The Canal Zone College occupied various buildings at different points in time, and was also called Canal Zone Junior College, Canal Zone College, and Panama Canal College throughout its history.
Are you an alumni of Canal Zone College? If so, tell us what you remember most about your time as a student!
CZJC Class of 1963, when it was a wing of BHS. 🙂
Graduated in 1958 from CZJC. At that time it was still a wing of BHS and you could walk between the two buildings via a covered walkway.
The building was also a dormitory for the Thatcher Ferry Bridge construction workers and their families prior to its completion in 1962. The children attended CZ schools. The bridge was later renamed the Bridge of the Americas.
My memory has been jogged a little more! This building was also an elementary school prior to the construction of the bridge. I went to fifth grade here in the late ’50s. We were bussed to Balboa Elementary when the building was needed for the construction workers.
I never went to the old Canal Zone College, but once my kids were old enough that they were in school all day I started taking classes at the one pictured above. I was amazed that this tiny school could have such high quality equipment and excellent classes and teachers. (I had attended another private and fairly “well-heeled” college before my marriage.) I only took one or two classes a semester- leaving me time to get home, cook dinner, then study at night. I totally enjoyed my time at CZC until my sons graduated high school and went to college themselves necessitating my getting a job to support their academic endeavors. The thing I remember as most interesting and unusual was that each semester when I wrote out my tuition check it was made out to “The Treasurer of the United States.”
I was stationed at Quarry Heights 1976-1979 and took classes at Canal Zone College from Mrs Annis. BASIC, FORTRAN and COBOL .
I remember being told by my father Russell Annis, a faculty member, that the College was not a “Junior” college because it did confer an Associates Degree.
I worked for vending operations in or around 1972 with the supply division, and I remember my job, which were to retrieve the money cans from those vending machines placed at the lounge or dining facility, on a daily basis. We also took fresh foods there for the vending attendant to fill the vending machines. Do any of you remember Luwez, ( don’t know if I got her name spelled right) A tall large red skin lady that worked there for years, to include Mrs, Zipora Anderson, called “zippie”, that worked at the domes. The students that attended college there surely loved them both.
Robert, I remember those vending machines! I used to buy an empanada every day!
Loved CZJC; 1963 “most outstanding graduate” awardee, my proudest moment! There was a plaque that used to hand on the wall with the name of all those who had been thus rewarded. I never got to see my name engraved on it because we left the CZ the day after graduation as my Dad was transferred to Ft. Meade, MD. However, a cousin that happened to be visiting one day years later saw the plaque with my name on it and was quite surprised because he did not know that I had attended school there. The best years of my teen years were spent in the CZ. Lived there from 1959 to 1963. 1961BHS grad. Participated in many sports (great sporting opportunities) and drama clubs. One of favorite teachers was Don Musselman, drama teacher and coach; and I baby sat for Dr. Charles Latimer’s daughter. He was the President of CZJC at the time. Great guy!
I miss living there.
That’s a wonderful story, Merci! Your cousin didn’t happen to take a photo of the plaque, did he? Maybe the folks at the museum know what became of the plaque.
Jim Sweeney, ex instructor at CZC and PCC.
I taught part-time anthropology at CZC when it was still a Canal Zone Junior College. It did award associates degrees and for a time a BS in some kind of health care. I was able to teach full time for PCC (the name changed when the Canal Zone went away) in 1989-91 but got sent back to the secondary schools when the budget was cut.
It was my favorite job with the schools in Panama. I taught Anthropology, Sociology, US History, International Relations full time for those two years. I also sponsored the Community College Honor Fraternity that had not been functioning for a number of years and we initiated numerous honor students, including my daughter. I was the Student Senate Sponsor and we helped host Panama’s Vice President Ford, who spoke at the auditorium.
I also coached the men’s volleyball team from the beginning of its inception, was Louis Husted’s assistant football coach for the Green Devils from 1989 to 1997 when they went to just one high school football team at BHS. I also coached the track team after my brother-in-law, Coach Russ Stromberg, the athletic director, decided to retire from coaching track in 1986,.
We had three instructors in the social science department: myself and Coach Tucker, the tennis coach, shared an office, and Mr. Lively was the department chair. Coach Tucker taught government and history and Mr. Lively taught mostly psychology.
All four of my kids took classes at PCC and so did I. They had a wonderful program for a while that allowed B students to take college classes while still in high school for free. I had all my kids go mostly to PCC for their senior years to earn college credits that transferred when they entered colleges after leaving Panama. One son stayed an extra year after high school graduation to get his AA then transferred to a four year college. There was a time under one dean when teachers could take free classes at Canal Zone College. I took several. Enjoyed Afro-Caribbean Culture, Transactional Analysis, and Nutrition and Fitness, which was taught by my friend Coach Stern.
The college was a great place to go jogging or use the weight room that Coach Stromberg kept in good condition. We also used the gym for Saturday basketball games for kids from La Boca. My wife took secretarial courses, education courses, and some regular academic courses and was able to help get her teaching certificate by taking classes at Canal Zone College. We sometimes got credit for first aid courses required for coaching through PCC. It was a wonderful community resource and was used by the military, civilians, adults, school kids, college kids, and sponsored a number of varsity sports in the schools leagues for many, many years. The quality of teaching was good and many employees in Panama were graduates. For a time there was a dorm and the apprentices took classes for their job qualifications. A number of the sports coaches were former athletes at the College and returned to coach teams as teachers after finishing their degrees in the US.
Jim, that BS was in Medical Technology. I’m a graduate of that program.
I remember taking classes from you—this was a wonderful place to start my education
My recollection is that it was a school for our “Local Rate” residents of La Boca up until the mid to late 1950’s. The La Boca townsite was demolished except for the La Boca Commissary, later to be the Printing plant; the La Boca Catholic Church across the street from the commissary and this building. In 1959 when I was in sixth grade, due space problems at Balboa Elementary School, 2 sixth grade classes were taught in the building, one in a classroom upstairs (second floor), my classroom and one below. The new concrete houses were being built during this time period and it became a U.S. Rate community. After my sixth grade class’ term in the building, it was slowly refurbish and transformed in the “new” Canal Zone Junior College. Concrete dormitories were also built between the printing plant and the college.
Live in the dorm 1967-1969, received a AA degree, lived in the dorm, but on weeks and holidays live in the trivoli. I loved it.
Those vending machine were daily stops.
Often reflect on the friends I made and the good time we shared. I arrive in August a week before my 18th birthday.
Attended CZC 1977-78; lived at Howard AFB. . Previously attended Balboa HS 73-75 (class of 76); lived at Albrook AFS. I have nothing but the fondest memories of CZC. It was a transformative point in my life. I took comparative vertebrate anatomy with Mr. Seitz (great preparation for medical school!). I treasure the memory of my calculus instructor: Mr. Carl Shirley…what a gentleman! What a wonderful website…it brings back such wonderful memories
Attended CZJC in 1963, along with Frank Pretto, Ralph Smith and Eddie Idol, and formed the “Frank Pretto Conjunto”. Our first gig was playing for the “Get Aquainted” dance at the Tivoli Hotel. I wished I could show you our first group photo, which was included in the 1963 Conquistador.
Ah, yes! 🙂 I have the ’63 Conquistador somewhere…shall try to find it in unpacked boxes from a recent move, but I’ll have to post the photo to one of our CZ Facebook groups since I can’t post to this blog.
have my ’63 Conquistador as well. Sam in Colorado Springs. BHS ’62
Sonja Akins, I was interested to see your post. I was a student at the CZC from 1974-1975 while my husband was stationed at Ft. Clayton. Among other classes, I took physics and organic chemistry (and the lab). I was able to apply these credits to my undergraduate degree when I returned to The University of Toledo to finish my pharmacy program. Was wondering if you and I were in some common classes during the 74-75 time period. My husband and I are planning a pleasure trip back to Panama in March 2017. I’m sure thing have changed immensely since we left there in 1975. ( Currently my husband is a DOD employee at Ft Jackson, SC.).
Betty Burns, I took all my physics classes early (1973, I think) but we might well have been in Organic Chemistry together! I took two semesters of that! My husband loves the Ft. Jackson area, and when he retired from the army at Ft. Ord CA in 1988, we returned to Columbia. I’m in the phone book. Call me and we’ll reminisce over lunch!
I graduated from Canal Zone College in 1977. I attended classes there from fall of 1972 to spring of 1975, living in the dorms for two of my six semesters. The other four semesters, I commuted by train because I lived at Fort Davis on the Atlantic side. I left after the third year because my husband was transferred to Fort Jackson, South Carolina. My degree from CZC is a BSMT, a bachelor of science in Medical Technology. My 4th year had to be an internship in a hospital. I had been selected to do my internship at Gorgas Hospital, but I had to find a new place to intern after we left. Greenville General Hospital in SC accepted me in December 1975. I interned until December 1976, and after completing their program, those credits were transferred back to CZC. I was graduated with the next class, which was summer of 1977. When I started at CZC in 1972, I was their youngest enrolled college student at age 16. Those are fond memories indeed!
There was a time in the late 1950’s when La Boca was being rebuilt as a new residential community. The future college building was constructed on pilings and was vacant. My friends and I would ride our bikes around what became the ground floor of the new CZC when it moved from the Balboa High School campus.
I was stationed at Howard and Albrook AFB as an army helicopter pilot from 1962-65. Took 17 hours of courses at CZC. Enjoyed the school but felt old (I was 23-25). Left the Canel Zone and went to Vietnam. After Vietnam finished college and law school at the University of Nebraska. My time in the Zone and at the college are very warmly remembered- I loved the place and would have stayed forever if it had been possible.
Somebody gave me a cool blank journal made out of an old “Applied Business Law” book. Inscription on the book cover was Professor Jerry Mitchell, who taught at CZC from the book in 1965-1966. Nice touch of history!
I took classes and played football, basketball, baseball, volleyball, soccer and track at PCC in 1982. I was part of that first volleyball team that Coach Sweeney mentioned in post above. It was because of Coaches like Stromberg, Husted, and Sweeney that I became a coach myself. I have been coaching for thirty years. I played college football in the states because of the great coaches I had at PCC..
I started school in 1953, remember air raid drills when we all went to a spot in the jungle until we got the all clear toreturen to class. That was first grade.
1966-1967 played football for coach Morris Finklestine, what a great time.
Also learned to play bridge. I was a better card player than a srudent.
Remembering my good times with the football team. I even keep books in my personal library that I used at that time … I graduated from there obtaining my Associate Degree in Computer Science … I keep in touch with my friends now using Facebook.
Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:
You are commenting using your WordPress.com account.
( Log Out /
You are commenting using your Google account.
( Log Out /
You are commenting using your Twitter account.
( Log Out /
You are commenting using your Facebook account.
( Log Out /
Connecting to %s
Notify me of new comments via email.
Notify me of new posts via email.
Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.
Join 365 other followers