Marion Technical College (MTC) will be celebrating its 50th anniversary this November. In honor of this golden anniversary, the college commissioned a book of its history by someone who witnessed much of it: MTC alumna and recently retired staff member Teresa Parker. Parker started at MTC as a student in the mid-1970s and worked at the college for more than 40 years.
“One of the main reasons I chose MTC was one of my best friends from high school was going to attend MTC. We carpooled from Mt. Gilead. I enrolled in a one-year intensive secretarial program, taking over 20 credit hours each quarter. I ended up staying and completing the second year and received an associate degree in secretarial office education.”
Parker earned a second associate degree in business management from MTC. She started as a student worker and then was hired full-time as a student services secretary. She was promoted to supervisor of secretarial services. After seven years, she became an administrative assistant. Parker eventually served as Assistant to the President and was Chief of Staff at MTC before retiring.
“Working my way up from being a student employee to the chief of staff – it was a good journey!” Parker shared. “All of us that worked there that long are pretty proud of all they accomplished, how the college grew and the number of students that we served and all of the people we helped along the way.”
Parker witnessed a number of milestones in her decades of service.
- “When I came to MTC as a student in 1975, MTC and the Ohio State University at Marion shared Morrill Hall. The Technical Education Center (now Bryson Hall) was under construction and did not open until the fall of 1976,” Parker recalls. “MTC offered programs in business, engineering, secretarial office education, and nursing. Enrollment was a little over 500 students.”
- Enrollment is now over 2,500 students annually. More than 52,000 students have walked through the doors.
- “One thing that has not changed is MTC’s focus on the student. One of the college’s slogans in the earlier years was ‘help a student get a job, keep a job, or get a better job.’ I think that remains true today,” Parker stated. “The primary mission is to help students learn the skills needed to be employed in their field of study or continue their education at a four-year college.”
Researching the book helped Parker appreciate the challenges of the first few years of the college, which was first called Marion County Technical Institute. She researched historical documents for over a year and interviewed some of the 500 full-time employees who helped shape thousands of lives and careers.
“MTC felt like a family. We had a large number of employees who worked together for 30 or 40 years, which is not something that you see very often these days. You do become a family.” shared Parker, who was introduced to her husband Steve (MTC alumni) by a fellow employee, Joel Liles.
“I wrote the book for future employees so they would know what the college was like when it started and what it focused on over the decades and how it grew – how technology changed; how the facilities came about,” Parker said.
Parker says local people should be proud of MTC. “It is truly MarionMade!. A group of Marion business and education leaders were instrumental in establishing MTC,” Parker said.
MTC has active involvement and support from the community, as business and industry leaders serve on academic advisory committees, help develop academic programs, and offer employees who serve as adjunct faculty at MTC.
While the technology, hairstyles, and campus resources have changed, one goal remains the same: to help MTC students succeed. MTC invests in local students and it pays dividends for our workforce, businesses, and our community.
To order a copy of “Marion Technical College: The First 50 Years”, visit mtc.edu/50book. Copies will be $50 per book and will be delivered in late summer.