By Karem Rodriguez
City College’s Mission Campus welcomed around 100 supporters on Aug. 5 to celebrate its reopening following two years of closure due to the pandemic.
Former and present City College staff along with Mission neighbors listened to speeches by California State Senator Scott Wiener, Chancellor Dr. David Martin, Mission Center Dean Jorge Bell, and former Dean of Mission Center Carlota del Portillo praised the return of the center.
Also in attendance were supervisorial representatives from the office of Hillary Rowen, Myrna Melgar and Ahsha Safai. Other dignitaries included City College trustees Bridgette Davila, John Rizo, and Malinalli Villalobos.
“It’s important that we sustain and support the Mission Center,” Chancellor Martin said. “The relationship that this campus has to the community and the community to this campus is second to none.”
Currently, the center has a student population of 3,000. Before the pandemic, the student population was 8,000. “This campus belongs to the community,” Dean Bell added. “We seek the restoration of courses and programs.”
During the event, Bell and Del Portillo were presented with a City proclamation recognizing August 5th as Mission Campus Day. Bell proposed that every August 5th be a celebration honoring the center.
Friday’s reopening was a day to celebrate and also a moment of reflection on the importance and impact the center has had on the Latino community.
“It took us 34 years to have this building. While other communities had a campus, it seemed that nobody cared about Latinos, so I thought the only thing left to do was organize ourselves because ‘el pueblo puede’ and because the future is ours,” del Portillo said.
Emphasizing the significance of this reopening, State Senator Wiener said: “Community colleges create a pathway for everyone to be part of the middle-class. City College is all about giving our students the opportunity to fulfill their dreams. So, it’s important to support the Mission Center.”
After the speeches, the celebration continued with live music and lunch.