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Logo of Lamar State College–Orange seal.

Lamar State College–Orange is a community college located in Orange, Texas. It currently serves around 2,000 students.


Opened in the fall of 1969 as an extension of Lamar University, LSC-O first held classes in a closed elementary school. Dr. Joe Ben Welch, the extension director, was part of the original faculty teaching introductory math courses. The original faculty members included Dr. Shelley Thrasher, Dr. James C Ronning, Dr. Bob Peebles, and Larkin Franklin. Some of the original faculty members began their careers teaching at the Lamar Extension Center.

Dr. Shelley Thrasher became a professor emerita and held leadership positions in organizations dedicated to furthering the cause of women in the professions. During Dr. Thrasher’s thirty years at Lamar State College–Orange, she introduced courses in women’s literature and minority American literature to the curriculum. She also served as department and division chair of liberal arts, and as interim vice president—the first woman in the Lamar System to hold that position. Currently she works as a content editor for Bold Strokes Books, one of the largest publishers of GLBT literature in the world.

Dr. Peebles received awards for outstanding teaching.

Dr. Ronning became a licensed psychologist and was appointed to the State Board of Disability Examiners in Psychology by Governor Ann Richards. He wrote a column, "Our Lives," for the Houston Community Newspapers, one entry nominated by the Texas Newspaper Association for Excellence in Writing. Later he wrote a novel and a self-help book, along with numerous research articles. He left independent practice of psychology in 1996 and was part founder and eventual CEO of Psychometrics of North America. While serving in this capacity he also was an adjunct professor of psychology at The University of Texas at Austin.

Two years after its beginning the Texas Legislature authorized the branch campus to offer two-year degrees to the residents of Orange and the surrounding region. That same year, fire destroyed the former elementary school, but faculty members, under the guidance of Dr. Welch and Dr. Andrew Johnson, a vice president from the main campus in Beaumont, along with local citizens banded together to purchase another closed building, which became its current home at 410 Front Street. This extension center was renamed Lamar University at Orange. In 1991, Lamar University at Orange was granted the ability to grant associate degrees. In 1995, the school became a constituent member of the Texas State University System. In 1999, the school was granted further autonomy by the state legislature and renamed Lamar State College–Orange and $10 million in funds was allocated for campus improvements, including a main building and a central plant. Dr. Joe Ben Welch, founding president, was instrumental in the growth and development of the college, helping to make this original "two year extension center" into an official branch campus of Lamar University at Beaumont. It is now known as Lamar State College–Orange.

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