Vol State at 40

Volunteer State Community College is celebrating a 40th Anniversary this year. We mark the occasion by remembering the tradition of academic excellence and celebrating the accomplishments of our many students, faculty and staff over the years.

Groundbreaking for Volunteer State Community College was held on a cold and blustery day in November of 1970. It was culmination of three years of preparation by Dr. Hal R. Ramer, who helped to form the Tennessee community college system as Assistant State Education Commissioner, and then went on to create a community college in Gallatin. He became the founding president of that college and served for 33 years. Vol State opened for classes in October of 1971. That date is the one we are using to mark the 40th anniversary of the college. At first, classes were held in an old hotel in Gallatin and wherever else they could find space, throughout Sumner County. John Newman and Joni Steinhauer, both of Hendersonville, were the first official students. 581 students were enrolled that first quarter. The Gallatin campus opened in the winter of 1972. The first commencement ceremony was held on June 9, 1973 with 57 students graduating.

Vol State has experienced phenomenal growth in enrollment, curricula, staff, program, public service, facilities, and quality, over the last 40 years. The main campus now comprises sixteen buildings. Vol State at Livingston began a major expansion in 2006 and construction was finished in 2010. The Highland Crest learning site in Springfield, built in a unique city, county and business partnership, offers a wide-range of Vol State classes.

Several other off-campus operations extend the College's instruction and public service roles throughout its 12 county area. Currently more than 8,000 students are enrolled in the average fall semester.

We have put together a photo gallery, featuring pictures that reflect both the history and the ongoing mission of the college. We encourage students, faculty and staff, both current and from the past, to contribute remembrances to a series of blogs we have put together. They are organized by decade. Please feel free to visit to see what others have written and share your own memories.

We are celebrating the 40th anniversary with a series of events November 14-19, during Homecoming Week 2011. Please visit the Homecoming Week page, also on the left side of the screen, for details.

Volunteer State Community College Alma Mater

Dear Alma Mater, Pride of Tennessee
We Go Forth to serve humanity,
Pioneers imbued with learning, we
Volunteer State, we pledge our loyalty.

Down through the days, our hearts are filled with cheer.
We recall the joys of college years.
Many times we cheered our colors true.
Singing the praise of red and white and blue.

(Written by Dan Jewell and Dr. Hal Ramer)