Author Showcases Marion Technical College’s History

Author Showcases Marion Technical College’s History

(Marion) The impact of Marion Technical College is being celebrated in a new book marking the college’s 50th anniversary. Alumna, retiree, and Marion County resident Teresa Parker, wrote Marion Technical College: The First 50 Years.

A current photo of Teresa Parker smiling
Teresa Parker, author

“I wrote the book for future students and employees so they would know what the college was like when it started and what it focused on over the decades and how it grew – how technology changed; how the facilities came about,” Parker said.

Historical picture of nursing student in a classroom wearing a hat and uniform.

The Mt. Gilead native started as a student at MTC in the 1970’s and worked her way through two associate degrees. Parker started as a student worker. She was hired as a secretary. Over the decades, she worked her way up to Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff before her retirement. She has witnessed many of MTC’s changes.

“Working my way up from being a student employee to chief of staff – it was a good journey!” Parker shared. “All of us that worked there that long are pretty proud of all we accomplished, how the college grew and the number of students that we served and all of the people we helped along the way.”

Originally called the Marion County Technical Institute, Parker spent more than a year researching documents.

Historical photo of a student and instructor working on an early computer.

“When I came to MTC as a student in 1975, MTC and the Ohio State University at Marion shared Morrill Hall. The Technical Education Center (now Bryson Hall) was under construction and did not open until the fall of 1976,” Parker recalls. “MTC offered programs in business, engineering, secretarial office education, and nursing. Enrollment was a little over 500 students.”

Today, more than 2,500 students attend MTC each year. More than 52,000 students have come to MTC to get to their next promotion, certification, degree or career.


An instructor helps a student in a lab in this undated historic photo.“One thing that has not changed is MTC’s focus on the student. One of the college’s slogans in the earlier years was ‘help a student get a job, keep a job, or get a better job.’ I think that remains true today,” Parker stated. “The primary mission is to help students learn the skills needed to be employed in their field of study or continue their education at a four-year college.”

A student studies at a desk in the 1970's.    A student works in the engineering lab while wearing googles.

Parker interviewed some of the 500 staff members who have contributed to student success.

“MTC felt like a family. We had a large number of employees who worked together for 30 or 40 years, which is not something that you see very often these days. You do become a family. Dr. Bryson (president of MTC for 43 years) really encouraged that and gave us the opportunity to do things together. Maybe that’s why we all stayed as long as we did,” Parker shared.

Three men hold a shovel to break ground for a new building
Dr. J. Richard Bryson, left, and others break ground on the Marion Campus

A fellow employee, Joel Liles, introduced Teresa to her husband, Steve, another MTC alumnus. He is one of thousands of alumni making a difference in business, health care, technology, engineering and public service.

Teresa Davis (now Teresa Parker) in 1977

Local business and education leaders helped start MTC and shape its programs today to be responsive to the needs of local employers and the workforce.

“Technology changed over the years. When I first started, we did have electric typewriters but they weren’t self-correcting. We didn’t have computers until the mid-1980s,” Parker recalls.

Women use typewriters in historical photos A woman uses a typewriter

From typewriters and mimeographs to 3-D printers and smartphones, MTC remains dedicated to student success.

To order a copy of Marion Technical College: The First 50 Years, visit mtc.edu/50book. Copies will be $50 per book and will be delivered in late summer.