Otero Junior College, Revisited after 40 Years

On my drive to Denver, I took a quick side trip to see Otero Junior College in La Junta, Colorado. It had been about 40 years since I had graduated in June 1968, and I was curious to see if it had changed. The college had been founded in 1941, and many of the old buildings were now gone. I especially remembered the army barracks that had been moved in from the Army base north of town, where I had taken many of my classes. Calculus, taught by Bernard Sharp, was the class I remember best.

The campus looked great! There were many new buildings, but a few of the older ones from my time were still there, like the library and the Kiva (a building for a Boy Scout Troop of Koshare Indian Dancers which was begun in 1933, before the college was established.) The Otero Junior College main building had an imposing new front entryway and a sculpture representing two college students, plus a decorative well filled with flowers in the back.

The College I Knew

Calonge Hall – I took Calculus in this building. Bernard Sharp’s office was on the lower floor, so I sometimes went down to speak with him while I was tackling my homework assignments.
Otero Hall – The first dormitory for men. A new one was opened while I was at school, but I lived off-campus.
Burtis Hall – The women’s dormitory.
Engineer’s Hall – Engineering and technical classes were held here.
La Junta Gymnasium – Used for registration, concerts, graduations, special events — and sports, of course.
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