Weatherford College has been celebrating its sesquicentennial year throughout 2019, and what a year it has been! Our 150 years of institutional history has truly been something to celebrate. This time last year, I referenced the July 5, 1869 founding of Weatherford College. Our great state’s first land grant institution, Texas A&M University, was founded in 1871. The first publicly funded institution in Texas, The University of Texas, was founded in 1881. It is astounding, but true, that the founding of Weatherford College predates the founding of both Texas A&M University and the University of Texas.
During our sesquicentennial year, Weatherford College has become an All-Steinway Institution and hosted our inaugural International Piano Competition. Through efficiency measures such as labor reorganizations and selective hiring freezes, we have provided our employees with long overdue substantive salary increases and year-end bonuses... all while simultaneously lowering the tax rate and reducing overall labor costs. We have expanded our dual credit partnerships to include over 30 public independent school districts and a rapidly growing network of private school partnerships. We have installed a WFAA Channel 8 weather camera that broadcasts images of Weatherford College to millions of viewers in our region of the state. We have purchased and are implementing a new technology backbone that will provide both increased efficiencies and advances in student success. Dead trees have been removed from campus, existing trees have been pruned, and new trees have been planted. We have improved our facilities, collaborated with the City of Weatherford to build a new roundabout, and added a new state-of-the art digital sign. Existing programs such as the Occupational Therapy Assistant program and the Physical Therapy Assistant program have been revitalized and relocated. New collaborative academic programs such as the Veterinary Technician program and Corporate College have surged forward. We are in the process of expanding out athletic programs by bringing back golf and tennis, and by adding volleyball for the first time. Perhaps our greatest leap forward will come with the addition of bachelor’s degrees in the Fall 2020 semester. What a historic institutional milestone!
All of this institutional action has not gone unnoticed. Weatherford College was named the Educational Partner of the Year by Workforce Solutions of North Central Texas. Weatherford College was named the large business of the year by the East Parker County Chamber of Commerce. Weatherford College was named large business of the year by the Weatherford Chamber of Commerce. Each of these awards was a first in Weatherford College history. Collectively, the awards were the institutional equivalent of the Triple Crown.
Institutional awards, student achievement, and employee morale were not the only increases during our noble institution’s sesquicentennial year. A record number of new permanently endowed scholarships have been established. Under the exceptional leadership of Weatherford College Foundation President Bob Glenn, philanthropy has seen exponential increases. Generations of lives will be forever changed because of the incredible generosity of our community benefactors. Weatherford College is changing lives like never before!
On the heels of such collaborative success, it is now time to reach even higher and accomplish even more. Now that we have collectively celebrated our institutional history, it is time to look forward. What do we want our college and our community to look like in the years to come? The college and the community have been closely linked throughout the past 150 years, and will inevitably share a common future. I am confident that Weatherford College is poised to support our businesses and grow our regional economy like never before. I am confident that Weatherford College will equip our students with high skill/high demand credentials like never before. I am extremely confident that the greatest days of Weatherford College lie ahead! Together we enter a new exciting era of Weatherford College… and I can’t wait!
Tod Allen Farmer
President, Weatherford College