Skip to main content


PPCC 50th Anniversary


PPCC 50th Anniversary Memories

Mayoral Memories

"I've been teaching a lot through my life, and I don't think I would have realized how much I enjoy teaching and found my love for teaching without that initial experience at Pikes Peak Community College.” -- Colorado Springs Mayor (and former Criminal Justice instructor) John Suthers  


In Old Town Center

"One of our first buildings was a storefront at 2500 W. Colorado Ave., and that's an L-shaped storefront with two levels and a full basement, and our first science lab was in the basement. … It was called the Old Town Center." - Donald Sieck, original director of administrative services.


Challenge to Gain Acceptance

"The people in Colorado Springs, including the newspapers, had this to say, that we had no need for another college in this town. They were not all that enthused about the community college concept, not at all. ... And we fought every step of the way to gain that acceptance in the community." - Donald Sieck, original director of administrative services.


Where Loyalty and Graffiti Meet

"We heard this owner of the building had someone come out there and paint on the side of that building [the auto shop], and, at the time we were El Paso Community College. He had painted 'El Paso Community College, West Siders built it, keep it here.' ...

"Mr. Sieck was acting president and he was out to lunch. He comes back and I said, 'Have you seen what's on the auto shop? Go look out your window, go look out your window!' So he goes walking out, and I follow him, and he doesn't know I am there -- and you know, Don Sieck was the perfect gentleman -- and so he looks out the window and says, 'That son of a bitch!" 

"And he came back in, picked up the phone, called up Paul Simmons, who was head of maintenance and he says, 'I want the wall of the auto shop painted in the next 30 minutes - white.'  Paul went over there and painted it all out." - Carol Van Lew, executive secretary

'I Don't Do Windows'

"Once I finished with short hand, I started with keyboarding, beginning typing, and I went on to 10 key, and from there I started teaching word processing. And that was interesting because I was used to Word Perfect, and the college was changing over to Windows. And I didn't know what Windows was. I went into my class one day and a student goes, "Do you do Windows?' 'No, I don't do windows," because I thought he was talking about washing windows!" - Faculty Sandy Bailey, 1993-2013

'Why the Aardvarks?

"Why did we pick the aardvark? Well, it's a very silly thing. And it was just one of the possibilities. There were also things like The Mountaineers. ... there were what one might call respectable choices. And then the campaign began, and those of us in student government were thinking, 'How much money do you want to spend on things (like sports teams) you won't participate in?' The aardvark was selected. We chose black and blue so when we got stomped on the field, no one would notice." -- Early Student Government member Lance Wedor

One-Stop-Shop for Career and Love

"I met the love of my life and business partner (Christopher Schell) in Rob Olson’s classroom. Every day I’m incredibly grateful for PPCC, Rob, the lessons he taught and the support he offered me during an incredibly trying time in my life." -- PPCC 2018 Commencement Keynote Speaker Jenny Schell

 Year of the Aardvark? Seriously?

"1994 was the Year of the Aardvark!  PPCC raised money to temporarily house an aardvark at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo." -- Vicki Furaus, Student Services Specialist and 31-year employee

Twice Rewarded

"Attended the first year EPCC was open. Went to Vietnam, came back and met my wife of 43 years at EPCC in 1974." -- Student Jerome Parent

More Than Just Typing

"In June of 1988, PPCC hosted a Cortez Peters Typing Workshop for business teachers in the Colorado Springs area.  Approximately 50 teachers attended the four-day workshop at Centennial Campus.  Cortez Peters was the world champion typist at that time.  He averaged 225 words per minute with 0 errors without the use of a correcting typewriter.  He advocated saying each letter as you typed (at first out loud and later silently) and starting over if you made an error.  He didn’t just teach us about typing though.  He was a big proponent of recognizing student achievement with applause and chocolate kisses!  Every day he reminded us that “Students don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”  -- Instructor Nancy Meiklejohn, instructor from 1981-83 and 1993-present

Retired Consultant?

In "Even in retirement, people would ask me to explain to them how to figure faculty overload contracts." -- Office manager Mary Ann Tabor, 1983-2008

Dropping Out Was Not the End

"My PPCC degree hangs proudly on my office wall to this day and it always will. It is a keepsake proving the value of pushing beyond my comfort zone and jumping in with both feet. It is a reminder that failure is not permanent." -- Student Drew Johnson,

1998-1999, 2007-2010