Holland College | Celebrating 50 Years



Celebrating 50 Years

Home > 50Years

"The Island is our campus"

Holland College opened its doors on September 2, 1969, welcoming 83 students enrolled in four programs. Since then, well over 40,000 people have taken full- and part-time courses and programs in order to acquire the skills and knowledge they needed to pursue their career goals, and another 60,000 learners have attended Adult Education, Language Training, and Continuing Education courses.

We have some exciting events planned for our anniversary, we'll continue to add information as soon as plans have been confirmed. Whether you were one of the first 83 students, just graduated this year, are still a student, or are a current or retired staff member, we hope that you will join in the celebrations.

Watch our anniversary videos!

With assistance from the President's Innovation Fund, we produced three videos celebrating Holland College.

The first is an anniversary message from founding president Dr. Donald Glendenning. You can watch it here

Our second video is about our amazing alumni and how they contribute to our community. You can watch it here.

Here's a link to our 50th Anniversary YouTube playlist. You'll find an informational film from the late 1970s, and a recreation of an orientation manual from the 1980s.

Our third video will focus on Holland College's contributions to the provincial economy.

Do you have a picture from your Holland College days that you would like to share?

If you have a picture or two that you would like to share, please feel free to contact sunderwood@hollandcollege.com

If you have siblings, parents, children, even grandchildren who are also Holland College graduates or students, send us a picture of your Holland College family with an explanation. We’ll post them on the website and on Facebook.

Tell us a story!

We all have stories from our time at the college! If you have one that you would like to share, please feel free to contact sunderwood@hollandcollege.com


50th Anniversary Events

Evening Lecture Series

Please note: this information is subject change as we confirm plans.


Florence Simmons Performance Hall
Participants: Dr. Glendenning, Fred Hyndman, Henry Purdy
Moderator: Dr. Tim McRoberts, Director, Canada's Smartest Kitchen
Opening remarks by Holland College President Dr. Sandy MacDonald

How do you build a college from the ground up? Without a blueprint to guide them, the college’s first staff members researched and discussed various delivery models, visited other colleges to see what was available to adapt, and eventually developed the model for Holland College. The team was committed to creating a college of applied arts and technology as opposed to a “Junior College”. Dr. Donald Glendenning, founding president of Holland College, will be joined on stage by Fred Hyndman, a member of the College Planning Committee, and Henry Purdy, one of the first instructors at the college, to discuss the development of the college. The trio will talk about the trials and triumphs throughout the development process, and even throw in a few choice stories along the way! There will be an opportunity for alumni and retired Holland College staff and faculty to step up to the mic and share their stories from “back in the day”, too.

Listen to Matt Rainnie's CBC Mainstreet interview with Dr. Glendenning and Dr. McRoberts about the college's first 50 years here.



Third Floor, Centre for Applied Science and Technology
Prince of Wales Campus
Participants: Larry Coffin, retired Holland College instructor and CBE specialist; Marylou Griffin-Jenkins, Manager- Curriculum Services; Andrew MacLaine, Learning Manager, Child and Youth Care Worker program; and Chris Arsenault, Learning Manager, Computer Networking Technology.

Moderator: Kim Gillis, Curriculum & Instructional Consultant

Competency-based education (CBE) measures students’ progress by focusing on the demonstration of skills as opposed to abstract knowledge. CBE was an integral component in the approach to education for the Island’s new community college, and 50 years later it is still an important element of the college’s curriculum development and delivery.  How different is our approach to CBE now? This discussion will delve into the origins of CBE and how it has changed over the years.

Due to our Covid-19 precautionary measures, our other events have been cancelled.

As part of our year-long celebration, 50th Anniversary Golden Endowment Fund has been established through the Holland College Foundation. The purpose of this special fund is to support student learning, primarily through financial aid. If you would like to make a gift to the 50th Anniversary Golden Endowment Fund please follow this link.