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County Council recognizes Green River College’s “Golden Anniversary”


Metropolitan King County
Council News

County Council recognizes Green River College’s “Golden Anniversary”


50 years of serving students throughout south King County


The Metropolitan King County Council today recognized Green River College as the school celebrates its 50th year of serving the communities in south King County.

“Our early founders, led by Hayes Holman, envisioned a college that would support its surrounding communities,” said Green River College President Dr. Eileen Ely. “For the past fifty years, Green River College has focused on its mission, to ‘ensure student success through comprehensive educational programs and support services responsive to our diverse communities.’ From its beginning, the college has operated under the philosophy of ‘Think Student, Then Decide.’”

“For the past 50 years, Green River College has brought students throughout South King County and all over the world together to learn, grow and enrich their lives,” said Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer. “The board of trustees, faculty and staff continue to support students in programs vital to our local economy, including Aviation Technology and Information Technology. Go Gators!”

What began as adult night education courses held by the Auburn School District in 1945 became Green River College with the support of residents throughout the Green River Valley. The school received state approval in 1959 and received its charter from the state Board of Education in 1963. Starting in a location near the Auburn Boeing plant, Green River Community College moved into its main campus in Auburn’s Lea Hill neighborhood in 1965.

Along with its main campus, Green River now has campuses in downtown Auburn, Kent and Enumclaw serving more than 9,000 students.

“For 50 years Green River College has provided an atmosphere where guidance and instruction have let students thrive and the surrounding communities grow,” said Councilmember Reagan Dunn. “The college has a bright future ahead and I look forward to seeing what is in store.”

“The faculty, staff and students at Green River College have made the college a real treasure in South King County for the last 50 years,” said Councilmember Dave Upthegrove. “In particular, the branch campus located in downtown Kent at Kent Station offers everything from small business counseling to college credit classes and is a wonderful asset to the community.”

The two-year college offers college transfer, career and technical, college readiness, and community education programs, including bachelor of science degrees. Even as it has grown, Green River College has not forgotten its mission from when it began in 1945, offering a number of basic skills courses and continuing education classes.

“We thank the Metropolitan King County Council for officially recognizing Green River College, our 50th anniversary, and our ongoing commitment to higher education,” said Dr. Ely. “As we look to the next fifty years and beyond, the college will continue to evolve to successfully meet student and community needs.”






WHEREAS, Green River College is a public college where students from all over the world come together to learn, grow and enrich their lives; and

WHEREAS, Green River College began in 1945 when the Auburn School District started an evening program for adult education and through the support of citizens and communities in the Green River Valley, Green River College received state approval in 1959, and Washington State Board of Education approval for Green River Community College in 1963; and

WHEREAS, Green River’s main campus, founded in Auburn’s Lea Hill neighborhood in 1965, stretches over 180 acres of beautifully forested land; and

WHEREAS, with increasing demand for higher education, Green River College in Auburn has opened satellite campuses in downtown Kent and Enumclaw; and

WHEREAS, Green River College’s high-quality faculty and motivated staff advise, counsel and support students in their chosen educational careers, creating an atmosphere where achievement is expected and encouraged; and

WHEREAS, Green River College’s signature courses include Aviation Technology, and the recently added Bachelor of Applied Science Information Technology and Bachelor of Applied Science Business and Marketing four year degree; and

WHEREAS, this year marks the 50th anniversary of Green River College, a two year public college with 18,879 students and 440 faculty members;

NOW, THEREFORE, we, the Metropolitan King County Council, recognize and congratulate


for its commitment and dedication for the past 50 years and future dedication in providing King County residents an opportunity to learn, grow and enrich their lives.

DATED this ninth day of November, 2015.


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