ARKANSAS CITY, Kan. (KSNW) — Cowley College began celebrating its 100th year in operation Wednesday night during a Proclamation Celebration in the Robert Brown Theatre.

Cowley College began its life as Arkansas City Junior College in 1922. Classes were first held on the top floor of the high school. The college would not have its own dedicated classroom building until 1952.

The school’s name was changed to Cowley County Community College and Vocational-Technical School in 1965 before finally being called Cowley College.

“Since 1922, Cowley College has continued to grow and adapt to meet the needs of the communities and students that we serve,” Dr. Randy Smith, Cowley College president, said during Wednesday’s ceremony. “This is an amazing accomplishment, and I am blessed to be able to lead Cowley into the next 100 years. This institution has changed thousands of lives for good and made immeasurable positive impacts across our entire region. None of this would have happened if it were not for the dedicated people who have gone before us.”

Over the years, the school has expanded, adding satellite campuses in Winfield, Wellington, Mulvane, and Wichita. Earlier this year, the Kansas Department of Commerce awarded the school $4 million to build a new career and technical education center on the main campus in Arkansas City.

Class begins on Sept. 12 at the college. That is the day proclaimed as the 100th anniversary of the college. However, the school says there will be celebration events throughout the school year.