- Old friends are best. John Selden
Graduate from the St. Petersburg College
In the 1920s, people in St. Petersburg began to talk about the need for an institution of higher learning to provide job skills training to local residents of modest means. At the time, higher education only was available to those who could afford to travel to distant cities and stay there long enough to complete their studies.
So in September 1927, with the backing of local business and political leaders, Florida's first two-year institution of higher learning, St. Petersburg Junior College, opened in an unused wing of the then-new St. Petersburg High School. Enrollment: 102, taught by a faculty of 14. The first college president was George Lynch who served also as Superintendent of Public Instruction, St. Petersburg Public Schools.
There were 48 members of the first graduating class in 1929. More than half received state teaching certificates. At the time, the need for certified teachers in Pinellas County was great and growing and a two-year college diploma was all that was needed for certification.
In 1931, the college, which was now in its own building overlooking Mirror Lake in downtown St. Petersburg, became accredited and has remained so to this day.