Following a national search, C. Edward “Ed” Meadows was selected as Pensacola Junior College’s sixth president and began leading the College in June 2008. Meadows previously had been president of Lurleen B. Wallace Community College in Alabama.
NASA astronaut and PJC alum Alan Poindexter took a specially minted, gold PJC medallion with him on a 5.3 million-mile Atlantis space shuttle mission in February 2008. In June, he presented the medallion to President Meadows and College officials.
September 8, 2008, marked the sixtieth anniversary of Pensacola Junior College. Celebratory events included cake cutting ceremonies on each campus and an outdoor, evening concert directed by Don Snowden, longtime Music and Theatre Department Head.
In October 2008, The Corsair captured the General Excellence Award for Florida community college papers for the fifteenth time in eighteen years.
PJC’s nursing program received full accreditation from the National League for Nursing and Accrediting Commission in 2008.
The Practical Nursing Program ranked number one out of all 1,036 programs across the nation for the period of April through September 2008.
In 2008, PJC partnered with the Pensacola Area Chamber of Commerce to open the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Downtown Center. This incubator program provides a supportive environment to new business startup for high technology and virtual entrepreneurs.
The College’s SkillsUSA student organization was chartered and began hosting the regional secondary and post-secondary skills competitions in 2008.
In November 2008, the College Board of Trustees unanimously voted to pursue the offering of baccalaureate degrees.
PJC’s nationally recognized Smart Simulation Center was designated as a Center of Educational Excellence by Laerdal Medical Corp in December 2008. PJC was only the second community college in the country to receive this distinction.
In 2008, the District Board of Trustees revised the official College colors of green and white to green, white, and blue. The PJC mascot logo also was revised to a pirate profile designed by PJC alum Brett Swanson, son of Paul Swanson, longtime men’s basketball coach.
In April 2009, the Milton Center entry road was renamed Worley Boulevard in honor of Douglas Worley, the Center’s first provost.
Lady Pirate softball players christened their new field on the Pensacola campus with double header wins, April 22, 2009. From its beginning in 1981, the softball team had played all home games at the Milton Center.
In August 2009, the Edward M. Chadbourne Library was dedicated after a $9 million renovation and expansion. The spacious facility was named in honor of Chadbourne, a PJC alumnus, who through the Chadbourne Foundation gifted more than $1.2 million for student scholarships.
During the September 2009 investiture ceremony for President Ed Meadows, the District Board of Trustees named all previous Pensacola Junior College presidents as Presidents Emeriti: Henry L. Ashmore, T. Felton Harrison, Horace “Ed” Hartsell, Charles A. Atwell, and G. Thomas Delaino.
G.I. Jobs magazine and website named PJC as a Military Friendly College in 2009 for its benefits to veterans and active duty military.
In December 2009, the Hobbs Center for Teaching Excellence was dedicated on the Pensacola campus. During the ceremony, Pensacola Junior College President Ed Meadows and University of West Florida President Judy Bense signed a partnership allowing UWF students to join PJC students in benefiting from the state-of-the-art facility. The Hobbs Center, created through a $1 million gift in October 2007, benefits Adult High School and Secondary Education students as well as students enrolled in college-credit classes in order to become teachers.
In January 2010, the District Board of Trustees approved the renaming of Adult High School to Collegiate High School to better reflect its purpose.
In Spring 2010, PJC was named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. It was one of only four Florida community colleges honored with this national recognition.
WSRE, PBS for the Gulf Coast, won a Bronze Telly Award and a People’s Telly Award in 2010 for its original documentary, “Gulf Islands National Seashore: The Treasure of the Gulf Coast,” narrated by renowned documentarian Ken Burns.
Athletic Director and Head Baseball Coach Bill Hamilton was inducted into the NJCAA Hall of Fame in May 2010. In twenty-three seasons, with twenty at PJC, Hamilton amassed 702 career wins, the most wins in the College’s history.
Astronomy professor Wayne Wooten received the National Astronomical League Award, the highest award in amateur astronomy, in June 2010.
In 2010, the College received approval from the Florida State Board of Education and from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to offer baccalaureate degree programs: a Bachelor of Applied Science in Administration and Supervision and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
On July 1, 2010, the College name officially changed from Pensacola Junior College to Pensacola State College to reflect its expanded mission.
The College broke ground in July 2010 for its $9.4 million South Santa Rosa Center, becoming the first College building to be constructed as a certified Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) building.
In 2010, the Milton Center was elevated to Milton Campus status by the State Board of Education.
In March 2011, the Lady Pirates basketball team, coached by Chanda Rigby, ended a 35-1 season with thirty-four straight wins. The Lady Pirates won the FCCAA State Championship for the first time since 1985 and the Panhandle Conference Championship for the first time since 1994, and returned from the National Junior College Athletic Association finals, ranked number three in the nation. Coach Rigby was named Panhandle Conference and FCCAA Coach of the Year.
In January 2011, inaugural classes began for Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and Bachelor of Applied Science in Administration and Supervision (BAS) programs.
In March 2011, the Lady Pirates basketball team ended a record-breaking 35-1 season with 34 straight wins. Lady Pirates won the FCCAA State Championship for the first time since 1985, the Panhandle Conference Championship for the first time since 1994, and returned from the NJCAA finals, ranked No. 3 in the nation. Lady Pirates Basketball Coach Chanda Rigby was named Panhandle Conference and FCCAA Coach of the Year.
The first President’s Leadership Institute was initiated in 2011 as a rigorous, year-long professional development program open to full-time College employees selected through a competitive process.
In June 2011, the Florida Heritage Site Historical Marker was unveiled honoring the original site of the College at the corner of Palafox and Cervantes streets in downtown Pensacola.
For the first time in the College’s history, bachelor’s degrees were awarded at the December 2011 graduation. The seven students receiving BAS and BSN degrees also received specially minted coins recognizing their accomplishments and serving as a talisman for their future endeavors.
In January 2012, Pensacola State opened two new centers – the new 35,000 square-foot South Santa Rosa Center and the extensively-renovated Century Center.
The Lady Pirates basketball players made history in March 2012 as the College’s first athletic team to win back-to-back FCSAA State Championships. Coached by Chanda Rigby, the team again ended the season ranked third in the nation.
Pensacola State College received the first annual Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine in November 2012.
The College began 2013 by unveiling a new logo reflecting Pensacola State College’s name change and beautiful coastal area.
In April 2013, PSC hosted the largest-ever Florida SkillsUSA State Conference, drawing more than 6,500 participants.
PSC Visual Arts Professor Bill Clover received the U.S. President’s Call to Service Lifetime Achievement Award for contributing more than 7,000 hours of volunteer service to Manna Food Pantries.
PSC Performing Arts Instructor Kadisha Onalbayeva was named an International Steinway Artist and performed on the legendary Steinway & Sons Horowitz piano in the North American tour.
In September 2013, PSC celebrated its 65th anniversary as the oldest college in the area and launched a new Alumni Affairs office to better serve the College’s more than 96,000 graduates.
PSC welcomed the opening of a stunning 13,500-square-foot facility to house the PACE Center for Girls in fall 2013 – the only PACE Center in Florida located on a college campus.
In 2014, Visual Arts Students won 41 of 50 ADDY awards in the local college and university competition, 10 ADDY awards in the district competition, and two ADDY awards in the national competition.
In June 2014, PSC and the University of West Florida launched the PSC2UWF partnership to better facilitate students who complete an associate degree from PSC and transfer to UWF to complete a bachelor’s degree.
PSC opened the first outdoor gallery of its kind with a 15×20 foot reproduction of the Dutch masterpiece, “Girl with a Pearl Earring,” in summer 2014.
The Lamar, Reilly and Switzer families presented a $1 million gift for construction of the Charles W. Lamar Studio at PSC’s Anna Lamar Switzer Center for Visual Arts.
Acclaimed National Geographic photographer, Steve McCurry, displayed 74 large format photographs in a first-ever, four-month solo exhibit at the Switzer Gallery.
In January 2015, PSC and the University of West Florida entered a partnership to admit select students from PSC’s Bachelor of Applied Science program into UWF’s Master of Business Administration or Master of Science in Administration, Health Care Administration Track.
After 18 years coaching the Lady Pirates softball team, Brenda Pena retired at the end of the 2015 season with 891 wins. She had coached the team since 1997 and held the distinction of being the first athlete signed to play for PSC’s inaugural softball team in 1981.
In June 2015, the Molly McGuire Culinary Arts Dining Room was dedicated in memory of Molly McGuire, a beloved restauranteur known for her unmatched hospitality.
Visual Arts Professor Bill Clover began his 50th year teaching at the college in August 2015. He is an award-winning artist and is the longest serving faculty member in the history of Pensacola State.
In January 2016, PSC received approval from the Florida Board of Education to offer a new baccalaureate degree program, the Bachelor of Applied Science in Cybersecurity, designed around industry and Department of Homeland Security standards.