Tulsa Community College
Until 1969 Tulsa was served by two private higher education institutions. State lawmakers addressed the lack of a public post-secondary institution for Tulsa area residents by chartering Tulsa Junior College (TJC) in April 1969. The college’s Board of Regents appointed Dr. Alfred M. Philips as TJC’s first president and Dr. Dean P. VanTrease as executive vice president.
Dean VanTrease became president in 1989 and was responsible for the oversight and operation of four campuses and a conference center reaching more than 30,000 people each year.
Performing arts took on a new role with the opening of a new center which became known as The VanTrease Performing Arts Center for Education.
While today the college, now known as Tulsa Community College, is recognized nationally, it had very humble beginnings. The first classes were held in leased space in the Sinclair Oil Building, located at 909 South Boston Avenue in downtown Tulsa.
In his oral history, Dean VanTrease chronicles the growth of Tulsa Community College which includes his thirty-four years in leadership roles.
Dr. VanTrease was inducted into the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame in 2005.
Interview with Dean VanTrease
Müllerhaus Legacy Website Team
Date Created: February 23, 2012
Date Published: September 20, 2016
Notes: Recorded by John Erling in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Digital Audio Sound Recording, Non-Music.
Tags: American Airlines, George Kaiser, Bob Parker, Sinclair Building, Bob LaFortune, Saber System, Governor Dewey Bartlett, Community College, TCC, David Boren, Oral Roberts, change agents, Al Philips, Performing Arts