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History

The Delaware General Assembly created Delaware Technical Community College in 1966, when it approved House Bill 529, signed into law by then-Governor Charles L. Terry, Jr. The first Delaware Tech campus opened its doors in Sussex County in September of 1967. Three hundred and sixty-seven students enrolled in the first year encouraged by the slogan, “A job for every graduate, a graduate for every job.” Enrollment doubled in the second year, and it soon became necessary to begin construction to house more laboratories and classrooms at the “Southern Campus.” In 1995, the name was changed to the “Owens Campus” in honor of its first campus director, Jack F. Owens.

As the first classes were being held at Georgetown, plans were already underway to start a campus in northern Delaware. Space was rented for a temporary campus at Blue Rock Shopping Center in Wilmington. Reception to what would be called the “Northern Campus” was enthusiastic; 375 full-time students enrolled in 1968 when the campus opened. It became clear that these rented facilities would soon be inadequate to meet the needs of the ever-increasing numbers of students who wanted to attend.

As plans were made to find a permanent location for Delaware Tech in New Castle, there was concern that one large campus would not effectively serve both urban and suburban populations. On October 8, 1968, the Board, relying on input from architects and concerned citizens, opted for the development of a “multi-campus” facility with two locations to better meet the needs of all New Castle County residents. Thus, both the Stanton Campus (1973) and Wilmington Campus (1974) were born.

With a Delaware Tech campus in both Sussex and New Castle Counties, it was determined that 47% of high school juniors and seniors in Kent County said they would be interested in a Kent County branch of Delaware Tech. In response to this need, Kent Campus was established in 1972, and the name was later changed to “Terry Campus” in honor of Governor Charles Terry, who was a motivating force behind the establishment of the College.

The President's Office, located adjacent to the Terry Campus, functions as a central office by providing a variety of services in support of the campuses. Delaware Tech's enrollment has grown dramatically in recent years. Students of all ages, backgrounds and walks of life have benefited from the training and education provided. It is estimated that one fourth of Delaware's population has taken courses at Delaware Tech during its short history.