Lake-Sumter Community College


The History of LSSCLSCC's Sundial

1961:  Lake and Sumter County citizens rally to establish an institution of higher learning. The Florida Legislature authorized Lake-Sumter Junior College (LSJC) for white citizens and Johnson Junior College for black citizens.

1962:  LSJC students begin classes in modular buildings located on the Leesburg High School campus with Dr. Paul P. Williams as the College’s first president. Johnson Junior College students begin classes at Carver Heights High School with Perman E. Williams as its first president.

1964:  39 students graduate at the first Commencement of LSJC.

May 1964:  Groundbreaking for the 70-acre Leesburg campus, along Highway 441 near Silver Lake.

1965:  The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prompted the Lake County School Board, then the College’s governing body, to merge LSJC and Johnson Junior College. For the 1965-66 academic year, LSJC operated as a school with two locations:  the Johnson Center at Carver Heights High School and the Silver Lake Center. Also, this year, LSJC was accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges Commission on College (SACSCOC) allowing credits earned at LSJC to transfer to other regionally accredited institutions.

January 1965:  The Library and three other buildings open their doors to LSJC students. 57 students graduate at the first, and only, Commencement of Johnson Junior College.

1966:  The Johnson Center closes and the two schools are now fully united on the Silver Lake location.

1968:  103 students graduate as part of the first Commencement ceremony at the Silver Lake location.

1970:  LSJC renamed to Lake-Sumter Community College (LSCC) in response to the Florida Legislature’s creation of a Division of Community Colleges.

October 1976:  The Fine Arts Center, featuring a 440-seat auditorium and fine arts studios, opens.

1980:
  The LSCC Foundation, Inc. is organized with Marie Bowden as its first chair. Bowden was a member of the advisory committee created to inform the creation of the College in the early 1960s. Also, Dr. Paul P. Williams announces his retirement from LSCC. Dr. Robert S. Palinchak is named as his successor.

1986:
  Dr. Carl C. Andersen is selected at the College’s third president.

1988:
  LSCC and the Sumter County School Board agree to establish a joint-use facility in Sumterville that would provide adult education classes and college-level programs. This was the first step in a long series of college, community, and individual efforts leading to the construction of the Sumter Center.

1990:
  The Florida Legislature appropriates funds for LSCC to purchase two additional parcels of land that increased the size of the Leesburg campus to 114 acres.

1993:
  Dr. Robert W. Westrick is selected as the College’s fourth president.

1995:
  Florida Gov. Lawton Chiles helps dedicate LSCC’s first regional facility. The Sumter Center first welcomed students in the summer of this year.

1999:
  The first South Lake students entered the Phase I Building (Building 1) in September. The building was officially dedicated in December. Also, this year, the groundbreaking for the Phase II building in South Lake was held.

January 2000:
  The 16,000 square foot Clark Maxwell, Jr., and Student Services Center at the Sumter Center opens.

September 2000:
  The refurbished Gymnasium on Leesburg Campus, including the addition of the Magnolia Room for banquets and meetings, is rededicated as the Everett A. Kelly Convocation Center, in honor of the supportive state legislator. Later that month, a ceremony is held to commemorate the newly enhanced Leesburg Campus Sports and Recreation Complex.

December 2001:
  The state-of-the-art Health Sciences Center in Leesburg is dedicated thanks to an anonymous $3 million donation that was matched by state funds.

March 2002:
  The Phase II building, known as the Higher Education Facility (Building 2), at the South Lake campus is dedicated as a joint-use facility between LSCC and the University of Central Florida.

July 2002:
  Dr. Robert W. Westrick retires and Dr. Charles R. Mojock is selected as the College’s fifth president.

2006:  LSCC partners with the University of Central Florida for the DirectConnect to UCF program, increasing access to bachelor’s degrees and providing guaranteed acceptance for students earning their AA degree.

July 2008:
  The Legends Way Softball Complex, a professional-quality venue for collegiate and community competitors, and regional and national tournaments, is dedicated in South Lake County. This complex is a partnership among LSCC, Lake County Government and South Lake Hospital.

September 2009:  Cooper Memorial Library, a 50,000 square foot facility costing $14.3 million, is formally dedicated on the South Lake campus. This facility was made possible through a unique collaboration among LSCC, Lake County Board of County Commissioners and the University of Central Florida with the support of the Friends of Cooper Memorial Library and the Cooper Memorial Library Association.

2010:  LSCC receives reaccreditation from SACSCOC. The Nursing program also receives accreditation from the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, showing the program’s commitment to a high-quality education.

2011: The Aspen Institute names LSCC among the 120 best community colleges in the nation.

August 2011:  The District Board of Trustees votes to enhance LSCC’s academic program offering through four-year bachelor and/or bachelor of applied science degrees.

2012:  The College celebrates its 50th Anniversary with the slogan “Appreciating the Past, Anticipating the Future”. The College is again recognized by the Aspen Institute as being one of the best community colleges in the nation.

September 2012:  The District Board of Trustees earmarks funds to establish the Sumter Partnership for Workforce Innovation and Education. This partnership creates a plan to better serve the training needs of the citizens of Sumter County.  Initial partners in the project include Sumter County Commission, Sumter County Schools, Sumter County Sheriff, Sumter County Fire Department, University of South Florida, Combat Veterans to Careers, and The Villages Charter School.

November 2012:  The District Board of Trustees votes to rename the college to Lake-Sumter State College.

January 201337 students enroll in the College’s first four-year degree program, the Bachelor of Applied Science in Organizational Management.

2014:  Lake-Sumter State College, South Lake Hospital, Lake County Public Schools, Montverde Academy, and the University of Central Florida partner to establish the Health Sciences Collegiate Academy, offering rigorous STEM and health sciences focused curriculum to South Lake students in grades 9 through 12.

December 2015:  Dr. Charles R. Mojock retires, and Dr. Stanley M. Sidor is selected as the College’s sixth president. Also, a groundbreaking ceremony is held for the Science-Health Building on the South Lake campus.

January 2016:  The Sumter Center celebrates its 20th year of operation serving the students of Sumter County.

May 2016:  LSSC partners with Lake Technical College, who will offer a Practical Nursing (LPN) program in South Lake to enhance the student pathway to gaining training and certifications necessary for employment. The partnership expands to Sumter by November.

2017:  The College again receives recognition by the Aspen Institute as being one of the Top 150 community colleges in the nation.

June 2017:  LSSC Foundation begins offering the J.P. Donnelly Transition Scholarship to students who transition from Lake Technical College to LSSC for degree programs.

August 2017:  The Science-Health Building, a 51,000 square foot facility is formally dedicated on the South Lake campus.