CCA Ushers in the next era of service as it looks back on the past 40 years

Photo credit: CCA Dept. of Strategic Communications

Aurora, Colo. The Community College of Aurora ushered in a new era of service, with a community celebration of its historic 40 year run as Aurora’s premiere educational institution. 

City and community leaders joined current and former CCA staff, students and more on November 1st to commemorate the school’s impressive milestone.

CCA began with humble roots, without a centralized campus to call its own. Several buildings around Aurora served as makeshift classrooms. The school is now Aurora’s standard bearer for educating the community, and helping people to achieve their educational and professional goals.   

Dr. Mordecai Brownlee led the celebration event, by giving a speech on CCA’s reputation as the “college without walls.” The moniker was earned because of those humble beginnings.

Dr. Brownlee emphasized that these days, the school retains that motto as a badge of honor to remind people that as an open access institution, everyone is welcome to enroll and make the moves to earn their credentials and degrees.

Brownlee went on to say, “Forty years of unwavering commitment to education, empowerment, and excellence – the Community College of Aurora is a beacon of economic mobility and opportunity for all. Here’s to four decades of impact and the countless generations it will inspire for years to come.”

Also on hand for the celebration were former president  Betsy Oudenhoven, who spoke about how CCA persevered through a time when no one thought the college would succeed, and now is central to the strong foundation of the greater Aurora community. 

Joe Garcia, Chancellor of the Colorado Community College System (CCCS), to which CCA belongs, spoke about the school’s unique role in serving students from a wide variety of backgrounds. 

“As the most diverse institution in Colorado, the Community College of Aurora has garnered state and national attention for its commitment to inclusive excellence and student success. I am proud to celebrate the college’s rich 40-year legacy and know the best is yet to come for this outstanding institution,” Garcia said. 

As for the next 40 years, Brownlee says the college will continue to work to serve the Aurora community, giving people opportunities for a better life. 

Construction has begun on CCA’s new Center for STEM, Power Mechanics, and Applied Technology Building, giving students even more opportunities to find pathways to in-demand, well paying jobs. 

Click HERE to view photos from the event. To learn more about CCA, and to begin the enrollment process, click HERE.

About the Community College of Aurora:

The Community College of Aurora (CCA) provides high-quality instruction and student support services to Aurora and Denver, Colorado. With a vision to aspire to be a college where every student succeeds, CCA is the most diverse college in the State of Colorado. Focused on creating social and economic mobility for its students, the college offers courses on two (2) campuses, online, and through its high school concurrent-enrollment programs. For more information, visit



Executive Director
Strategic Communications and Alumni Engagement

P: 303-335-6177   |  E: [email protected]