CENTRAL FLORIDA JUNIOR COLLEGE
By Floyd T. Christian, State Superintendent
Saturday, May 6, 1967 2:30 p.m.
This is the second time this week that my old friend, Tom Bailey,
and I have shared a speaker's platform. Last Tuesday we were together
for the dedication of the LeRoy Collins Building in Tallahassee and today,
we are here to give the names of Supt. Bailey and Gov. Bryant to two
buildings on your campus.
You know, those names just roll off your tongue the Bailey
Building -- the Bryant Building. I just can't envision anything ever
being named the Christian Building except maybe a wing of a church,
and that's not likely to happen.
I am happy that Gov. Bryant and Supt. Bailey are here with me this
afternoon for it gives us the opportunity to talk with and mingle with
the leaders of the 21st Century -- that's you -- you'll be the leaders.
In just a little more than 30 years, we'll be in the 21st Century
and it'll be the year 2001. Most of you then will be in your early 50's
and you'll be the leaders in business, arts, education and government at
local, state, national and international levels. Because we cannot
imagine what life will hold for us then, possibly I should even add, you
might be leaders at the interplanetary level, too.
The world has changed more within your lifetime than in all the
proceeding centuries of recorded history. During the past 20 years, there
have been revolutionary changes in society, in business, in politics ...
and in education. More than one-half of the nations which are members
of the United Nations have been established since 1945. Automation and
cybernation have changed the work patterns of the entire nation..
Scientific achievement have become everyday occurrences.
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The effect of this change on our lives may be dramatized by one example
- the computer. The electronic computer developed within your lifetime
has made possible, among many other things, space exploration, live
television broadcasts from Europe, supersonic aircraft, automated factories,
and -- on a more mundane level credit cards and those beloved IBM cards
used for college registration.
When you were born, there was a little known type of institution on
the American scene known as the junior college. In the last two decades,
however, this institution has emerged as one born out of need and it has
grown with purpose. Today, according to the Carnegie Foundation, it is
"the most important development in American higher education in the past
quarter century." And, most certainly, in the past ten years Florida's
community junior college system has been the most significant step in a
number of important developments in Florida's program of higher education.
There is a direct relationship between the development of a distinguished
system of higher education in a state and the growth of its commerce and
industry, the quality of work done by its professionals, the vitality of
its cultural life, and the range of opportunities open to its young people.
While a number of states have responded to this fact by trying to create
a truly distinguished system of higher education, with junior colleges at
the base, educating the people in occupational programs and sending students
on to the upper divisions of the university Florida has been one of the
few states to succeed.
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Without the development of these junior colleges and universities
in Florida, the growth of the state would have been slowed and the very
foundations of our prosperity and vitality shaken. The quality of medicine,
law, education and a host of other professions and occupations would have
declined. Most important, the opportunities open to the younger generation
would have been restricted. For Florida, therefore, a great system of
higher education is not just a source of public pride. It should be
regarded as an indispensable necessity.
The events of the past few months and especially of last Wednesday
week when the Governor delivered his budget message to the state have
placed both the junior colleges and the universities of Florida and their
contributions to the state in jeopardy. These institutions of higher
education can only continue to serve the people of this state adequately
if they remain among the leading institutions in America. Nothing less
Let us take a look at this new breed of institution that will enroll
three out of every four college freshmen in the nation by 1970. What is
the community junior college to the students enrolled in it? To the
instructors who teach in it? And I stress the word "teach" because the
community junior college is an institution where teaching is honored --
where good teaching is rewarded. And finally, what does the community
junior college mean to the community in which it is located?
To a community junior college student, these years provide the
opportunity for him to receive skilled counseling and guidance so that
he may relate his interests, aptitudes and abilities toward an occupation
or profession where his chances of success are greatest. This is the
opportunity for a "second chance" for the student who -- for one reason
or another did not do well in high school. There are many such students
who come to the community junior college, catch fire, and go on to brilliant
academic careers. There are even some junior college graduates who have
gone on for Master's and Doctor's degrees and are now teaching in our
A junior college also provides the opportunity for a mother to resume
her higher education after interrupting it for a career of marriage and
raising children. A notable illustration of this occurred last year at
one of the junior colleges when a young mother in her early forties received
her Associate in Arts Degree.
Now it's not at all unusual for mothers to graduate from our community
colleges after earning credits over a period of years but this industrious
mother, while working on her Associate Degree, had one dozen children!
I understand that she went on to the university and majored in home
and family life and perhaps taught the professors a few things!
To the faculty members of a community junior college, this is an
opportunity one that is all too rare in higher education to realize
fulfillment as a teacher. He can realize fulfillment because his main job
will be teaching and it is likely he came to the community junior college
because he enjoyed teaching rather than basic research because he enjoyed
study more than writing -- because he enjoyed people more than cloistered
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In the community in which the junior college is located, the educational
and cultural climate is inevitably improved. The establishment of a junior
college is also an economic "shot in the arm" for any community. The U. S.
Department of Labor has researched this matter in some detail and it has
reported that the presence of each full-time student in a community junior
college has the economic impact of an extra one thousand dollars per year
on the community payroll. Thus, one million dollars is added to the
economy of a community every time a thousand students are enrolled. This
becomes quite significant when we stop to consider that within a very few
years community junior colleges which enroll five to ten thousand students -
or greater -- will be commonplace from one end of our nation to the other.
We have looked briefly at what the community junior college means to
the student who is enrolled in it, to the teacher who is teaching in it
and to the community in which it is located. But what is this college
doing to the very structure of our working society?
The community junior college, more than any other institution, is
responsible for the creation of a new semi-professional class of
occupations -- occupations that are literally changing and upgrading the
way we live.
Medical technicians and assistants, dental hygienists and dental
assistants, medical secretaries and most especially the graduates of our
two-year junior college nursing programs have increased the efficiency and
raised the quality of medical services wherever they are being graduated
by the junior college.
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In another community, the police chief informed his entire department
last year that no man on the force would be considered for promotion or a
salary increase until he had successfully completed the police science
program at the local junior college. I have a strong feeling that this
police department will soon be one of the best to be found anywhere.
Another relatively new occupation that is reshaping the sub-professional
strata of our work force is the whole area of electronic data processing.
Data processing technicians are in such demand that they are being
snapped up by industry and business as fast as our junior colleges can
turn them out. Two years ago a young man at one of our junior colleges was
about to drop out of a standard Associate Degree transfer program in order
to accept a $300 a month job so he could support his wife and baby. Like
all prospective dropouts, however, this young man was invited in for a
counseling session. The upshot of the session was that he received a loan
and a student job and he was enrolled in the data processing program. This
past spring -- with his brand new Associate Degree in data processing
technology -- and with an outstanding record he was employed by his own
alma mater at $625 a month! That is a salary that looks good even to a
What do community junior colleges mean to the four-year colleges and
universities in our nation?
I sincerely believe and there is considerable evidence to support
this belief that the development of the community junior college movement
in America has done more to raise the standards and improve the quality
of our universities than any other factor.
This is clearly evidenced in California and Florida where the state
colleges and universities have been able to incorporate quite a degree of
selectivity because the states' growing system of community junior colleges
is offering quality higher education to all high school graduates. This
"open-door policy" does not mean that community junior colleges are not
selective. Selection more varied and sometimes more critical -- is
accomplished by guiding students into programs that suit their talents
To the colleges and universities, our community junior colleges are
cooperating not competing -- institutions. To the new upper division
institutions, such as Florida Atlantic University and the University of
West Florida, the community junior college is life blood because the
university parallel programs of the junior colleges of the state are,
in effect, the freshmen and sophomore divisions of these universities.
Many people and I am one of them believe this program being
pioneered in Florida will become the emerging pattern for higher education
This is the pattern that will make complete the change in our higher
educational system from what was once the exclusive domain of the elite
to the common property of all Americans. I believe this to be the system of
higher education that will eventually insure that no young person will ever
be condemned to educational mediocrity simply because he called the wrong
state or the wrong county home.
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You young people who are the Class of 1967 of Central Florida
Junior College owe a great debt of gratitude to the vision and wisdom
and dedication of many men leaders in civic and political life who
have made possible our fine system of higher education. If I were to give
any advice to you as graduates, it would be to emulate in your future life -
as students, as citizens, and as leaders -- the personal characteristics
of two former Ocalans who more than any others have made this institution
and your education possible. I refer, of course, to former Governor
Farris Bryant, and former State Superintendent Thomas D. Bailey, who are
being honored here today.
Tom Bailey's entire life has been devoted to serving his fellow man.
Perhaps his philosophy is best summed up by the slogan which hung on the
wall of his office throughout his career as state superintendent. The
slogan read: "No man stands so tall as he who stoops to help a child."
This, Tom Bailey believed; and this, Tom Bailey practiced.
Because he believed it, hundreds of thousands of citizens of this
state are better Off. For in his career as teacher, principal, and as
state superintendent, he has always been a leader a man of vision. He
moved Florida to a place of pre-eminence among all states in education.
His was the guiding hand when our junior college system was established.
Farris Bryant you know as a neighbor, as a friend, and as a good citizen.
In his career as a legislator, and as governor, he, like Tom Bailey, recognized
the importance of education. During his career as governor, he wholeheartedly
supported education and gave leadership to the development of many improvements
and expansions of our educational system. Almost single-handedly he conceived
and passed the Higher Education Bond Amendment which made available funds for
the expansions of universities and junior colleges throughout this state and
specifically for the buildings being dedicated here today.
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Farris Bryant and Tom Bailey two great citizens of this state
and of this nation throughout their careers exemplified vision,
concern for their fellow men, leadership, wisdom and good judgment.
Throughout their careers, in spite of the many honors that have come to
them, they have remained humble and never lost the common touch. These
men have dedicated themselves to public service, and to bringing the
benefits of a free society to all of the citizens of this state.
My advice to you is to emulate them and when your time on this earth
is done, the world will be a better place because you passed this way.