"It been many years since I saw them (HCC faculty), but I still to this day realize how much they did for me to further my career and they still pop in my mind from time to time."

— Bill Russell, HCC class of 1970, AA Liberal Arts

I started HCC in August 1969 and graduated in June 1970 with an AA in Liberal Arts. We did not have a building to attend so we attended class in the late afternoon at Plant High or Hillsborough High School during weekdays and it worked well. The students like me were the first ones in their family to attend/graduate college. We used to kid each other saying we were not,” Bayshore Beautiful “! Just kids from hard working families taking advantage to better ourselves through the state community college system. Life was good. Tampa was a different world in those days, slow paced and extremely welcoming. Not much on air conditioning, but we survived.

My sister and I choose to attend HCC because it was a new exciting program. The faculty and administration were as helpful as one could be to accommodate the class schedules to our life style, since most of us worked part-time. The attitude around the college was “Can Do“, and they found a way to make it work for all of us. Additionally, if you graduated HCC, you were guaranteed admission to any Florida college to complete your 4 year degree. After I graduated HCC I was academically ready to move up to USF, all because of the excellent program and faculty. Two such faculty come to mind. Ms. Sybil Barnes, an angel in my book. She listened to our needs and taught us how to achieve our goal to graduate, always putting us before herself, and she was fun. My other faculty angel was Ms. Nancy White, fun but strong on her teaching methods. First time we attended her class she greeted us and said no excuses from any of you, “follow my lead and you will be successful here at HCC”. We did, and it worked. It been many years since I saw them but I still to this day realize how much they did for me to further my career and they still pop in my mind from time to time.

So what does this mean to a new student thinking about attending HCC? The smaller class size, the impressive faculty, coupled with the affordable tuition, make it the best deal in town. After HCC, I graduated from The University of South Florida in 1972 with my degree in Business, which ultimately led to a wonderful career in finance. I attribute my success to attending and graduating from HCC, that’s for sure!