Sept. 30, 1965
The Alabama State Board of Education (BOE) chose Brewton as the site for a junior college. A committee of Escambia County citizens recommended the name, Jefferson Davis College, for the new school.
Classes opened on Sept. 30, 1965, with about 186 students and were held at the First United Methodist Church until the campus buildings were completed. Along with the first president, Woodfin Patterson, there were seven full-time and three part-time instructors and a librarian. The first three buildings on campus – the Wallace Administration Building, the Student Center and Leigh Library – were completed in May 1966.
On Dec. 13, 1990, the BOE consolidated Jefferson Davis Junior College and Atmore State Technical College, forming Jefferson Davis Community College. The new institution has campuses in Brewton and Atmore. Its mission is to provide accessible educational opportunities, promote economic growth and enhance quality of life for people in south Alabama.
The name would change again in 2016 when JDCC, Faulkner State and Alabama Southern community colleges consolidated into what is now known as Coastal Alabama Community College.
Read more at Encyclopedia of Alabama.
The Alabama State Department of Education is headquartered in Montgomery, Montgomery County. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, photo courtesy of the Alabama State Department of Education)
Brewton, the centrally located seat of Escambia County, lies at the convergence of Burnt Corn Creek and Murder Creek before they connect with the Conecuh River. Brewton spawned the legend of Railroad Bill, the train-hopping outlaw whose exploits have been immortalized in folk stories and songs. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of Jimmy Emerson)
A view of the shops along Main Street in downtown Atmore, Escambia County. The city was a timber and agricultural center through the early twentieth century, in addition to being a key railway hub; it is named after a Louisiana and Nashville Railroad general ticket agent. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of the City of Atmore)
Exhibits covering the life of Alabama’s renowned storyteller, Kathryn Tucker Windham, are displayed at a museum bearing her name on the campus of Coastal Alabama Community College in Thomasville, Clarke County. In addition to memorabilia associated with her career as a storyteller, there are items and images from her work as a photographer and a sculpture of her by her neighbor, Charlie Lucas. (From Encyclopedia of Alabama, courtesy of Billy Milstead)
For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.