History of WCC
In 1962, a steering committee composed of area citizens was organized to obtain support for a college in Wytheville. After approval by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia and the General Assembly, the Wythe County-owned Simmerman Building was chosen as the first site of the college.
Wytheville Community College welcomed its first students in September, 1963, as a two-year branch of Virginia Polytechnic Institute. During its first year of operation, the college enrolled 107 students and employed five full-time faculty members.
The Virginia Community College System was established during the 1966 session of the General Assembly. Wytheville Community College became a member of the system on July 1, 1967. In the first year of its operation, the college’s enrollment rose to 837 and the number of full-time faculty members increased to 21. The college’s enrollment has grown to over 4,000 students in 2009-2010, with more than 40 full-time and 140 part-time faculty.
Acquisition of property for the permanent site began in 1965, when a tract of 103 acres was purchased from the Wytheville Knitting Mill Corporation by the County of Wythe and the Town of Wytheville. Approximately three acres adjoining the campus on the east were purchased by the college in 1975. In 1979, the State Board for Community Colleges approved a gift of land (approximately 42 acres) from Helen Janssen Wetzel, Elsa L. Bowman, and Helene L. Master. The gift of land was made in memory of Mr. Richard C. Wetzel, Dr. John E. Livingood, and Mr. Harry Janssen, an industrial pioneer in the American textile industry and builder of the old Wytheville Knitting Mills.
The first building on the permanent site, Fincastle Hall, was occupied in September of 1968. Bland Hall, which now houses primarily the college's administrative offices, and an occupational-technical classroom building, Carroll Hall, were occupied during the 1970-71 academic year. A nursing and allied health building, Galax Hall, was completed in the spring of 1973. An occupational-technical building, Grayson Hall, was dedicated in the spring of 1985. Smyth Hall, the college's learning resource center, was completed and dedicated in the spring of 1998.