Fort Pierce, FL – Happy birthday, Indian River State College! When I started vacationing on the Treasure Coast in 1977, you already were well established in Fort Pierce and had just started a campus in Vero Beach. In 1960, you opened your doors as Indian River Junior College. In 1965, with the advent of integration, you merged with Lincoln Junior College and later became Indian River Community College. Over the years, you set up other campuses in Stuart, Okeechobee and Port St. Lucie. On the main campus, you opened a fine-arts center, a science center and planetarium, and centers for health-science, emerging technologies and medical education. On the other campuses, you established technology centers, learning centers and conference centers. You started a model charter high school on the Stuart campus. You opened a public-safety training complex. Your swimming and diving team set a record for the longest-running intercollegiate winning streak. You began offering bachelor degrees and became Indian River State College. You serve over 35-thousand people annually. Your first graduating class consisted of 28 men and women. On Friday, May 7, over 800 students will participate in your 2010 commencement. You've come a long way in 50 years. Yet you don't look a day over 25! For 88.9 FM, this is Paul Janensch.
Treasure Coast essayist Paul Janensch was a newspaper editor and taught journalism at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut.