The official ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Tysons Corner, Virginia, Katharine Gibbs School was on February 7, 1984. Tysons Corner was the second school in the Washington DC area after Rockville, Maryland (1983).
Katharine Gibbs School was on the first floor of the Tycon Courthouse Building, pictured above.
Among the 330 guests at the official opening were Mrs. Eleanor P. Vreeland, president of Katharine Gibbs Schools; Mayor and Mrs. Charles A. Robinson of Vienna, Virginia; and Mrs. Regina Poole, the Washington DC-area Gibbs alumnae leader.
The highlight of the ceremony was a message from Mrs. Lynda Johnson Robb, wife of Virginia’s governor and daughter of the late President Lyndon Baines Johnson. She was then serving on President Jimmy Carter’s Advisory Committee for Women. She had followed Gibbs graduate Marjorie Bell Chambers, PhD, in this role.
In 1976 Marjorie Bell Chambers became the first female president of Colorado Women’s College in Denver and was appointed by President Ford to the Advisory Council on Women’s Education Programs. She served on the Department of Labor Advisory Council and President Carter’s Task Force on Education. She was chair of the President’s Advisory Committee for Women between the terms of Bella Abzug and Lynda Johnson Robb. In Lois Rich-McCoy’s, Late Bloomer: Profiles of Women Who Found Their True Calling, an essay about Marjorie Bell Chambers is called “Galloping Gloves” because in the late 1970s she still carried white gloves in her purse although she did not wear them. Katharine Gibbs: Beyond White Gloves Page 99
Mrs. Robb’s message read: “Your school personifies the struggle and victory of women as they strive to contribute to the business and cultural communities of our nation. The new Katharine Gibbs School of Tysons Corner will undoubtedly enhance the area’s opportunity to develop a pool of qualified personnel. Yet, the effects of the school’s standard of excellence will be felt across the nation.”
The first class joined everyone for a special guided tour of the building according to The Gibbsonian. “By late afternoon, however, most had left the hoopla behind. ‘We’ve go homework to do!’ they chorused.”
The school moved to 1761 Old Meadow Road in McLean and was the only Gibbs to offer bachelor’s degrees. Career Education Corporation, the last owners, changed the name from Gibbs College to Sanford-Brown College in 2008.