Columbia College Celebrates 50 Years with Community Gatherings

Columbia College celebrated its 50th Anniversary Year with a set of campus gatherings that drew hundreds of community members and visitors over the weekend.

Festivities kicked off Friday evening with a dedication of the Brady-Wise Family Plaza, renamed to honor community benefactors Don Brady, Millie Brady Wise and John Wise for their decades of support for education at Columbia College. More than 120 guests attended the reception hosted by the Columbia College Foundation to acknowledge a $2 million endowment gift received last year from the Wise Family Charitable Trust. Honored guests included Don and Millie Brady’s daughter, Margaret Brady Hunter, and her family from North Carolina, and John Wise’s daughter, Lynne Jerome, of Tuolumne.

The anniversary celebrations continued Saturday with a community picnic on campus. Hundreds of local families and guests, including many former students and staff, came out to enjoy beautiful weather, free food provided by a variety of local vendors, campus tours, demonstrations and displays.

“I was overwhelmed to see the deep and strong connection between Columbia College and the community”, noted Santanu Bandyopadhyay, President of Columbia College. “The number of alumni and retirees who visited the campus and shared their stories about the history of the College is a reflection of the continued involvement of the community. The Oral History Project was highly appreciated by all. The faculty, staff, administrators and students participated enthusiastically in celebrating the 50th Anniversary. My heartfelt thanks goes out to all who made the celebrations a great success”