Harrisburg Campus).

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    1968

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    The Wildwood Campus (Harrisburg Campus) opened what is now the Bruce E. Cooper Student Center. The building’s name honors one of HACC’s founders.

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    1969

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    Whitaker Hall, formerly South Hall, opened and was dedicated in honor of Uncas Aeneas and Helen Whitaker by the Whitaker Foundation, one of the College’s benefactors.

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    HACC opened the associate degree Nursing Program with 28 students.

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    1970

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    HACC’s Harrisburg Campus added the Evans Physical Education Center, named in honor of James W. Evans, one of the College’s founders.

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    1972

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    The College began offering workforce and economic development classes.

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    1974

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    HACC marked its 10th anniversary with a fall enrollment of 4,380 students.

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    In honor of HACC’s 10th birthday celebration, the Rose Lehrman Arts Center at HACC’s Harrisburg Campus was dedicated, establishing cultural programs for the College and community. Early performers included prominent jazz musicians of the day, Dave Brubeck and Sons and Woody Herman and the Young Thundering Herd.

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    1977

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    The Overholt Bookstore opened at HACC’s Harrisburg Campus. Maurice Overholt, HACC’s first staff employee, was the College’s first dean of students and business manager.

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    1984

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    HACC marked its 20th anniversary with a fall enrollment of 6,886 students.

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    The John N. Hall Technology Center opened at HACC’s Harrisburg Campus.

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    1985

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    HACC established the HACC Foundation to support College development.

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    1987

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    The Helen Y. Swope Carillon Clock is erected at HACC’s Harrisburg Campus in honor of one of HACC’s founding trustees and its long-time board secretary. Swope also is one of the founders of the Pennsylvania Federation of Community College Trustees, a state advocacy organization that now works with the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges.

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    HACC began offering distance education and enrolled 317 students for the program. Courses were delivered using VHS tapes.

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    1988

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    HACC’s Harrisburg Campus opened its Public Safety Training Center.

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    1989

  • Three months after opening in August 1989
     

    HACC’s Lebanon Campus was destroyed by fire. Efforts to rebuild HACC’s Lebanon Campus began immediately.

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    HACC began offering classes in Lancaster to 362 students in the Burle Industries Business Park.

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    1990

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    MidtownHACC offered courses to more than 200 students in the basement of the Gettysburg Area School Administration Building. Then, it relocated to the Gettysburg Borough Fire Hall in 1990.

  • May, 1990
     

    The Lancaster Center was recognized as HACC’s Lancaster Campus by the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

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    1991

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    North Hall, a new building at the Public Safety Training Center at HACC’s Harrisburg Campus, opened.

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    1992

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    HACC’s Lebanon Campus opened after fire reconstruction, with 460 students ready to take classes.

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    Mumma Hall and a College Services Center opened at HACC’s Harrisburg Campus.

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    1997

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    The Gettysburg Center moved to newly expanded facilities in the old Ames store in the North Gettysburg Shopping Center along Old Harrisburg Road. With 457 students enrolled, it was designated by the Pennsylvania Department of Education as HACC’s Gettysburg Campus.

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    1998

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    HACC added online courses, and 120 students enrolled in them.

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    2000

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    The Public Safety Training Center at HACC’s Harrisburg Campus was renamed the Senator John J. Shumaker Public Safety Center.

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    2001

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    The Community Center for Technology and Arts (now known as Midtown 1) opened at Fourth and Reily streets in Harrisburg.

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    The Lancaster Campus moved to its current site on Old Philadelphia Pike in East Lampeter Township, with 1,603 students enrolled in credit courses.

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    2002

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    A healthcare learning center opened adjacent to HACC’s Harrisburg Campus. It now houses the expanded Nursing Program.

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    HACC’s Gettysburg Campus doubled in size.

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    2003

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    Penn Center in Harrisburg (formerly Polyclinic Hospital) opened and temporarily housed the College’s Nursing and Allied Health programs. Later, many of the College’s administrative services were housed at Penn Center.

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    HACC extended outreach into York County and offered classes at Dallastown Area and West York Senior high schools. These efforts drove HACC to open the York Center and enrolled 250 students in the first semester.

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    Harrisburg Area Community College’s trademarked name became “HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College.”

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    2004

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    HACC marked its 40th anniversary with 16,109 students enrolled.

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    Clock towerHACC’s Lancaster Campus opened the East building in response to increased enrollment. In August, 2,970 students attended the campus.

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    2005

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    York Center moved to 2010 Pennsylvania Ave. and enrolled 929 students.

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    HACC’s Harrisburg Campus opened the Select Medical Health Education Pavilion, which houses the rapidly growing Health Careers programs.

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    2007

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    The York Center was recognized as a campus by the Pennsylvania Department of Education, with a total fall enrollment of 1,831 students.

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    HACC opened the Midtown 2 site, which is part of the Midtown Trade and Technology Center.

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    2009

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    The Gettysburg Campus completed a multimillion-dollar, award-winning expansion.

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    2012

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    HACC’s long history of intramural sports teams reached a major benchmark as its athletics program joined the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), Region 19 and established the College’s first Sports Hall of Fame.

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    2013

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    Virtual Learning offered 10 fully online degree programs including Business Administration, Business Management, Communications, Business Studies, General Studies, Health Science, Marketing, Philosophy, Social Sciences and Technology Studies (degree and certificate).

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    2014

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    HACC celebrated its 50th anniversary, with approximately 21,000 students enrolled.

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    HACC launched a new brand, YOURS, to increase awareness of the oldest community college and engage prospective students.

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    HACC Today

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    BlockerToday, HACC is proud to offer:
    • Well-equipped laboratories and studios
    • Modern, well-maintained campuses
    • Quality programs and services

HACC's reputation reflects the quality and dedication of our faculty and staff. We are committed to meeting YOUR needs and the communities and students we serve.

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