Miami, January 12, 2022 – Miami Dade College (MDC) Farm campus will rename Building A, the oldest structure on site, the Dr Roy G. Phillips Center, in memory of the founding president of the campus. A ceremony will take place at 2:00 p.m. Friday February 25 hosted by Dr Phillips’ son, Roy Gene Phillips Jr.; MDC President Madeline Pumariega; MDC Executive Vice President and Rector Malou C. Harrison and MDC Homestead Campus President Dr Oscar Loynaz.
The 26,828 square foot facility currently houses the Homestead Campus Student Life Department, Admissions, Counseling and Enrollment Offices, TRIO Student Support Services and the Institute for Civic Engagement and the democracy. The building also housed Dr. Phillips’ office for over a decade.
“We are extremely proud to honor the memory of Dr. Phillips, who helped lay the foundation for what the Homestead Campus is today,” said Dr Loynaz. “He remains and will always be a very important presence on our campus. “
The process of renaming the building began in January 2021, shortly after the death of Dr Phillips. It was the result of an online petition that collected over 2,600 signatures.
Born in Minden, Louisiana in 1935, Dr. Phillips joined the MDC in 1980 at North Campus, where he worked as campus vice president. He was then transferred to the Wolfson campus as vice president of public affairs. In the late 1980s, Dr Philipps presented an expansion plan for the MDC and a vision for what the new campus would be. This vision came true in 1990, the same year he was invited to become the founding president of Homestead Campus, the college’s southernmost site in Miami-Dade County.
During his 11-year presidency, Dr Philipps was instrumental in creating essential study programs, such as science courses, so that students from neighboring areas did not have to travel to d ‘other campuses to meet these requirements. He also worked with the late MP and MDC administrator Carrie P. Meek to secure funds for the construction of Building F, where part of MDC’s aviation program is located. Additionally, it has partnered with Miami-Dade County Public Schools to provide Robert Morgan Educational Center students with hands-on auto repair training while earning dual enrollment credits.
In addition to his contributions to the Homestead campus, Dr. Philipps is remembered for his dedication to the South Florida community serving on the boards of directors of several organizations including Tools for Change, YMCA of Greater Miami, Miami Coalition Against Drugs. , Miami-Dade. The Mayor’s Task Force on Urban Economic Revitalization and his local church, Universal Truth Center in Miami Gardens.
One of his greatest acts of kindness came in 1991, when Dr Phillips, who already had four grown children with his 63-year-old wife, Vira Goosby, decided to adopt four siblings who had been separated by the foster care system.
After his retirement in 2001, he turned to writing, weaving together years of research into his ancestors, which culminated in 2006 with the publication of the book: Exodus from the Door of No Return: Journey of an American Family.
Dr Phillips began his career in academia as a teacher and principal in Detroit, Michigan. He was then vice president of the Wayne County Community College District, president of Seattle Central College and Metropolitan Community College in Omaha, Nebraska. He received his doctorate in urban secondary administration from the University of Michigan.
MDC’s Homestead Campus opened in 1985 as the College’s fifth campus with 350 students, operating out of the First Baptist Church. By 1991, a modern campus in the historic downtown Homestead business district was built to serve South Dade’s ever-growing student population. Over the past decade, the campus has experienced remarkable growth, earning a reputation for excellence and innovation. For more information and to register for courses, visit www.mdc.edu/homestead.
WHAT: MDC Homestead Campus to Rename Building in Honor of Dr. Roy G. Phillips
WHEN: Friday February 25 at 2 p.m.
OR: MDC Homestead Campus, 500 College Terrace
For more information, please contact Lynne Arguelles, [email protected], 305-237-5107.