Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

College history

Rectangle with a circle inside with the letters PCC to the right of the words Portland Community College

College logo from the 1960s


Rounded rectangle surrounding the letters PCC with an arrow over the top to the left of the words Portland Community College

College logo from the 1970s


Graphic P to the left of the words Portland Community College

College logo from 1980-1985


Logo with a swirly-looking P to the left the words Portland Community College

College logo from 1985-1994


Logo with PCC Diamond above the words Portland Community College

College logo from 1994-2000


Logo with PCC Diamond to the left of the words Portland Community College

College logo, current version

  • 1961: Portland Community College begins as the adult education program of Portland Public Schools.
  • 1965: Because the college included students from many areas outside the Portland school district, the school board appointed an advisory council to supervise the college and to give representation to areas beyond the district. As the advisory council and the school board developed programs and plans for the rapidly growing college, it became evident that the college needed to be a separate governmental unit with its own elected board.
  • 1968: Voters of the five-county area approved the formation of a new college district, the Metropolitan Area Education District. It included the school districts of Portland, Sauvie Island, and Riverdale in Multnomah County; Lake Oswego in Clackamas County; St. Helens, Scappoose, and Vernonia in Columbia County; Newberg in Yamhill County; and all of Washington County. The voters also elected the first board of directors and approved a tax base.
  • 1971: The name was changed to the Portland Community College District.
  • 1980: District residents showed continuing support for their college, voting to increase the PCC tax base.
  • 1986: Voters again increase the tax base for the college as enrollment begins to surge.
  • 1992: Enrollment growth of 25 percent since 1986 led voters to approve a $61.4 million bond measure to expand facilities at all campuses and repair and upgrade existing buildings.
  • 1994: The library and performing arts center opened on the Sylvania Campus, the first of new facilities to be completed.
  • 1996: New facilities at Cascade and Rock Creek campuses are completed, as well as workforce training centers in central Portland and Beaverton.
  • 1998: PCC opened another workforce training center in Northeast Portland.
  • 2000: District residents approved a $144 million bond measure for new construction and building upgrades to help meet an enrollment growth of 50 percent since 1986.
  • 2001: Construction from the 2000 bond measure begins as Sylvania’s dining room is renovated and architecture plans are set for all three campuses, including the Southeast Center.
  • 2002: Hillsboro Center opens. Groundbreaking for a new Southeast Center, with plans to open at the new location in winter of 2003.
  • 2004: In January, the Southeast Center opened at a new location on Southeast 82nd Avenue and Division Street. The new center provides residents in outer southeast Portland with greater access to higher education.
  • Dr. Preston Pulliams is named the fifth president of PCC. Five new buildings opened to
    students in the fall at Cascade, Sylvania, and Rock Creek campuses.
  • 2005: In October, PCC dedicated the $7.5 million Daniel F. Moriarty Arts and Humanities Building at the Cascade Campus.
  • In 2008, area voters approved a $374 million bond measure, which was the largest ever in the state of Oregon at the time. The money improved technology and workforce training centers, as well as addressed rising enrollment. The bond led to the completion of the Willow Creek Center in 2009.
  • The energy-efficient Newberg Center opened in 2011 providing Yamhill County with a 12,000 square-foot education and community space. It is recognized as one of the most sustainable educational buildings in the nation, with solar panels, natural cooling and heating systems, and natural lighting.
  • During the 2011-2012 school year, PCC celebrated its 50th year of serving local communities and hosted a celebration in downtown Portland’s Pioneer Courthouse Square.
  • The college championed both the transformation of the Southeast Campus into its fourth comprehensive campus, as well as the creation of the Swan Island Trades Center in 2014. The Swan Island Center houses continuing education, training, retraining, and professional development for local businesses.
  • In 2014, PCC developed its first comprehensive Strategic Vision, guiding the college community in the realm of diversity, sustainability, student success and access, and excellence.
  • The college welcomed its seventh president, Mark Mitsui, to the district in 2016.
  • Local voters overwhelmingly approved a $185 million bond measure to improve workforce training programs, expand Health Professions and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math), and meet the needs for safety, security, building longevity, and disability access.
  • In 2020, PCC broke ground on the OMIC Training Center in Scappoose. The future center will be a hub for advanced manufacturing training in Columbia County and support OMIC’s R&D work.
  • In 2021, the college’s dental programs moved into the brand new Vanport Building, which was funded by a blend of college bond and public partner dollars. The downtown Portland facility, which is a 175,000-square-foot civic, education, and health center, serves as a home for PCC’s Dental Hygiene and Dental Assisting programs, as well as PSU’s College of Education, the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health, and the City of Portland’s Bureau of Planning & Sustainability.
  • The OMIC Training Center in Columbia County opened its doors to short-term advanced manufacturing and skills training in 2021. The facility earned LEED Silver for its sustainable construction and operations.
  • In 2022, PCC welcomed its eighth president, Dr. Adrien Bennings, who replaced the retiring Mark Mitsui.
  • In 2023, the much-anticipated Opportunity Center at 42nd Avenue was unveiled to the community. Located at 4299 NE Killingsworth St., the center is a collaboration between the Oregon Department of Human Services and the Native American Youth and Family Center, offering a comprehensive array of services, educational resources, and workforce development initiatives.
  • In January of 2024, the College stakeholders and leaders kicked off the 2025-28 Strategic Planning process to help shape the future of PCC.