Centralia College
TypeCommunity college
Endowment$7.8 million[2]
PresidentRobert Mohrbacher
Administrative staff
Location, ,
United States

46°42′57″N 122°57′34″W / 46.71595°N 122.95944°W / 46.71595; -122.95944
Sporting affiliations
Northwest Athletic Conference
MascotBlazer Bill

Centralia College is a public community college in Centralia, Washington. Although it primarily offers certificates and Associate degrees, it also offers a few Bachelor's degrees. Founded in 1925, Centralia is the oldest continuously operating community college in the state of Washington.[1] As shown below, the college sits on 29 acres (120,000 m2) in the middle of the town of Centralia. There is a branch education center, Centralia College East, in the town of Morton and the college offers a range of online and correspondence courses. Overall the college serves an area of 2,409 square miles (6,240 km2) in Lewis County and southern Thurston County under the administrative classification of Community College District Twelve.


Aerial view of campus
Aerial view of campus

Centralia College opened in 1925 under the name of Centralia Junior College. Developing slowly at first, the college constructed its first physical campus in 1950 with Kemp Hall.[4] Also, in 1948 the college received its accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.[5] Growing from an entrance class of 15 students, as of 2009 the college has an enrollment of 4,803 students in 64 academic programs.[3] The college is affiliated with the private Centralia College Foundation, founded in 1982 by community members, to supplement its public resources.

The college is also home to Michael Spafford's The Twelve Labors of Hercules, a series of murals commissioned in the early 1980s for the House of Representatives' chambers.[6] From 1982 to 1987 they were covered with curtains due to their perceived (by some) sexually suggestive nature and later were placed in storage. Following a decade of negotiations, the college acquired the murals in 2002 for display in the Corbet Theatre.[7][8] Murals created by Alden Mason and originally displayed at the Capitol were moved to the college library in 1990.[9][10]

In 2012 the college began offering a Bachelor of Applied Science in Applied Management degree. It now offers a Bachelor of Applied Science in Diesel Technology degree and a Bachelor of Applied Science in Information Science and Application Development degree.


The college's mascot is the Trailblazer and the athletics program includes teams for women's volleyball, men's baseball, men's and women's basketball, women's fast pitch softball and women's golf. These teams play in the Northwest Athletic Conference (NWAC).[11]


  1. ^ a b Centralia College; the Chronicle (December 25, 2015). "A Timeline: 90 Years of Education at Centralia College". The Chronicle. Retrieved May 27, 2021.
  2. ^ As of June 30, 2011. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2011 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2010 to FY 2011" (PDF). National Association of College and University Business Officers. January 17, 2012. p. 22. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 29, 2013. Retrieved February 10, 2012.
  3. ^ a b "College Search". College Board. 2009. Retrieved March 28, 2009.
  4. ^ "Centralia College International Programs Student Handbook". Centralia College. Archived from the original on July 22, 2011. Retrieved March 28, 2009.
  5. ^ "Directory of Institutions A — D". Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. March 28, 2009. Archived from the original on October 11, 2017. Retrieved March 28, 2009.
  6. ^ Farr, Sheilla (June 8, 2001). "Exiled murals may surface in Centralia". The Seattle Times. The Seattle Times Company. Retrieved March 28, 2009.
  7. ^ Associated Press (August 30, 2003). "Controversial murals go to Centralia College". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Hearst Seattle Media. Retrieved March 28, 2009.
  8. ^ Thomas, Ralph (September 3, 2003). "Controversial murals on the move". The Seattle Times. The Seattle Times Company. Retrieved March 28, 2009.
  9. ^ Ralph Thomas (September 3, 2003), Controversial murals on the move, The Seattle Times, retrieved October 12, 2012
  10. ^ "College's commissioned art spans three decades" (PDF), Blue & Gold, p. 10, April–May 2000, archived from the original (PDF) on September 5, 2015, retrieved October 12, 2012
  11. ^ "Athletics at Centralia College". Centralia College. 2008. Retrieved March 28, 2009.