Under the Cougar Stadium lights, College of the Canyons invited faculty, staff and students to the 50th Anniversary Homecoming Celebration Saturday night.
During the event, which took place as the COC football team squared off against Cerritos Community College, alumni and former staff from the last 50 years once again descended on the stadium for pregame festivities, such as family activities, food vendors, music, photo ops and giveaways.
“Tonight’s event is just to really kick off our 50th anniversary, and celebrate our community, alumni, students and everything we offer,” said Cindy Biehahn, alumni and development coordinator for the COC Foundation.
“And if you’ve never come to our college before, it’s kind of just a snapshot of everything that makes us great,” added Jess Love, student services coordinator.
Biehahn said she hoped that the homecoming celebration would become a yearly staple.
“A lot of institutions have regular homecomings, and that’s not something that we have regularly done, so we thought that with it being the 50th year it would be a good time to try and pull everyone in, recognize our football team and start a transition,” said Biehahn.
Hundreds of alumni were present on Saturday, and all of them were there to celebrate the school that had played an influential part in their lives, according to officials.
“There’s a lot that we do, and it’s really easy to go onto the next thing, but I think it’s nice to have a communal celebration like this so we can stop and look back on the last 50 years and all that we’ve accomplished,” said Love. “It’s important to look not only to the future, but to look to the past and see where we’ve come, to invite our community together and celebrate that.”
At the half-time of the football game, the COC alumni in the audience, as well as current students and former and current staff, were invited onto the field for a group picture.
Wearing both his school alumni and current school staff metaphorical hats on Saturday was Chris Cota, head coach for the COC baseball program.
“I’m here because I work here, I’m an alumni here and I love this place,” said Cota. “It’s important, especially for the people who went through this place, and how special this place is and how special it will be. It’s important for people to remember where they came from and enjoy it.”