Genesee Community College History

Genesee Community College has a unique foundation story. It was a child of the community. It began in 1963 when the Batavia Jaycees decided to conduct a survey that would determine how the people of Genesee County felt about establishing a college in the community. In 1964 the Jaycees reported to the Board of Supervisors that there was "a desire for a community college; a need for a community college; the financial ability to support a college; favorable economic growth; a population increase, and; sufficient student population for a college" ("A Reflection of Genesee," 2007). The people of Genesee County were, in general, supportive of the idea of building a college. They knew that it would increase traffic through the town which would in turn stimulate the local economy. The college would create jobs and help increase the population as people moved to the area for school and work. They also recognized that there were people within their community that would like to further their education, but it was not feasible for them to attend schools that were further away and more expensive.

A previous survey had reported that, based on the population, the student population would stay at or below 175 people. The citizens of Genesee County were the ones that voted "Yes" to the college in November 1965 by a margin of over 1,400 votes. Little did the original founders know that their original 75-student, one-campus college would expand to another six campuses and 6,600 students.

This collection is important because Genesee Community College became one of only two voter-established community colleges in New York State. This digital collection of 49 items features Genesee Community College from its inception to the graduation of some of the first graduates. It highlights the construction of the College Road campus in Batavia, as well as students unwinding and playing football in the snow, and shows the steady progress of the building and development of the College as a whole, amid the transitions in leadership of the College during its continual growth.

Collection owners: Genesee Community College