CHAPTER FOUR The Latter Years

The Latter Years
September of 1964 saw the enrollment of Temple Jr. College rise to
a total of 814 students in the day school. Passage of the $500,000 bond
election in 1964 prompted construction of much needed buildings on
campus. The Newton Science Building, and the Hubert M. Dawson
Library opened in 1965. Both buildings, complete with air conditioning
were constructed at a total cost of $165,000 (Farrell 33).
In 1967 the Arnold Student Union Building was opened. (See Fig.
19) This building was named for Miss Mozella (See Fig. 20) and Miss
Marian Arnold (See Fig. 21) who had taught English at Temple Junior
College for many years. Mozella also served as chairman of the English
Department and as Dean of Women. This building contained a snack
bar, cafeteria, faculty dining room, bookstore, game room, general
meeting room, lobby, and a mezzanine that contained two faculty offices,
a publications room and was also used for television viewing.
Fig. 19. Arnold Student Union
Fig. 20. Miss Mozella Arnold
Fig. 21. Miss Marian Arnold
During this time, a contract was signed to begin construction of Watson
Technical Building (Fig. 22) named for Miss Gracie Watson, (See Fig. 23)
chairman of the Business Department (Farrell 34). The completion of the
Watson Technical Building costing a total of $300,000, provided the
offerings of five new programs in the technical and vocational fields. The
new programs were auto-mechanics, air-conditioning-refrigeration, radio
and tv-maintenance and repair, computer science, mid-management and
Fig. 22 Watson Technical Building
Fig. 23. Miss Gracie Watson
At this time programs in Clinical Laboratory Technician and Bio-Medical
Technician were also developed and scheduled to begin registering
students in the fall semester of 1969. In September of 1969 TJC had a
total of 1167 students, which showed an increase of 65 students over the
previous years enrollment (Leopard Tales (LT) 1). According to Dr. G. V.
Brindley, a member of the Coordinating Board, Texas College and
University System, the junior college system was the fastest growing area
of education in Texas (LT 3).
As the war in Vietnam raged on, the college acquired an additional
seventy-three acres of surplus Veterans Affairs (VA) properties. This
property was adjacent to and east of the original thirty-two acres. This
acreage later contained a golf course, baseball diamond, gymnasium,
archery range, and swimming pool. In 1970 the voters of Temple
approved a $1,500,000 bond issue that was to be used for a Health and
Physical Education Building, a Fine Arts Building, with an estimated cost
of $550,000, and the air conditioning of the Administration Building and
Berry Hall (LT 1). The Health and Physical Education Building opened
on the East campus in the spring of 1972. (See Fig. 24) It housed a
basketball court, two handball courts, a weightlifting area, a swimming
pool, locker and shower rooms, three classrooms and faculty offices and
cost a total of $716,000 (LT 2). The Fine Arts Building opened in
September of 1972. (See Fig. 25) It contained a 1200 seat auditorium
called the Mary Alice Marshall Fine Arts Auditorium, named for Mrs.
Mary Alice Marshall who taught music and led the Temple Junior College
choir from 1955 to 1973. (See Fig. 26) Mrs. Marshall said, “I was the
music department. I taught choir, music theory, and music
appreciation.” “To interest students in the choir program, I would walk
down the lines of registration, which was then held in the library, and
ask, ‘can you carry a tune in a bucket if I furnish the bucket?’” At the
time, the choir was also the recruiting arm of the college. In one nine
month period, the TJC choir performed 100 programs all over Central
Texas (Marshall 2001). The building also included a small theatre,
named the Jackson-Graeter Backstage Theatre that would seat 125, and
facilities for speech, music, and art instruction. Mr. and Mrs. John A.
Jackson of Dallas, both graduates of TJC, furnished the backstage
theatre and established a scholarship fund named in honor of Mrs.
Jackson’s father, O.A. Graeter Sr. of Temple. On November 6, 1973,
Governor of Texas, Dolph Briscoe and the First Lady of Texas were in
Temple to dedicate the Jackson-Graeter Backstage Theatre (LT 1973).
Fig. 24. Physical Education Building
Fig. 25 Fine Arts Building
Fig. 26. Mrs. Mary Alice Marshall
The years of 1971 – 72 were full of changes for the administration,
faculty and students of Temple Junior College. A grant in the amount of
$135,000 from the Moody Foundation for the establishment of a core
curriculum for Allied Health Science courses was received, establishing
new programs in respiratory therapy, medical technology, and medical
records. In September of 1971 the baccalaureate degree program in
computer science was established in cooperation with Mary HardinBaylor College and the college initiated a two-year program in law
enforcement. In 1971, women faculty and administration personnel were
permitted to wear pantsuits for the first time in the history of the college.
Miss Irene Haag, Dean of Women, laid out a dress code for female staff
members. “Hot pants, short shorts, PJ’s or pajama type outfits are not
permitted on campus. This also goes for blue jeans and t-shirts.
Tailored slacks and blouses, pantsuits, and colotte skirts may be worn.
Dresses worn at a reasonable length and appropriate for school are
admissible.” (LT 3) Also in 1971, H.C. Farrell, then Dean of the college,
began giving parking tickets to anyone whose vehicle was improperly
parked on campus lots. Tickets were $1 each and had to be paid within
five days of receipt, after that, the cost doubled (LT 2) .
The summer of 1973 brought with it a nationwide energy crisis.
U.S. President, Richard Nixon stated in his first energy message that the
crisis was not a sign of our poverty, but a result of our wealth. Nixon
stated, “We are finding energy reserves, especially oil, to be in short
supply because of our increased demands for energy. This holds
especially true for the U.S. where one-sixth of the world’s population
consumes half it’s energy.”
Dr. Hubert Dawson retired from the presidency in July of 1973.
Dr. Marvin R. Felder was then selected as the eighth President of Temple
Junior College. (See Fig. 27) In his convocation speech on September 18,
1973, Dr. Marvin R. Felder commented that “Temple Junior College can
look back with a great deal of pride as she begins her 48th consecutive
year of operation. The new president then said: “The student body will
have more influence on the future of TJC than any other single variable.”
He cautioned students not to become so grade conscious that they fail to
contribute to their school or to become so wrapped up in activities that
they become academic dropouts. Felder also charged the faculty with
finding effective ways to cause students to learn what the faculty
members know (LT 1).
Fig. 27. Dr. Marvin R. Felder
Shortly after taking office and in response to the energy crisis, Dr.
Felder called for measures aimed at reducing energy consumption by
Temple Junior College. Beginning efforts included setting classroom
thermostats at 68 degrees. Lights in classrooms and offices were to be
turned out when not in actual use. The level of lighting in all areas
where reduction would not interfere with learning and/or safety and
security would be reduced. School business trips were to be held to a
minimum, with writing or phoning to replace some trips. All state
agencies were required to make a monthly report to the governor’s office
of the consumption of natural gas, electricity, gasoline, and amount of
money spent for air travel, and the number of miles traveled by college
personnel. Dr. Felder stated that if the crisis lasted four or five years, a
change in the schedule might be planned (LT 2). During his
administration, a complete administrative reorganization occurred. The
academic area of the college was divided into seven divisions. The
Technical-Vocational area was divided into thirteen program areas. In
the fall semester of 1973, the Electronic Data Processing Department
(EDP), under the direction of Mr. Garnett Frazier, became one of the few
colleges in the state to offer “hands-on” computer time with the purchase
of an IBM System 360. The faculty of the EDP department felt that the
only way a student could learn to use a computer was to actually run it
themselves (LT 4).
The November 1973 meeting of the board of regents resulted in
permission being given to Dr. Felder to contact McClennan Community
College (MCC) in Waco to find out if the two schools could cooperate to
better serve area students in the allied health sciences. This resulted in
Dr. Felder spearheading an Allied Health Program consortium with MCC.
With students now having to cross South First Street to get to their
classes in the newly completed Physical Education Building, a pedestrian
overpass was constructed in 1973. The overpass was designed by a
former TJC student, Tom Kelley, Jr., and was placed on the south end of
the campus to give students a safe way to cross South First Street, which
had been paved only four years earlier (LT 1). Another new edition to
the Temple Junior College campus in 1973 were the dorms. (See Fig. 28)
The building, the first of its type to be officially proposed in TJC history,
was to be sited between the Arnold Student Union and Fifth Street. The
yet unfinished co-ed dormitory opened its doors on September 4 to
student’s wishing to live on campus with a maximum capacity of 126
residents (LT 3). Construction on the dorm would continue for several
more days after students moved in. Dr. Felder said, “We had a choice of
either moving the students into the unfinished dorm or telling them to
wait. The latter would have been the greater hardship so we told them to
go ahead and move in.” (LT 3)
Fig. 28. Dormitory
On November 16, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of
1974 was passed. This act allowed parents and students over eighteen
the right to inspect all school records pertaining to them or their child. It
also required schools and colleges to hold hearings if the contents were
questioned and to correct any errors in the contents of the student’s file.
Educational institutions were at the same time prohibited as to the
amount of information on a particular student outside of official
educational channels they could gather without the parent or student’s
permission. According to Temple Junior College Registrar Charles Stout,
the Buckley amendment, as it was named, after the bill’s sponsor,
Senator James l. Buckley (I-NY), would not change the procedure in his
office. Stout said, “Students have always been relatively free to inspect
their records and have always had access to them.” Most of the
information in the student’s folders were high school transcripts, ACT or
SAT test scores, college grades, applications to TJC, and financial aid
applications. Some folders contained additional data pertaining to a
particular student, but all of it was open to the student to inspect (LT 3).
The spring semester of 1974 also brought some changes for the
faculty of TJC. A faculty council was formed whose function would be to
keep open the channels of communication between the faculty and
administration and to promote the highest standards in teaching and to
help solve teaching problems. Membership was open to all professional
educators under contract to TJC who have a teaching load of six
semester hours or more and to professional librarians and counselors
(LT 1).
In February of 1975 the TJC library opened its doors to students
and the general public on Sundays from 2 – 6 P.M. This would allow
students the opportunity to complete research and the general public to
browse through the many volumes the library had to offer. The fall
semester of 1975 opened to an enrollment increase of twenty-six percent
over the previous year. At this time, the average age of TJC freshmen
was nineteen (LT 2). House Bill 696 which was passed by the 64th
Legislature would later help lead to an increase in that age. This bill
permitted a person 65 or over to audit a credit course or take a
continuing education course at absolutely no charge. The Board of
Regents of TJC took advantage of this bill and made classes available to
people in the area. Classes were offered on a space available basis and
senior citizens were not required to take tests, do homework or attend
classes regularly (LT 5).
The highlight of the 1975-76 school year came in the form of a
basketball game played on Saturday, March 15, 1975. (See Fig. 29) This
was the first-ever National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA)
women’s basketball championship game. This game was played in
Overland Park, Kansas between the Temple Junior College Leopardettes
and the Northern Iowa Area Community College Lady Trojans. The
Leopardettes trailed the Trojans by six points with 1:32 left to play. A
rally by Temple ended in a basket with five seconds left, giving the
Leopardettes a 59-58 victory, allowing the women to bring home the only
national basketball title for Temple Junior College (TDT 1).
Fig. 29. 1975-76 Championship Basketball Team
Early in the fall of 1977, changing the name of TJC was a topic of
business in a meeting of the faculty council. A committee to study the
subject was formed the previous year with minimal results. The main
reasons for changing the name of the college were: Keeping up with
current trends of college names; eliminating a suggestion of inferiority to
four-year colleges from the name “junior”; and giving the college a name
more befitting it’s role and benefit in the community. “Thus far, the two
best name change possibilities are Temple Community College and
Temple College,” said Weldon Cannon, name change committee
chairman (LT 4).
The fall of 1977 brought another change to the campus. For the
first time in history, there were more women than men enrolled in U.S
colleges and universities. Dr. Robert Freske of Arizona State University
attributes the trend to increased career opportunities for women, the
women’s movement, low tuition at community colleges and that many
women are waiting longer after high school to get married (LT 2).
To help cope with the growing enrollment in vocational-technical
courses at Temple Junior College, a $637,242 bid for the construction of
a Vo-Tech Administration building was accepted by the college trustees
(Fig. 30). This amount was $164,213 (35%) more than had been
expected. To help explain the need for this expense, Dr. Felder,
president of the college, told the trustees that enrollment in vocationaltechnical courses had increased 25% while enrollment in academic
courses had dropped about 1%. This building would contain new
classrooms and laboratories for vocational-technical students and would
house administrative offices on the second floor (LT 1). In 1977,
construction was also completed on a $105,342 maintenance building,
which included a warehouse and storage space for custodial supplies.
(Fig. 31) This building replaced an old war surplus building that had
housed the maintenance operation (LT 5). (See Fig. 32)
Fig. 30. Administration Building
Fig. 31. New Maintenance Building
Fig. 32. War Surplus Building
Every ten years colleges and universities must pass inspection by
the Association of Schools and Colleges (SASC) to remain accredited
schools. Temple Junior College, a member of the southern region of the
association, was to be inspected in the fall of 1978. The board consisted
of eight to twelve out-or-state experts who work with the faculty and
administration in reviewing the school’s curriculum, library, grounds,
and students. After completion of the inspection, TJC administrators
hear a verbal report from the SASC board members. A written report
recommends whether TJC will remain or be discontinued as an
accredited school. Preparation for this visit by SASC began months
before the team was actually on campus. Dr. Marvin Felder appointed a
committee to study every aspect of the college from course outlines to the
college catalog (LT 3). The college passed the SASC visit.
During the spring of 1980 the feasibility of erecting two classrooms
in the West Gym was discussed. This change would give more
vocational-technical space for the 1980-81 school year. The plan was to
move drafting out of the Watson Technical building to allow more space
for EDP and Electronics Technology (Temple Junior College Board of
Trustees Meeting (TJCBTM) 2). The spring of 1980 also witnessed Board
recommendation for a 13.5% average increase in faculty salaries (See
appendix C) and a 10-14% increase in administrative, professional and
technical salaries.
Energy conservation became a topic of discussion again in late
1979. The administration and Board of TJC discussed the possibility of
a shortened school week to help curb energy consumption. During the
summer of 1980, the four-day school week became a reality. It was
designed to save money for community students. Ninety-five percent of
Temple Junior College students lived off campus and fifty percent of
those live outside of the school district. This new shorter week would
prevent them from having to drive into Temple on Friday and would also
give them the opportunity to work more hours at their job.
The fall semester of 1980 saw the demise of the Templar. The
Templar, Temple Junior Colleges yearbook, had been in existence since
the college opened in 1926. In the beginning, the college yearbook was
located at the back of the Temple High School yearbook. Many reasons
could be given but apparent lack of student interest was noted as the
main one for this fifty-four year tradition to come to an end (LT 1).
Temple Junior College received Texas Education Agency (TEA)
approval for an Extrication School for Emergency Medical Technicians in
1981. This was thought to be the first school of it’s kind in the nation
(TJCBTM 3). In February of 1981, the Board of Trustees approved a
four-part $1.3 million expansion program for TJC. A twenty thousand
square foot structure was to be built over the old VA swimming pool.
This building would house the nurse education program on the first
floor, and the second floor would be available for further expansion. The
pool reservoir would be used to provide solar heat for the building. The
Nursing Education Building was dedicated on November 10, 1982. (See
Fig. 33) The plan also included the remodeling of the West Gym to
accommodate electronics, and radio and television repair programs
(LT 2).
Fig. 33. Nursing Education Building
In the spring semester of 1982, the TJC Foundation was organized
and received a certificate of incorporation that would allow donors to give
contributions that would be tax exempt and not open to the public. The
Board of Trustees of Temple Junior College studied charters from fortyseven different schools, of which four had foundations. The Board
wanted the purpose of the Foundation to be something other than a taxexempt issue, and found that in addition to the advantage of
guaranteeing a donor restricted use of his funds, that the foundation
would also be recognized as a legitimate fund raiser. The foundation
would not actively solicit money from anyone but instead would work on
a one-to-one basis with members of the community. Dr. Marvin Felder,
President of TJC stated, “The foundation would not be used for things
the taxpayers are currently responsible for. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if
someday no students were turned away from TJC because of lacking
adequate funds.” (LT 1) The Surgical Technology Program was
approved in the spring of 1982 and would begin enrolling students in the
fall semester. This would be a one-year program with students doing
their clinical portion in area hospitals (TJCBTM 2).
On May 17, 1982 the Board voted to discontinue the Women’s
Intercollegiate Golf Program. Dr. Felder explained that TJC had no other
choice since there would be no one to compete against on the Jr. College
level. Dr. Felder stated that in 1983 there would be no other junior
colleges in Texas offering a women’s golf program (TJCBTM 3).
The fall semester of 1982 brought with it a Board approved
increase in student tuition & fees. (See Appendix D) This new fee
schedule would also have new fee structures to put TJC in compliance
with State requirements (TJCBTM 2).
The Temple Junior College Board of Trustees approved the
Mandatory Assessment of Student Abilities Program (MASAP) at their
January 17, 1983 meeting. To this point in time, TJC used ACT test
results to counsel students, but not all students had test results when
they came to register. The MASAP would allow the college to administer
a testing program so all students would have scores on file before they
registered for classes (TJCBTM 2).
On Valentine’s Day 1985, the faculty and administrators of TJC
were getting ready to assemble in the backstage theater of the Fine Arts
Building when several students and faculty members heard shots ring
out. Many thought that it was just blanks being used by the drama
department but decided to check on the situation. What they found
would lead to events that were not soon forgotten. About 2:45 that
afternoon, a man Temple police later described as a stranger to town,
entered a small unoccupied teachers’ office area in the southeast corner
of the Fine Arts building and began ransacking purses. The man was
caught by a speech instructor and a management instructor who
challenged him. The man drew a .22–caliber revolver and shot one of the
women as she escaped through the front door of the building. He also
shot the other instructor once as she tried to escape and a second time,
which he claimed to be an accident. The man forced the injured
instructor into a nearby office and barricaded the doors where he held
her for 3 ½ hours. Negotiations with the gunman began and were
continued throughout the ordeal. Officers unlocked the office door at
5:45 p.m. after hearing a shot in the area to find the gunman slumped
on the floor, unconscious with a gunshot wound in the mid-chest. The
gunman and the instructor were both transported to a local hospital
where the gunman later died from his injuries (TDT 1). This incident
shocked and scared the entire population of the normally quiet
institution. One student admitted, “This is the kind of thing that’s
supposed to happen at the big universities, not a place like TJC.”
(TDT 1)
Enrollment at TJC had been declining for several semesters and
the June 1985 meeting of the Board of Trustees resulted in another
increase in student tuition and fees and other student charges to help
offset this decrease (TJCBTM 3). In the fall of 1985 enrollment figures
were down 7%; predictions had been only 3½%. A point had been
reached in the development of the college where a board policy would be
useful in dealing with personnel matters concerning reductions in faculty
positions. (See Appendix E) The policy would not affect administrators or
classified personnel. The proposed Retrenchment Policy would be a joint
effort of the Professional Consultation Committee meeting with Dr. Felder
over a long period of time trying to determine how to serve the institution
first and then the livelihood of people working for TJC. Dr. Felder felt the
strength of the proposed policy was two-fold. For tenured faculty, if they
had seniority, they had the job. For non-tenured faculty, decisions
would be based on ordered criteria as listed in the policy. Dr. Felder
stated that reduction in force would be an absolute last resort. The
college would use reassignment in every way possible and would only
reduce in force as a last ditch effort (TJCBTM 3).
The last ditch came three months later. Staff reductions had to be
made for the 1985-86 school year due to student decline. Four faculty
members were not reappointed, one faculty member was reassigned, two
faculty positions were reduced through attrition, one position reduced
due to program elimination. One counseling position was also eliminated
and thirteen contracts were shortened in length (TJCBTM 2). More staff
reductions occurred for the 1986-87 school year. Three faculty positions
were eliminated through attrition; two administrative positions had their
duties reduced by 40% and five Nursing instructors contracts were
reduced from twelve month to nine months (TJCBTM 2).
During the summer of 1986 the Board met in special called session
to discuss the operation of the Golf Course. The Golf Course on the TJC
property had been operated by the City of Temple. The city was now
taking over the operation of Sammons Golf Course and did not feel they
could oversee the operation of two courses. In September of 1986 the
Board approved operating the Golf Course as an Auxiliary Enterprise and
entered into an agreement with Mr. Paul Guillen to operate the course
(TJCBTM 1). (See Appendix F)
In early 1987 the Board discussed and approved changes in the
requirements for Associate in Arts and Associate in Applied Science
Degrees. (See Appendix G) The Southern Association of Colleges and
Schools (SACS) had recently adopted new requirements. Dr. Felder
stated that by adopting the new degree requirements, “TJC will be an
academic institution with high standards”. The new degree plans would
require a student to take one course in oral communications as well as a
basic core of general education courses. The Associate in Applied
Science Degree requirements would have students taking a minimum of
fifteen semester hours of general education courses in addition to
specialized technology courses. The changes would meet or exceed the
SACS criteria and coordinating Board rules and the new requirements
would give students a better over-all education (TJCBTM 2).
The decline in enrollment of the past several years slowly came to
an end with a 7% increase in the number of students attending summer
school in 1987, and a 25% increase in full-time enrollment in the Fall of
1987. In August of 1987 the 70th Legislature announced that
mandatory testing would be required for all entering freshmen by the fall
of 1989. The Texas Assessment Skills Program (TASP) would be a
diagnostic test for skills for entry into remedial, as opposed to collegiate,
level programs (TJCBTM 3). This led to the establishment of many
developmental courses to aid the students who failed to meet the
requirements of the TASP tests.
Wednesday November 6, 1991 began as any other day on the
campus of Temple Junior College. Students attended classes, visited the
library, the student center, attended labs, and met for conferences with
faculty. Around 1:30 in the afternoon, the day that had begun so
normally, took a sudden turn. A TJC student held the chairman of the
school’s sociology department hostage at gunpoint for more than three
hours. After hours of dialogue with the hostage and Temple police, the
student, apparently upset over a grade she received on a mid-term exam,
released the unharmed instructor. During the course of the stand-off, as
many as twenty-five Temple Police officers and SWAT team members,
twelve Department of Public Safety troopers and Texas Rangers
responded to the tense situation (TDT 1).
In late 1994, three Temple area dentists wanted to start a dental
hygiene program to increase the number of locally available hygienists.
During a Rotary meeting in early December 1994, the dentists suggested
the idea to the Dean of Instruction who was excited about the prospect of
offering this type of program at Temple Junior College. By August of
1995, the program had been accepted by the Texas Higher Education
Coordinating Board (THECB) and enrolled twelve students.
Dr. Marvin R. Felder, President of Temple Junior College for
twenty-two years, announced in September of 1994 his impending
retirement in August (TDT 1). On Monday, July 17, 1995, the Board of
Trustees bid Dr. Felder farewell. Dr. Felder stated, “He had always felt
fortunate to have been associated with the college. I have always felt
peculiarly fortunate to have this job… to work with people who have
achieved so much with limited direction and oversight. I couldn’t
imagine a job without having that many creative and intelligent people on
board. It’s been a real joy.” (TDT 1)
Temple Junior College began searching for it’s first new president
in 22 years after Dr. Marvin Felder announced his plans to retire. Dr.
Marc Nigliazzo was hired as his replacement and became the third
president to preside over the institution since it separated from the local
high school. (See Fig. 34) Dr. Nigliazzo came to Temple from Galveston
where he had served as president of Galveston College since 1991. Dr.
Nigliazzo stated, “The area (Temple) is growing and there is just a wealth
of opportunities for the college to be part of the community.” (TDT 1)
Fig. 34. Dr. Marc Nigliazzo
It took almost twenty years, but a topic of business at a faculty
council meeting in 1977, finally became a reality. In July of 1996,
Temple Junior College took on a new name, Temple College and a new
logo (TDT 1). College trustees voted to change the name in the fall of
1995 but put off changing the name officially because of the time it takes
to carry out the change. They decided to change the name because the
term “junior” was outdated and the new name better described the
college’s expanded mission as a full-service community college (TDT 1).
Since the mid 1980’s, Temple Junior College offered some college
credit courses in Taylor, Texas, a small community southeast of Temple.
Because of rapid growth, the community’s needs increased. An
educational center in Taylor would provide the training necessary to
develop a skilled workforce as well as increase the educational
opportunities of the people in Taylor and the surrounding communities.
In February of 1996, Dr. Marc Nigliazzo, president of Temple College
(formerly Temple Junior College) met with the superintendent of Taylor
ISD and was told the city wanted more than an occasional class. The
Taylor school board had instructed the superintendent to speak with
Austin Community College administrators about this issue also. After
the meeting in Taylor, Dr. Nigliazzo met with the TC trustees and told
them that TC had to respond to the needs of the community, because,
“We simply cannot afford to lose Taylor”. On April 8, 1996, the Taylor
ISD Board of Trustees adopted a resolution pledging their support along
with the administration and staff of the Taylor Independent School
District (TISD), to the Temple College at Taylor (TCAT) Center. A Taylor
Center subcommittee of thirty-five individuals was formed to lead this
endeavor. The long-range goal was to develop an educational center for
college level courses, as well as work force training.
In the summer of 1996, TC offered nine courses in Taylor at the
Taylor High School campus. By the fall of 1996 a total of twenty-four
courses were offered at the same location. In addition, four home study
courses were available via video check-out. During the entire process, a
permanent location for an educational center was being discussed. By
the summer of 1996, the TCAT subcommittee were looking into the
purchase of several possible sights, the old downtown HEB building, the
old Blazilmal Hotel, and the old West End School. The supermarket was
the subcommittees’ favorite choice, but because of the cost, they did not
feel the purchase of this facility was possible. By August of 1996, after
many letters to Charles Butt, CEO of HEB, from residents and
businessmen of Taylor, residents and businessmen of Temple, and
countless meetings, Mr. Butt decided to sell the 28,000 square-foot
grocery store building that had been closed three years earlier to the
TCAT Foundation for $200,000. The addition of an educational center in
Taylor would not raise local resident taxes. Taylor would not become
part of the college’s taxing district so all funds to buy and equip the
center had to be raised locally. Fund raising activities began
immediately to raise the money to help purchase and remodel the HEB
building. Plans were also underway to secure equipment and furniture
to properly provide the programs in Taylor. Members of the
subcommittee convinced IBM and TU Electric to donate over $125,000 in
equipment and furniture to the center. Fund raising events that
benefited TCAT were, Celebrate Taylor Day; custom-built Bar-B-Que Pit
raffle, collection jars in local businesses; Taylor Lions Club donations;
Pancake supper; art show and musical event provided by Temple College
music faculty; donations from local residents and Jail House Rock – an
event held at the newly completed Taylor Detention Center which
included a tour of the new correction facility, dinner, dancing,
breathalyzer tests for fun, mug shots, fingerprinting, and a t-shirt. The
evening ended for some with Slumber in the Slammer, an overnight
sleepover with breakfast provided by the Rotary Club. The community of
Taylor came together to support the TCAT center for the good of its entire
people and on September 15, 1997, Temple College At Taylor center was
opened. The grand opening of TCAT was held on November 24, 1997.
The First Lady of Texas, Mrs. Laura Bush (See Fig. 35) was the guest of
honor at this occasion and was presented with a Resolution of
Appreciation. Temple College Board of Trustees Meeting (TCBTM 1). In
honor of her attendance at the grand opening of the Taylor Center, the
Board of Trustees approved a proclamation that declared Monday,
November 24, 1997 as “Laura Bush Day”. The proclamation recognized
the Texas first lady’s considerable contributions to education and
support and interest for Taylor, Texas (TDT 1). (See Appendix H)
Fig. 35. First Lady of Texas, Mrs. Laura Bush
The potential for outsourcing the Temple College bookstore became
a topic of business at a late 1997 board meeting. In a letter to the Board,
Dr. Nigliazzo wrote that, as Temple College facilities and services are
upgraded, it was appropriate to consider, as many other Texas
community colleges had, the potential for outsourcing the bookstore as a
means of upgrading the facility, broadening the availability of bookstore
goods, and insuring steady financial return from bookstore sales while
retaining the services of a very competent staff. In October of 1997,
Texas Book Company was selected as the vendor to outsource the
Temple College Bookstore and given a five-year agreement (TCBTM 2).
In early 1998, Temple College officials began looking into the
possibility of adding two more women’s athletic programs and another
men’s program in order to comply with Title IX of the Civil Rights Act.
The population at TC was approximately sixty percent female, however,
there were only two women’s sports (basketball and tennis), opposed to
three men’s sports (basketball, tennis and golf). Title IX stated that a
school must 1: have athletic programs in proportion to the student
population; 2: show a history of expanding the athletic programs; 3:
show a desire by the student population to add the athletic programs. In
a survey conducted at TC and area high schools, it was found that
volleyball, softball and baseball were the three programs most wanted.
TC had a baseball program from 1969-77, but dropped it for lack of
interest. Dr. Marc Nigliazzo stated, “We’re not going to start these
programs up if we can’t raise the money, and that means we have to
raise the funds privately. If we were to start all three programs at the
same time – and I’m not saying we are – a rough estimate would be in the
$200,000 range.” (TCBTM 2)
August of 1998 brought with it some changes to the college policy
on tuition for employees. The Employee Benefits Committee proposed a
tuition scholarship program for children of full-time employees allowing
each dependent of that employee to take one three-hour course per
semester free of charge. The Board of Trustees approved this proposal by
unanimous vote (TCBTM 1). The fall semester of 1998 saw the
completion of classroom renovation in the Instructional Services building
and an expansion project on the second floor of the HPE building. This
expansion resulted in a much larger, open weight room area including
space for an instructor office (TCBTM 5).
The impact that Temple College had on the citizens of Temple and
the surrounding areas is as varied as the people it served. For some, the
college was their life, their livelihood, for others, it was the beginning of
an educational career that led them to a better job. Some students
received their first two years of study at Temple College then transferred
to a four-year institution. Many individuals dropped in to take a credit
course for personal enrichment while others took non-credit community
education courses. Sharon Kolinek, a 1986 graduate of TJC recalled her
education at Temple College and the effect the experience had on her.
Sharon said, “I am reminded of a passage I once heard. "The power to
shape the future is earned through persistence. No other quality is as
essential to success. It is the sandpaper that breaks down all resistance
and sweeps away all obstacles. It is the ability to move mountains one
grain of sand at a time. Temple College was the sandpaper that swept
away all the obstacles in my path to success. The instructional
discipline I gained taught me that my success in life would be the result
of hard work, learning from my failures, and my persistence. And
indeed, this was so. I begin my career at Temple College thinking I would
get a two-year degree to give me the needed knowledge to acquire a better
job. Little did I know that I would gain so much more. The education I
garnished gave me the persistence needed to become much more
successful. I was touched by those helping me accomplish great things
and giving me the courage to dream. My dreams came true twelve years
later as I completed my Master's Degree. I find myself sincerely grateful
for the education I received. My education at Temple College provided the
foundation for me to have the opportunity to let my life, everyday, be
something good.” (Kolinek 2001)
It is interesting to note that the institution that changed so many
lives might never have existed. In 1885, the trustees of Baylor University
decided to move Baylor Female College from Independence, Texas, to a
better location and a site more accessible by rail transportation. The
Baylor site selection committee announced that, all other things being
equal, the town that would give the most money for the college would be
the site selected.
Belton, 35 years old, got into the race for the college early and
raised $31,000 in 2 months time. Temple, only 5 years old, joined the
race rather late. Within ten days, citizens of Temple had raised $30,000.
The bids were secret, and at the time neither town knew the amount the
other had raised. The editorial in the February 6, 1886 issue of the
Temple Times announced that Belton had won the battle for the location
of Baylor Female College, which was later named Mary Hardin-Baylor
College (Cannon 2001). A shortage of only $1000 cost Temple a four-
year institution, but left the door open for the business community of the
town to come together 45 years later to establish Temple Junior College