This story was updated Wednesday, September 20, 2023.

Austin Community College District celebrates 50 years of building brighter futures this fall. The first ACC classes started September 17, 1973, at a single campus with 1,726 students. Now, 50 years later, ACC has 11 campuses and serves about 70,000 students annually. 

In honor of its golden anniversary, the college hosts Riverbat Spirit Week from Sunday, September 17, through Saturday, September 23, to provide faculty, staff, students, and the community an opportunity to join the celebration. The week culminates with the Riverbat Homecoming Fest on Saturday, September 23, at ACC Highland Campus.


Sunday, September 17 | GO PURPLE!
ACC invites the community to go purple in recognition of 50 years! Everyone is encouraged to wear Riverbat gear or PURPLE clothing and invite others to do so, too. Beginning Sunday, September 17, ACC campuses also will LIGHT UP PURPLE. We’re inviting area businesses and communities to join us in turning their lights purple.

Monday, September 18 – Friday, September 22 | SPIRIT WEEK
During Spirit Week, ACC campuses across the district will host a series of Riverbat spirit activities and events designed for students and employees to celebrate being a part of ACC. Every campus will host opportunities tailored to their community during the week and each day has a special theme. 

  • Sunday, September 17 | Light Up Purple!
  • Monday, September 18 | 70s Vibes
  • Tuesday, September 19 | We’re Golden
  • Wednesday, September 20 | Tie Dye
  • Thursday, September 21 | Keep Austin Weird
  • Friday, September 22 | Go Purple

Find the full schedule of events on the ACC Spirit Week webpage.

As part of its Homecoming Week, ACC’s African American Cultural Center (AACC) hosts a special reception honoring ACC Founder and director of the AACC, Roland C. Hayes. The event, hosted at Eastview Campus, includes a special 50th Anniversary surprise. 

Thursday, September 21 | ACC FOUNDERS’ LUNCHEON
In appreciation of its founding leadership and employees, ACC hosts a 50th Anniversary Founders’ Luncheon. This special invite-only event is hosted at Eatery 73 — ACC’s student-run restaurant located in the ACC Highland Campus. Food and beverages are prepared and served by ACC Culinary Arts students.

Saturday, September 23 | RIVERBAT HOMECOMING FEST
The festivities culminate with a community-wide festival at ACC Highland on Saturday, September 23. “50 Years Later: A Riverbat Homecoming Fest,” is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and includes live performances, tours, simulations and demonstrations, panel discussions & live forums, family-friendly games and activities, food trucks, and more. The free event is open to the community.

The event also will feature the grand opening of the Make It Center at ACC Highland.

For more information, visit


Throughout the month of September, the State of Texas and several cities in the district’s service area are issuing proclamations in recognition of ACC’s work to change higher education and its commitment to workforce development, career advancement, and access to affordable education. Read more HERE.


ACC faculty and staff are invited to volunteer to help at the Riverbat Homecoming Fest on Saturday, September 23. Volunteers may select from a morning or afternoon shift and will receive a special 50th Anniversary shirt to wear for the event. Volunteer registration is now closed.

Win Swag

Time to test your ACC knowledge! Play ACC’s Groovy Trivia Game. The first five people to answer all questions correctly will win a prize pack. Hint: Visit ACC’s 50th Anniversary webpage for assistance. 

The Groovy Trivia contest is now closed. Congratulations to our winners!