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  • 1961

    Governor George Wallace founds a group of state, two-year technical institutions to support the technical/vocational career education needs of African Americans.
  • 1962

    Huntsville State Vocational Technical School opens its doors with 27 students enrolled in four programs – auto mechanics, cosmetology, electronics, and masonry.
  • 1966

    Huntsville State Vocational Technical School changes name to J. F. Drake State Technical Trade School in honor of the late Joseph Fanning Drake, long-time president of Alabama A&M University.
  • 1973

    Alabama State Board of Education grants Drake State technical college status and adjusts name to J. F. Drake State Technical College allowing the school to offer the Associate in Applied Technology Degree (AAT).
  • 1975

    Establish off-campus programs in Scottsboro, Alabama and a downtown Huntsville campus to meet the needs of a growing enrollment. Drake State received its second consecutive 5-year accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
  • 1983

    Dr. Johnny L. Harris is appointed Drake’s second president.
  • 1985

    Drake State has the first winner of the “Most Outstanding Technical College Student of the Year” awarded by the Alabama Department of Postsecondary Education.
  • 1986

    Automotive Technology department is established as a General Motors Authorized Training Center. Drake also became the first Alabama technical college to receive a charter from the National Vocational-Technical Honor Society.
  • 1987

    The institution is the recipient of the Title III grant to Historically Black Colleges and Universities for $2.5 million.
  • 1990

    Drake was awarded the first state “CO-OP Student of the Year” by the Alabama Department of Postsecondary Education.
  • 1991

    In partnership with Sci-Tek, Inc., Drake electronics department produces five microcomputers.
  • 1992

    Drafting and Design Technology Department is established as an Authorized Intergraph Education Center.
  • 1994

    Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Department is approved as an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) test site for HVAC technicians.
  • 1997

    Drake is the first Alabama two-year college approved as a Microsoft Authorized Academic Training Program (AATP) institution. Drake’s Automotive Technology department was approved by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Master Certified Training Program.
  • 1998

    Drake launches college internet website ( and also converts from quarter to semester system calendar.
  • 2001

    Dr. McAlpine is inaugurated as Drake’s third presidentand first female leader.. College received a $400,000 grant to build a new library.
  • 2002

    First Drake State President, S.C. O’Neal passes away.
  • 2005

    The construction of the S.C. O’Neal, Sr. Library & Technology Center is completed. The building was named in honor of the college’s first president.
  • 2006

    Drake’s Automotive Technology program became ASE Master Certified by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation and the National Institute of Service Excellence (ASE). Awarded a $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation to offer innovative summer bridge programs for underrepresented populations for exposure to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) career fields.
  • 2007

    Drake became the first two-year college to receive the Nunn-Perry award.
  • 2008

    Drake launches Adult Education Program for Madison County.
  • 2009

    Drake State is the first two-year college from the United States to present a research paper at the National Science Foundation’s HBCU-UP conference, receiving 3rd place.
  • 2010

    Drake State adds a satellite campus in downtown Huntsville by offering classes in the historic Times Building on Holmes Avenue.
  • 2011

    Dr. Helen McAlpine is named to the White House Initiative for Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Drake State observes 50th Anniversary with Gala celebration. The College receives a $1.1 million grant to fund a Student Support Services program and a Department of Homeland Security grant under the DHS Scientific Leadership Awards for Minority Serving Institutions Granting Two-Year Associate Degrees.
  • 2012

    Drake State becomes a member of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
  • 2013

    The college officially becomes J.F. Drake State Community and Technical College and can offer the Associate in Arts (AA) and Associate in Science (AS) degrees. Along with SACSCOC accreditation, the college can now offer university-transfer degrees in addition to its Associate in Applied Science degrees.
  • 2017

    College is accredited for 10 more years by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and our ASE Excellence accreditation was reaffirmed.
  • 2019

    Dr. Patricia Sims is inaugurated as the fourth President of Drake State Community and Technical College
  • 2020

    Drake State is the first and only Historically Black Community College (HBCC) to be awarded a Cooperative Agreement Notice from NASA/MSFC allowing the College to launch the Frontiers Research Program.
  • 2021

    Drake State is awarded a $1.3M grant through NASA/MSFC MUREP Program to develop a STEM pipeline for minorities and underrepresented populations. Drake State celebrates its 60th Anniversary and adopts an official song, “Dear Ole Drake,” penned by Mr. Jerome Saintjones. Former President of Drake State, Dr. Johnny Harris, passes away.
  • 2022

    Drake State partners with Western Governors University to create a path for students and alumni to earn advanced degrees. Huntsville Hospital teams with the College to start the new LPN Launch Program.