Grahm Junior College
Grahm Junior College was a non-profit junior college located in Boston, Massachusetts. The school opened in 1951 (4) under the name Cambridge School, as part of a private chain of schools from New York City. The school was originally located at 18 Tremont street. Other branches were later based in Chicago and Philadelphia. The Cambridge School became accredited as a Junior College of business in 1964(1) The curriculum was later expanded to include radio and TV broadcasting. In 1967 the school was renamed Grahm Junior College, after its first director, Milton Grahm (4). The college radio station was known as WCSB, as was a closed-circuit television station.
After its initial location at 18 Tremont Street the school moved to 120 Boylston Street (3), then to 687 Boylston Street and finally to Kenmore Square. The 687 Boylston street building, "The Kensington" (demolished) entrance was flanked by two lions, which gave way to the school's mascot. The same lions now flank the entrance to the Fairmont Copley Hotel.
At its peak enrollment of 1,300 students in 1968, the school occupied 4 buildings in Boston's Kenmore Square, the notable Hotel Kenmore (dormitories), Wadsworth Hall (dormitories) the present-day Hotel Buckminster (dormitories and classrooms) and 632 Beacon Street (offices, classrooms and broadcast studios). The Cambridge School purchased 632 Beacon Street in May, 1965 from the Hotel Corporation of America (1). It had been previously owned by the Lumber Mutual Insurance Company. Sale prices was purported to be under three million dollars. The Kenmore Hotel was purchased by the Cambridge School in 1965. (1) The Saint George Hotel (circa 1911) was purchased in 1966 (appraised at $300,000) and renamed Leavitt Hall.(5)
In 1968, the school was renamed Grahm Junior college, in recognition of its long term president, Milton L. Grahm. In September 1968, the school was restructured as a non-profit institution. (6) In 1969, the college announced a $6 million development program, including $500,000 of equipment. It included two television studios and radio studios. The library was expanded and 14 classrooms were added. A physical education facility, classrooms,offices and an endowment were envisioned,but never realized. In 1974, the school received New England Association of Schools and Colleges accreditation.
In 1974, a sustained decline in enrollment persisted(7), attributed by many to the end of the military draft and the rise of the community college system. During this period many two-year schools began to close or shed buildings or other assets.(8) The Boston Globe reported that 30 out of 40 two year and trade schools closed between 1970 and 1980. In 1977 it the school's financial distress was publicly disclosed (9) Enrollment had declined 12 percent in three years. Staff salaries were cut and others were laid off. Fuel bills and inability to refinance were cited by the college administration as primary causes.
In 1977 the school filed for reorganization under the bankrupt code. The school cited $3 million in assets and $3.326 million in liabilities.(11) Creditors repossessed much of the school's instructional assets in 1979. (12) The unpaid faculty continued to teach in order for the final class to graduate. The school closed in 1979. . Boston University purchased 632 Beacon St.Myles Annex, 490 Commonwealth (Kenmore Hall) and the adjacent Wadsworth Hall in October,1979. (13) The rights to the academic programs were acquired by Mount Ida College.
Through the grass roots efforts of the alumni, infrequent reunions have been held. The most recent reunion was held in October, 2012 at the Fairmont Copley Hotel in Boston. As a result of the 2012 reunion, alumni efforts are underway to provide several social media programs to solicit alumni, faculty and staff.(14)
Notable alumni include:
- Jon Butcher, rock musician, freelance multimedia producer
- Tom Cheek, radio play-by-play announcer for the Toronto Blue Jays and Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2013 member, attended 1960-1
- JP Dellacamera, sportscaster for Atlanta Thrashers (NHL), New York Red Bulls (MLS). Broadcast Women's World Cup game for ABC. Graduated 1972
- Micki Dickoff, writer, director and producer, one Emmy Award, Humanitas Price nominee (15)
- Paul Fusco, writer/producer, creator of "ALF", graduated 1973
- Andy Kaufman, entertainer/comedian, graduated 1971
- Jason Haikara, Co-President at Filmaka, Co-Chair at Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Website Committee, former Senior Vice President, Marketing at Fox Broadcasting Company, attended 1978-9
- Gary LaPierre, anchor of the WBZ morning radio news for 43 years, whose final broadcast was Fri., Dec, 29, 2006
- Tom Meek, writer/producer/expert witness, attended 1978-9
- Marc Summers, TV Host, TV Producer, Author, [Double Dare, Food Network], graduated 1973
- Boston Globe, 1951
- Boston Globe, December 1, 1958
- Boston Globe, Jan 24, 1965
- "Cambridge School Changing Name", Sunday Herald Traveler, Section 3, Page 8, Feb 25, 1968
- Legal Notice of Hearing, Board of Higher Education, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Record American, Bosotn, Jan. 12, 1968
- Grahm Jr. College Latest in State, Boston Globe, Feb 25, 1968,page A11
- Boston Globe, Jan 6, 1974
- "Closed Institution". Mass.edu. Massachusetts Department of Higher Education. Retrieved 2 July 2013.
- Database of educational institutions in Massachusetts provided by Westminster College
- History of Kenmore Square where Grahm Junior College once resided
- (1) Boston Globe May 18, 1965
- (2) Boston Globe Nov 29, 1964
- (3) Boston Globe Feb 3, 1952
- (4) Boston Globe Mar 11, 1951
- (5) Boston Globe, Dec 4, 1966
- (6) Boston Globe, Feb 25, 1968
- (7) Boston Globe, Feb 6, 1974
- (8) Boston Globe, Feb 3, 1975
- (9) Boston Globe Feb 26, 1977
- (10) Boston Globe Mar 16, 1977
- (11) Boston Globe Mar 26, 1977
- (12) Boston Globe Apr 10, 1979
- (13) Boston Globe Oct 13, 1979
- (14) Bill Tarkulich, Grahm Reunion Organizing Committee, October 6, 2012
- (15) ESPN,The Bristol (Connecticut Press), April 14, 2012
- (16) Micki Dickoff Micki Dickoff, Wikipedia Entry