Monday, March 19, 2012

A 50th anniversary celebration at Grossmont College April 13 and 14

 A 50-year anniversary doesn’t happen every day, so Grossmont College will celebrate its golden moment in history with a blowout weekend of free events for the community to enjoy April 13 and 14 at the El Cajon campus.
     Music lovers, foodies, dancers, amateur scientists, artists, CSI fans, poets, fitness and health devotees, theater lovers, techies, gamers, math whizzes – there’s something for everyone. So much so that visitors will want to come both days for the hands-on activities and demonstrations showcasing Grossmont’s incredible offerings and extensive learning opportunities.
      “Our faculty and staff are opening our doors and inviting local residents to take advantage of the incredible resources that are available in their backyard,” said Grossmont College President Sunny Cooke said. “We’re hosting a fun-filled, family-oriented festival that will appeal to the community like never before.”

     Featuring an old-fashioned Sock Hop dance, free samples from a dozen gourmet food trucks, cooking classes, a dedication ceremony for the college’s two newest high-tech buildings, and even the opportunity to join in an attempt to set a new world record, the two days will be jam-packed with events celebrating the college’s half-century of academic excellence in the East County.
      Dubbed “A 50-year Spectacular,” the celebration kicks off  6:30 p.m. Friday at the college’s Main Quad with student musical performances until 7:30 p.m. of the gospel choir, jazz ensemble and Afro-Cuban ensemble. The celebration will end at 2 p.m. Saturday.
      The Sock Hop dance at 7:30 p.m. will cap Friday’s celebration with Footloose, a live classic oldies band in the Main Gym for all ages. Free dance lessons in a classroom near the Main Gym will have you doing the twist and the mashed potato in no time to show off at the Sock Hop.
     Among Saturday’s events:  a 9:30 a.m. dedication ceremony for Grossmont’s remodeled student center, along with the Student Services and Administration building; a Department Fair from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and from 12:30 to 2 p.m., and  the  Guinness World’s Record attempt at noon in the Main Quad with free T-shirts for joining in.
     After working up an appetite, enjoy the low-cost, savory fare of a dozen gourmet food trucks from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
      The Department Fair will feature the latest educational innovations and technologies of Grossmont’s departments and disciplines, including theater arts, music, health professions, culinary arts, math and English, administration of justice, and exercise science. What’s on tap:
  • Create your own video game, dissect a sheep brain, and make your own lip balm, lipstick and super bouncy balls.
  • Drawing and painting either digitally or with paints and pencils.
  • Compete in a  mathematics “Wheel of Fortune” game.
  • Tour a mock indoor crime scene, blood-spatter room and bullet trajectory demonstration.
  • Take a compass traverse and GPS scavenger hunt.
  • Student performances and a tour of the college theater.
  • Arabic dancing.
  • A demonstration of a rooftop telescope.
  • Job-hunting techniques at the Career Center.
  • Information on enrolling in college, transferring to a four-year campus and making learning affordable.
  • Perform CPR on a mannequin, get an arm or finger cast, and view one’s oral bacteria under a microscope.
  • Use collage and cut-ups to create a “Zine,” or homemade magazine and learn new techniques using popular software.
  • Tips on baking with chocolate and vegetables and fruit carving from the Culinary Arts department.
  • Youth sports clinics led by college coaches on  football, soccer, basketball, volleyball, tennis and softball.
  • A free body mass index reading at the Student Health Services office and a demonstration of an ultrasound echo machine. A Learn about stroke risk, heart attacks, breast and skin cancer prevention, poison prevention, cholesterol and blood pressure control, and get fall-prevention tips at a health promotion fair.
  • Souvenir snapshots from the Photography Department of yourself in accessories from the college’s Theatre Arts Costume Shop
  • Combine a golf cart ride with a math quiz from the Math. An incorrect answer means the ride is over.
  • Grossmont’s first-ever Poetry Slam hosted by the English Department.
       Other discussion and presentations include the pre-Inca people of Bolivia, competing statewide propositions, student readings of classical philosophy and a professional storyteller in the library.
      A complete schedule of events can be found at No child care will be available.
     Grossmont College is located at 8800 Grossmont College Drive in El Cajon. For driving directions and a campus map, visit