Bucks County Community College founding president dies at age 93

Dr. Charles E. Rollins, founding president of Bucks County Community College who served at college from 1965 to 1987, has passed away at age 93. He’s pictured on the balcony outside his office in Tyler Hall, overlooking the 200-acre campus in Newtown Township.

Dr. Charles E. Rollins, founding president of Bucks County Community College who served at college from 1965 to 1987, has passed away at age 93. He’s pictured on the balcony outside his office in Tyler Hall, overlooking the 200-acre campus in Newtown Township.

Dr. Charles E. Rollins, founding president of Bucks County Community College, passed away on Monday at his home in Pennswood Village in Langhorne. He was 93 years old.

“We were very saddened to learn of Dr. Rollins’ passing,” said Dr. Stephanie Shanblatt, current president of the public, two-year college. “His leadership guided the college through its early years and first two decades, and created the strong foundation on which the college has grown and prospered.”

Rollins served as the college’s top administrator for 22 years. When he began his tenure at the school in 1965, there were 730 students enrolled in one building, now Tyler Hall. By the time of his retirement in 1987, it served more than 9,000 students in nearly a dozen buildings including a three-story library, television studio, lecture halls, science labs, a gymnasium and a pool.

After his retirement, the Student Union Building was renamed the Charles E. Rollins Center in his honor.

Rollins was born in 1922 in Appleton, Wisconsin. The youngest of eight children, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Lawrence College (now Lawrence University) in his home state. He went on to teach history, serve in the U.S. Marine Corps before earning graduate degrees from Columbia University in New York.

He served as the dean of York Junior College in York, Pennsylvania for nine years, and as the founding president of Edison Junior College for three years, before coming to Bucks.

A memorial service to celebrate Dr. Rollins’ life will take place on August 2 at the solarium on the second floor of the Charles E. Rollins Center at Bucks County Community College’s Newtown Campus, 275 Swamp Road in Newtown, at 4 p.m. The service is open to the public. Those who wish to attend should call 215.968.8219 or email casey.grunmeier@bucks.edu.

 

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