St. Petersburg College celebrates 95 years

For 95 years, St. Petersburg College has provided a quality college education for Bay Area residents. 

"This has been amazing. St. Petersburg College was built to help individuals gain a credential so that they can earn a high-living job. And we're just glad to be a part of it," said Tanjua Williams, president of St. Petersburg College. "You can't go anywhere in Pinellas County and not meet someone who either attended, graduated or works at St Petersburg College." 

Students have been excelling at the college for a long time. 

"Formerly known as Junior College, is the first community college in the state of Florida and the first to offer baccalaureate degrees in the state of Florida," Williams added. 

SPC started out as St. Petersburg Junior College, then, in 1965, merged with Gibbs Jr. College, the area’s first accredited African-American community college. It has graduated more than 200 thousand students and last month they had a celebration to highlight its achievements. 

READ: Cert Up Tampa aims to train underserved communities for higher paying jobs

"I think the future is limitless," said Janette Hunt, vice president of finance and business. "I think as we see higher education changing and shifting. I think St. Petersburg College will be at the front end of that just like they've always been." 

St. Pete College was the first community college in Florida.

St. Pete College was the first community college in Florida. 

For Williams, it's a labor of love. 

READ: New collaboration pays off at USF and MacDill Air Force Base

"We care about our students, our community and our employees. We want to make sure that we're not the college on the corner in the community. We want to be a member of that community. And so everything we do is designed to make sure that it helps our communities thrive." 

St. Petersburg College is celebrating 95 years. 

The college started in St. Petersburg High School and serves about 42,000 students a year.

Now, it has grown to 12 learning sites all over Pinellas County and online.