College has branch locations throughout Four Corners
FARMINGTON — Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye signed a proclamation on Tuesday that recognizes the 50th anniversary of Diné College.
"Fifty years is quite an achievement. We're really proud to have a college of our own. We still hear the Diné College name all over the country, and it reminds us of our legacy and our commitment to move forward," Begaye said in a press release from his office.
In 1968, the Navajo Tribal Council established Navajo Community College, and classes started in spring 1969 in Many Farms, Ariz., the release states.
Ground was broken for a campus in Tsaile, Ariz., in 1973. Since then, branch locations have been developed in Shiprock and Crownpoint, and in Chinle, Tuba City and Window Rock in Arizona.
The institute was renamed Diné College in 1997 and now offers 20 associate degrees, eight bachelor's degrees and eight certificate programs, according to the release.
Diné College President Charles "Monty" Roessel said in the release the anniversary is significant because the college was founded on the centennial anniversary of the Treaty of 1868.
While the tribe prepares to commemorate 150 years since the ancestors returned from Hwééldi, the college is honoring its past and preparing for the future, Roessel said.