History of the College
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.
Dr. James A. Colston became the second president of Bronx Community College on August 1, 1966, following Dr. Meister’s retirement. For the next decade, the College grew dramatically, spurred in 1970 by the introduction of open admissions. By 1972, the College was occupying 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 43-acre site overlooking the Harlem River.
Upon Dr. Colston’s retirement in 1976, Dr. Morton Rosenstock was named acting president.
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 have been expanded through the National Center for Educational Alliances. Among others, there were ongoing activities in Austria and South Africa. Construction of the North Instruction Building and Library began in spring 2009. The College also saw the opening of The Children’s Center building on campus in spring 2011.
Dr. Carole M. Berotte Joseph became Bronx Community College’s fifth president on July 1, 2011. She promoted “Banner Programs” that prepared students for courses of study at four-year CUNY schools. She also established the highly successful “First Year Seminars” orientation classes. Among the many campus-community collaborations President Berotte Joseph oversaw was the selection of BCC as the Bronx higher education institution in the state’s “Start Up New York” initiative that encouraged businesses to start or expand on campus property.
Dr. Eduardo J. Martí, former president of Queensborough Community College, served as Interim President when Dr. Berotte Joseph stepped down in September of 2014.
On June 29, 2015, Dr. Thomas A. Isekenegbe was appointed the sixth president of Bronx Community College. For the previous six years he had served as President of Cumberland County College, a community college located in Vineland, N.J., where Dr. Isekenegbe was a leader in developing high-quality data and employment driven academic programs and directed the revision and redesign of the college’s remedial courses to fast track student completion and success.