All are welcome: Hancock Field campus reopens to Syracuse civilians

Left to Right: Senior Master Sergeant Jeff Chrissley, CenterState CEO Jane Amico, Dr. Scott Vinciguerra, Dr. Gerald Brouder, MindaConroe, Col. Greg A. Semmel, Commander of 174th Fighter Wing.

On June 21, Columbia College celebrated a ribbon cutting for a new Columbia College of Missouri-Hancock Field campus location. The event formally marks a Columbia College homecoming to the Hancock Air National Guard Base. Following a brief hiatus, Columbia College is pleased to resume service to civilians at the base and usher in a new era with a new facility for the location.

“We intend to provide access to the campus like never before,” says Dr. Scott Vinciguerra, Columbia College of Missouri-Hancock Field Director. “The new facility allows us to carry a long-standing partnership between Columbia College and Hancock Field into a new era, enabling even more students to advance their education and improve their future.”

How the media told the story

Find out more about how the media told the Columbia College story here:

The CenterState Syracuse Chamber of Commerce presented Columbia College President Gerald Brouder and Hancock Field Director Dr. Scott Vinciguerra with a special plaque commemorating the event. More photos from the event

Columbia College President Dr. Gerald addresses the 80 supporters in attendance at the ribbon cutting.
Commander of 174t Fighter Wing Col. Greg Semmel talks about the partnership Columbia College and Hancock Field Air base have built the last 38 years.

A little history

Columbia College originally began offering an education to servicemembers at Hancock Air Force Base in 1975. When the active duty base closed in 1983, the campus and moved to the Air National Guard base. In October 2011, a change in base mission forced Columbia College to close its doors to most in-seat students at Hancock Field, but students were able to continue their education through the Columbia College Online Campus.

Thanks to a strong relationship with the military leadership of the 174th Fighter Wing and support from senior level college administrators and several elected officials, the college persisted in its quest to once-again offer in-seat courses on the base. In December 2011, Columbia College received a three-year license from the Air Force to operate on Hancock Field, but away from the operational area of the base.

Hancock Field campus
The college immediately undertook a $2.4 million project to improve and expand its educational offerings. The project included significant site work, construction of a parking lot and an 11,700 square foot modular facility to house two computer labs, seven classrooms, one testing center, student lounge and office space for nine full-time and two part-time staff members.

The campus, now located on the western-most portion of the base, is accessible via Townline Road. It offers five associate, eleven bachelor’s and two master’s degree programs in-seat; 23 associate, bachelor’s and four master’s degrees also are available online.