Miami, Jan. 12, 2022 – Miami Dade College (MDC) Homestead Campus will rename Building A, the oldest structure on premises, the Dr. Roy G. Phillips Center, in memory of the campus’ founding president. A ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25, hosted by Dr. Phillips’ son, Roy Gene Phillips Jr.; MDC President Madeline Pumariega; MDC Executive Vice President and Provost Malou C. Harrison and MDC Homestead Campus President Dr. Oscar Loynaz.
The 26,828 square foot facility is currently home to Homestead Campus’ Student Life Department, admissions, advising and registration offices, TRIO Student Support Services and the Institute for Civic Engagement and Democracy. The building also housed Dr. Phillips’ office for more than a decade.
“We are extremely proud to honor the memory of Dr. Phillips, who was instrumental in setting the foundation of 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 started in January 2021 shortly after Dr. Phillips’ passing. It was the result of an online petition that collected more than 2,600 signatures.
Born in Minden, Louisiana in 1935, Dr. Phillips joined MDC in 1980 at the North Campus, where he worked as campus vice president. He then transferred to the Wolfson Campus as vice president of public affairs. At the end of the 1980s, Dr. Philips presented an expansion plan for MDC and a vision of what the new campus would be. That vision became a reality in 1990, the same year he was asked to become the founding president of Homestead Campus, the College’s most southern site in Miami-Dade County.
During his 11-year presidency, Dr. Phillips was fundamental in creating essential curriculum programs, such as science courses, so students from neighboring areas would not have to travel to other campuses to fulfill those requirements. He also worked with the late Congresswoman and MDC administrator Carrie P. Meek to secure funding for the construction of Building F, where part of MDC’s aviation program is housed. In addition, he partnered with Miami-Dade County Public Schools to offer students from Robert Morgan Educational Center hands-on training in auto repair while they earned dual enrollment credits.
Aside from his contributions to the Homestead Campus, Dr. Phillips is remembered for his dedication to the South Florida community serving on the boards of several organizations, including Tools for Change, the YMCA of Greater Miami, the Miami Coalition Against Drugs, Miami-Dade Mayor’s Urban Economic Revitalization Task Force 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 wife of 63 years, 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 about his ancestry, which culminated in 2006 with the publication of the book: Exodus from The Door of No Return: Journey of an American Family.
Dr. Phillips started his career in academia as a teacher and principal in Detroit, Michigan. He went on to serve as vice president of Wayne County Community College District, president of Seattle Central College and Metropolitan Community College in Omaha, Nebraska. He earned his doctoral degree in urban secondary administration from the University of Michigan.
MDC’s Homestead Campus opened its doors in 1985 as the College’s fifth campus with 350 students, operating out of the First Baptist Church. By 1991, a modern campus facility located in the historic business district of downtown Homestead had been 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. To learn more and to register for classes, visit www.mdc.edu/homestead.
WHAT: MDC Homestead Campus to Rename Building in Honor of Dr. Roy G. Phillips
WHEN: Friday, Feb. 25 at 2 p.m.
WHERE: MDC Homestead Campus, 500 College Terrace
For more information, please contact Lynne Arguelles, firstname.lastname@example.org, 305-237-5107.