DEL MAR COLLEGE
DEL MAR COLLEGE. Del Mar College, originally named Corpus Christi Junior College, was established in 1935 under control of the board of trustees of the Corpus Christi Independent School District, although the junior college district and the CCISD taxes were collected separately. The superintendent of the school district, E. H. Hereford, also served as president of the junior college. The school's name was changed in 1948 to Del Mar College, and in 1951 the college became an independent political subdivision, legally the Corpus Christi Junior College District, governed by a locally elected board of regents. In 1946 Del Mar College won accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
In 1936 the institution had 154 students who attended evening classes at Roy Miller High School. A faculty of ten, four of whom had doctoral degrees, offered courses in business administration, education, English, foreign languages, mathematics, natural sciences, history, and government. In February 1942 the college moved to its East Campus on Baldwin Avenue, and a West Campus was opened in 1957 when additional land was acquired on Old Brownsville Road. Separate classes for black students were begun in 1948 on the campus of Solomon Coles High School and continued until the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka decision, when the East Campus was integrated.
Though it was conceived as a liberal arts junior college, Del Mar became a two-year comprehensive community college. It offers an associate in arts or science degree for students completing a university-transfer course plan, an associate in applied science degree for those who complete a two-year technical-occupational degree plan, and a certificate for completion of a one-year occupational program. The college's full-time student body grew from the original 154 to 4,125 in 1969, 8,927 in 1986, and 9,941 in the fall of 2000. The college budget was $28,000 in 1937. In 1969 it was $4,504,487 and in 1986, $27,648,220. The faculty increased from the initial ten to 572 in 1999. Terry L. Dicianna was president of the college in 1998.
When founded in 1935 Del Mar was intended to provide an opportunity for students affected by the Great Depression to begin their college careers inexpensively. After World War II the mission was broadened to provide vocational and technical training, and the college's name was changed to signal that the school was no longer a junior college in the traditional sense. In the decade of the 1960s the college also began to offer remedial courses to prepare students for entry into college-level programs. The college was also the birthplace of the Texas Jazz Festival, the Corpus Christi Symphony, and the Corpus Christi Chorale.
Nueces County Historical Society, History of Nueces County (Austin: Jenkins, 1972).