The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

NE reaps benefits of time, patience

Present-day+NE+Campus+is+immediately+recognizable+by+the+clock+tower+at+the+Student+Center.+NE+serves+roughly+12%2C000+students.
Present-day NE Campus is immediately recognizable by the clock tower at the Student Center. NE serves roughly 12,000 students.

By Brendon James/reporter

Being second sometimes has its perks

After South Campus opened first in 1967, NE Campus opened in 1968. Time constraints forced South to build only one-story buildings. However, architect Albert S. Komatsu had 34 months to build NE, so it became the first with two-story buildings.

While South Campus was restricted to one-story buildings because of time limitations, NE had enough time to build multi-story buildings and opened in 1968, a year after South. When classes started that fall, construction wasn't complete, so NE day classes were taught on South.
While South Campus was restricted to one-story buildings because of time limitations, NE had enough time to build multi-story buildings and opened in 1968, a year after South. When classes started that fall, construction wasn’t complete, so NE day classes were taught on South.

When NE first opened, one of the first-year hires was current Chancellor Erma Johnson Hadley. After graduating from Prairie View A&M and Bowling Green State, she sent an application to Dallas County and Tarrant County. In 1967, she was contacted by Tarrant County and was hired early in the fall.

NE communication arts chair Cheryl Hamilton, who is retiring this month after 43 years on NE, talked about the culture the campus has had throughout the years.

“Everybody likes each other and works really well together,” she said. “There’s a lot of camaraderie. Here on this campus, it is very student-oriented, but at the same time, they value the quality of the work of the students. Not that other campuses don’t do this, but it’s part of what makes NE so good.”

Hamilton also talked about the changes on NE and how much easier it is to find what students want.

“The library has changed,” she said. “If you wanted to write a paper, you would do research by hand. You have to go look at this big index, then find these big bound books to find an article about the topic you are researching.”

She and former chair Cordell Parker were the only two speech instructors in their department when she was first hired.

“For years, it was just the two of us, and we taught everything,” she said. “We taught in the basement of the library. The books were upstairs, and the classrooms were downstairs.”

Many other young teachers were starting as well, making it an exciting time.

Present-day NE Campus is immediately recognizable by the clock tower at the Student Center. NE serves roughly 12,000 students.
Present-day NE Campus is immediately recognizable by the clock tower at the Student Center. NE serves roughly 12,000 students.

“We were all young and excited about teaching, and a lot of us stayed here for a very long time,” she said.

Government associate professor Larry Davis is one of the three people still at TCC since NE first opened, the other two being math professor Bob Martin and Chancellor Hadley.

Davis said being an original faculty member on NE meant teaching on South Campus as well.

“This campus was not fully operational, and there were no day classes,” Davis said. “Most of our classes were taught on South Campus, and only evening classes were taught here, and I taught some of those evening classes.”

Vice president of academic affairs Gary Smith came to NE in 1982 for a change after time on South and NW.

“I did not want to be the chairman anymore, so I came here, and I found a home,” Smith said. “The NE really emphasizes academics. It was a good cultural change, and it fit my personality and education objectives.”

Smith talked about student success not just on NE but the whole district.

“Back in the older days, we thought, ‘Are we teaching our subject matter well?’” he said. “Our current chancellor really wants us to reflect on what we do and how that affects student success. It made us a better institution.”

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