Gaston College has a rich and vibrant history dating back to 1963. From its humble beginnings, the College has grown into one of the largest community colleges in North Carolina, boasting three campuses—Dallas, Lincoln, and Kimbrell—that serve Gaston and Lincoln Counties.

History of the College

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Beginning with just two buildings in 1964, by the end of the 1970s a total of 10 buildings graced the Dallas, or main, Campus. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, 11 more buildings were added. It was during the mid-1990s that the College’s Lincoln Campus was established. Located in Lincolnton, North Carolina, today the Lincoln Campus features two major buildings—one constructed as recently as 2008. RS163_Clock Tower_01-scrSince 2000, five buildings were added on or near the Dallas Campus and the College expanded by adding a third campus—the Kimbrell Campus, which is located in Belmont, North Carolina. The Kimbrell Campus currently comprises a modern classroom building and the North Carolina Textile Technology Center. This Center is the only one of its kind in North Carolina and provides specialized testing and training for the textile industry. Throughout its history, the College has remained dedicated to its mission of promoting student success and lifelong learning through high caliber, affordable, and comprehensive educational programs and services responding to economic and workforce development needs.

Key Historical Dates

February 8, 1963

The State of North Carolina grants the College its charter under the provisions of the 1957 Community College Act at the direction of the North Carolina Board of Higher Education.

September 23, 1964

The first classes begin at a First United Methodist Church on a temporary basis. A total of 19 faculty members were hired and 445 students had been accepted.

November 27, 1964

The College moves to the new Dallas Campus although the buildings were not completely finished.

May 31, 1965

The first graduating class holds its commencement ceremony.

July 1, 1965

The newly founded College merges with Gaston Technical Institute and the Gastonia Industrial Education Center and was chartered by the North Carolina State Board of Education and the State Board of Higher Education.

November 1967

The College receives accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

January 1, 1981

The College begins to operate its Dallas (main) campus as a two-year community college under the newly formed North Carolina Board of Community Colleges.


The College celebrates its 50th year.