How the College Started

Bronx Community College was established in 1957 after a decade of effort by civic-minded groups in Bronx County to meet the growing need for increased higher education facilities in the “Borough of Universities and Progress.”

Classes began with 125 students on February 2, 1959, at the former site of the Bronx High School of Science at Creston Avenue and 184th Street. With Dr. Morris Meister as its first president, the College soon developed into a much-acclaimed comprehensive community college offering a broad range of academic programs.

Bronx Community College is the only community college in the US designated as a National Historic Landmark.

BCC is the only college in New York State – and one of the only campuses in the US – designated as a National Historic Landmark because of its collection of architecturally significant buildings.

With 34 buildings on 45 acres, BCC has among the largest campuses in the CUNY system, and the most historic. On average, buildings on the campus are 80 years old.

Growing and Leading the Charge

On June 29, 2015, Dr. Thomas A. Isekenegbe was appointed our sixth president.  His commitment to student success is immeasurable. Merging student services and academic affairs, he created a way for students to receive exceptional service in one place.

By 1972, the College occupied seven additional centers within walking distance of the main building and serving approximately 14,000 matriculated students.

In 1973, the New York State Dormitory Authority acquired the New York University Heights Campus for the use of Bronx Community College. Beginning with the fall 1973 semester, operations were moved to the present 45-acre site overlooking the Harlem River.

On September 1, 1977, Dr. Roscoe C. Brown Jr. became the third president of the College. During his 17-year tenure, the College intensified its outreach to New York City’s economic and educational institutions through partnerships with business and industry to better ensure the success of graduates. New programs were developed in high-growth professions in the fields of health, technology and human services.

Dr. Leo A. Corbie was named acting president after Dr. Brown’s retirement in June 1993.

Dr. Carolyn G. Williams became the College’s fourth president on August 26, 1996. Under her 15-year leadership, national and international outreach programs–such as those in Austria and South Africa–were expanded through the National Center for Educational Alliances. Construction of the North Instruction Building and Library began in spring 2009 and the College saw the opening of The Children’s Center building on campus in spring 2011.

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