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“This is really exciting about 40 years for Brookhaven College,” said Marc Anderson who started at the college when it opened in 1978 and was in the first graduating class at Brookhaven. “I was that 18-year-old kid who was kind of nervous about everything and all. And wow – it doesn’t seem possible that 40 years have passed.”
It was just a fluke that Anderson was walking the trail in mid-September and learned about Brookhaven College’s 40th anniversary when he happened to strike up a conversation with a staff member in the parking lot. He said he usually walks in the park in Addison, but that location was crowded with activity preparing for an event.
It was a perfect opportunity to stop by for a nostalgic look at the campus and see what has changed over the past 40 years.
“I noticed that the windmill’s gone – and it was there from the very beginning,” he said. “I almost want to say that the campus was futuristic in that it was cutting edge. I think that was exemplified by the windmill and driving into the future.”
He tried to determine which buildings were original and which had been added, but said he felt a bit awkward walking through campus, since he was no longer a student and might appear out of place. He said that there were maybe four buildings when he attended.
“There was the one big one and I recall we had the student union. I was sitting on the couches in there between classes doing homework and actually watching the space shuttle land for the very first time,” he said.
Anderson graduated from Richardson High School and Brookhaven’s affordability was just one factor in his choice to attend.
“Brookhaven wasn’t the only option - it was a good choice,” he said. “My mom was a single mom and I was doing it on my own. So that’s where I wanted to go or was able to go, and it was a great choice.”
Because of his own experience, when his children had the opportunity to take classes in community college he supported that option.
“I had no reservations whatsoever, because I knew the level of education and the professors were second to none in my experience,” said Anderson, who has four children. His oldest graduated from Stephen F. Austin, his son is in a master’s program at University of Oklahoma and planning to attend medical school, and his two youngest are undergrads also at University of Oklahoma.
“Well, there is no question that education is the key to the lock that opens many doors,” he said. “It is an amazing opportunity for kids that might not otherwise have the opportunity to go to college. Brookhaven College is a great place to start, actually.”
He had a favorite history professor that he still thinks of often, and he said his computer class in BASIC programming was incredibly fundamental but seemed like advanced technology at the time.
“I just remember Brookhaven College being a welcoming place,” he said. “It almost seems like there was a conservation aspect to the campus. It was something that was looking to the future and not behind.”
He never imagined that 40 years later he would be talking about his Brookhaven College experience, which he said has served him well and prepared him to be diligent and keep striving for success.
“It’s been a joy to talk about those days,” said Anderson noting he also attended classes at Richland College. “There is a special place in my heart for the DCCCD.”
Marc Anderson resides with his wife and family in Oklahoma City. He is an account manager with Tom Lange and has been with the company for 28 years.