Columns for The Lufkin News

Angelina College: 50 Years and Going Strong

Posted Apr 08, 2018 by Sidney C. Roberts, MD, FACR

Angelina College opened its doors to students in the fall of 1968, a momentous year in modern history. The Smithsonian called 1968 the Year that Shattered America. North Vietnamese Communists launched the Tet Offensive, deadly college riots were taking place, race relations were at an all-time low, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy were assassinated, and Apollo 8 orbited the moon.

According to the Texas State Historical Association’s Handbook of Texas Online, Angelina College began as a project of the Angelina County Chamber of Commerce. In the early 1960s the chamber appointed a steering committee whose purpose was to gain support from area individuals, business, and industry for the construction of a two-year public community college. The efforts of this committee resulted in the Angelina County Junior College District, the sale of bonds for building purposes, a maintenance tax, and a seven-member board of trustees. In its first semester the college enrolled 660 students in both credit and noncredit programs. Dr. Jack Hudgins was the first president of Angelina College. He served until 1991 and was followed by Dr. Larry Phillips, who served until 2015. Current president Dr. Michael Simon is only the third president in the college’s 50 year existence.

Angelina College, accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), has grown over the last 50 years to have an operating budget of nearly $23 million and more than 250 faculty on a campus of 230 acres with more than 20 buildings. Angelina College is not only one of the major employers in the county, its influence is widespread and long lasting. More than 5,300 students, including many high school dual-credit students, attend classes either on site or online at any given time, obtaining the education and skills necessary to join or advance in the workforce in Angelina County and beyond.

President Simon notes on the AC website that AC offers associate degrees and certificates in Business, Fine Arts, Science and Mathematics, Liberal Arts, Technology and Workforce, and Health Careers academic divisions. AC also offers customized workforce training, adult basic education, police and fire academies, and personal enrichment courses through our Community Services division.

As you can see, Angelina College is so much more than just high school graduates taking college courses on the Lufkin campus, although that remains a core component of what AC provides. AC’s college transfer core curriculum and associate degrees prepare students to transition to four-year universities and beyond.

Angelina College has an impressively broad catalog of course offerings. Both visual and performing arts classes and opportunities are available at AC, and the availability of the Temple Theater (and AC’s close collaboration with Angelina Arts Alliance to bring world-class performances to Lufkin) is a huge benefit to both AC and the deep East Texas region.

Sports programs are an important component of the AC experience, with basketball, baseball, softball, and now soccer available.  In 2014, the Lady Roadrunner softball team captured the NJCAA Division I national championship after winning the World Series in St. George, Utah, becoming the first Texas team to earn the title since the Series' inception in 1977.

The Division of Health Careers is an especially strong part of Angelina College, offering programs in Nursing, Pharmacy Tech, Radiography and Ultrasonography, EMS, and Surgical Tech, among others. Texas A&M’s College of Nursing provides a seamless track for students in Lufkin to get their nursing degree, with AC being one of A&M’s off-site locations for training.

The Division of Technology and Workforce offers more than thirty certificate and licensure programs in areas from Automotive Technology and Fluid Power Technology to Criminal Justice, HVAC and Welding.

Want to start a new business? The Angelina College Small Business Development Center assists new business owners and existing businesses raise capital to start and expand businesses with expertise in financial analysis of business ideas, bank presentations, business plans, accounting and marketing.

Angelina College is not just about Lufkin. Distance learning opportunities are available throughout our 12-county deep East Texas region, and online options are an increasingly important offering for many students, both traditional college students and those seeking adult workforce education. Very soon, we will see international students coming to Lufkin for a valuable education in the United States.

Angelina County has always been a very generous county, supporting many non-profit and educational initiatives. That is seen in how we help our AC students as well. Government Pell Grants are certainly an important part of educational funding at AC and are given to over 2,700 students a year. But nearly 600 students receive academic scholarships, and with the Angelina Challenge Award, all public high school graduates in Angelina County who do not qualify for more than $1,000 in any other financial aid may receive up to $1,000 for tuition for one year. The total amount of financial aid awarded at AC is over $13 million annually.

For a half century now, Angelina College has provided a solid educational foundation for the citizens of deep East Texas. Keep an eye out this year for special events related to Angelina College’s 50th Anniversary. It is a great time to be a Roadrunner and a great time to support Angelina College!

Your First Visit

What to expect on your first consultation

Get Started >

Centers

Learn about the Temple Cancer Center at CHI St. Luke’s Health Memorial

See Our Center >

Radiation Therapy

Find answers to common questions about radiation therapy

View the FAQ >

Meet Our Team

Sidney C. Roberts, MD, FACR

Sidney C. Roberts, MD, FACR

Radiation Oncologist

Madelene Collier, RN, OCN

Madelene Collier, RN, OCN

Radiation Oncology Nurse

Jewel Randle, RT (R)(T)

Jewel Randle, RT (R)(T)

Lead Radiation Therapist

Aimee Salas, RT (T)

Aimee Salas, RT (T)

Radiation Therapist

Josh Yarbrough, RT (R)(CT)(T)

Josh Yarbrough, RT (R)(CT)(T)

Radiation Therapist

Julie McClain, RT (R)(T)

Julie McClain, RT (R)(T)

Dosimetrist

Linda Miller, MS

Linda Miller, MS

Medical Radiation Physicist

Evelyn Leach

Evelyn Leach

Receptionist