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Roxbury Community College History

RCC 1990s

Father and Child Reading, sculpture by John Wilson (1990)

Father and Child Reading, sculpture by John Wilson, dedicated September 23, 1990

The 1990s heralded many exciting events and accomplishments on the Roxbury Community College campus.  It was a period of growth in academic programming, student enrollment, and community recognition.

Roxbury-born artist, John Wilson, won a sculpture competition in 1985 resulting in this “Father and Child Reading” sculpture. On September 23, 1990, the dedication ceremony took place at Roxbury Community College. Wilson’s early work depicted poverty, anguish, and racial oppression. This seven-foot tall sculpture represents a shift in his work towards a more hopeful outlook.

Click here to view the dedication program.



Senator Ted Kennedy visits RCC (1992)

Senator Ted Kennedy visits Roxbury Community College. Image by Boris Tahmasian, taken from The Collegiate, 1992

On May 11, 1992, Senator Ted Kennedy visited RCC’s campus for an open discussion with students, faculty, and staff. According to the school newspaper, “this meeting was a positive step allowing inner-city residents an opportunity to speak on issues affecting their lives, their children and their community.”

Click here to read the story on Senator Kennedy's visit, in the May 1992 edition of The Collegiate.




20th anniversary flier (1994)

Flier for the 20th anniversary celebration "20 Years at the Crossing" held on June 1, 1994

Many exciting developments occurred on RCC’s campus leading up to its 20th anniversary. Despite earlier funding challenges, Roxbury Community College fought for its role in the greater Roxbury community. Multiple new programs, joint projects, and visitors helped make the early 1990s an exciting time to be a part of RCC.

A few highlights:

  • Haitian president Jean Bertrand Aristide came to Roxbury on April 29, 1992. Aristide received an honorary degree during a ceremony held at RCC.

  • In 1992, Boston-area high school students were given the chance to succeed in the New Beginnings tutoring and internship program hosted at RCC.

  • 20 single mothers graduated in 1993 from the newly established Nurses Aid and Home Health Aid Program.

On June 1, 1994, Roxbury Community College proudly celebrated its 20th anniversary. The festivities included music and dancing representative of RCC’s varied cultures and guest speakers such as US Representative, Joseph Kennedy.

Click here to view the event program.




Roxbury Community College's 20th commencement ceremony (1994)

Program from Roxbury Community College's 20th commencement ceremony, June 4, 1994

RCC also held its 20th commencement, three days later, on June 4, 1994.

Click here to view the entire commencement program.

A testament to the sense of community felt at RCC, several alumni were quoted in the 1994 annual report. Elizabeth Golden, RCC ’94, noted:

“You’re not just a number but can relate with the teachers

on an individual basis....”


In addition to the academic achievements accomplished in the first twenty years, Roxbury Community College also made strides in athletics. In 1995, The Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center opened next to the RCC campus. More information on the strong athletics program is featured in the RCC athletics exhibit on this site.

Cornel West visits Roxbury Community College (1997)

Dr. Cornel West with RCC President, Dr. Grace Carolyn Brown and guests. Photo taken by Don West, 1997

As part of the Presidential Lecture Series initiated by Dr. Grace Carolyn Brown, Roxbury Community College welcomed several distinguished speakers in 1997. Notables included Dr. Julius Wilson, Dr. Julianne Malveux, Dr. Manning Marable, and Dr. Cornel West (pictured to the left).

The goal of these lectures was to, “improve the understanding about significant social and economic issues which are of fundamental importance, not just to people of color, but to the functioning of the principles of American democracy.” – 1997 RCC annual report

Al Gore and RCC President Carolyn Brown at the <em>Empowerment Zone Conference</em> (1997)

Al Gore and RCC President Dr. Grace Carolyn Brown at the Empowerment Zone Conference, held at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center, 1997

On Tuesday August 22, 1997 more than 1500 people attended the Empowerment Zone Conference to hear from Vice President Al Gore and other dignitaries on the subjects of urban renewal, economic growth, small business support, and job training.

Click here to read the full story.


Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and Jim Scott at the RCC 25th anniversary gala (1998)

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino with Jim Scott at the Roxbury Community College 25th anniversary gala, 1998

On Saturday December 12, 1998, Roxbury Community College held a huge celebration for its 25th anniversary. This event honored all of those people who worked so hard during the formative years of the college, demonstrating a commitment to education and to the greater Roxbury community.  

Remarks were made by Mayor Thomas Menino, RCC foundation members, and Northeastern University’s president, Dr. Richard M. Freeland. The night’s entertainment included music from area bands and choirs, as well as several dance performances.





Choir sings at the RCC 25th anniversary gala (1998)

Choir singing at the Roxbury Community College 25th anniversary gala, 1998

“The 25th Anniversary of RCC is a time to celebrate more than its overcoming, it is the time to celebrate its future.”  -Dr. Grace Carolyn Brown, RCC President 1992-2001

Click here to see the gala program.