Press 2018-04-16T15:09:31-07:00

Yavapai College:
50 Years of Service

Yavapai College welcomed its first students in 1968, for a class in basic electricity. In the intervening five decades, thousands have experienced life-changing education, earned degrees, trained for in-demand careers and enjoyed lifelong learning opportunities.

Over time, the college also evolved into a focal point for cultural arts enrichment and emerged as a leading partner in economic and workforce development efforts. Please join us as we celebrate our golden anniversary and begin to shape the next 50 years of responding to community education, training and lifelong learning needs.

Following is a schedule of 50th Anniversary celebration activities for each of YC’s campuses and centers:

  • Prescott Campus, Sat. Aug. 25
    Jay Leno performance, block party, alumni gatherings
  • Prescott Valley Center, Sat. Sept. 15
    Daylong health fair
  • CTEC, Sat. Sept. 29
    Tech games and demonstrations
  • Verde Valley Campus, Sat. Oct. 20
    Carnival, alumni reception
  • Chino Valley Center, Sat. Oct. 27
    Daylong fall festival
  • Sedona Center, Sat. Nov. 3
    Free cooking classes and demonstrations

Yavapai College – A History

Yavapai College was started in 1966 when voters approved the formation of a junior college district that November. The following year, voters approved a $2.5 million bond to fund the creation of the college and the school’s first president, Dr. John Barnes, was named the following month.

Following issuance of a lease by the Bureau of Land Management, ground was broken on the Prescott campus in September, 1968. In September 1974, the college leased 69 acres near Cottonwood for the Verde Valley campus, with the groundbreaking and dedication coming the following year. Dr. Del Higham was appointed the first campus Dean. In that same year, the YC baseball team wins its first national championship.

Groundbreaking ceremonies are held on the Verde Valley campus for an administrative services building, an art-science building, and a business facility in 1986. In 1989, another groundbreaking is held on the Verde Valley campus for a library, learning center and physical education facility. The Prescott campus library groundbreaking takes place that same year.

In 1990, the Prescott campus holds a groundbreaking ceremony for the planned Performing Arts Center, which opens in 1992.

The Chino Valley Agribusiness & Science Technology Center opened in 1992, then the Prescott Valley Center in 1996, followed by the Sedona Center in 2000, and finally the Career Technical Education Center (CTEC) in 2007. Also in 2007, the Del E. Webb Family Enrichment Center opens on the Prescott campus.

The Verde Valley campus dedicates the Charles F. “Chuck” Mabery Pavilion and holds the groundbreaking ceremony for the Southwest Wine Center in 2013.

Since 1970, Yavapai College has produced 18,351 graduates and awarded 21,665 degrees. In 2016, Yavapai College graduates more than 1,100 students with a degree or certificate; the charter class graduated 60 students in 1970.

Yavapai College Leadership

Executive Leadership

  • President – Dr. Penny Wills
  • Vice President of Instruction and Student Development – Dr. Ron Liss
  • Vice President of Finance and Administrative Services – Dr. Clint Ewell
  • Vice President of Community Relations – Rodney Jenkins

District Governing Board

Yavapai College District Governing Board members are community individuals who live within Yavapai County. Board members are elected officials for six-year terms representing five districts within the County.

  • District 1 – Ray Sigafoos (Chair)
  • District 2 – Deb McCasland
  • District 3 – Dr. Connie Harris
  • District 4 – Dr. Patricia McCarver
  • District 5 – Steve Irwin (Secretary)

Press Inquiries

Jennifer McCormack, 928-776-2349,