Drone video reveals sprawling Sinclair campus in downtown Dayton

7 things to know about Sinclair Community College

We’re willing to bet some of these facts will surprise you.

1.) Scottish immigrant and secretary of the Dayton YMCA, David Sinclair, founded an adult training school that offered Bookkeeping and Mechanical Drawing in 1887. 

>> PHOTOS: See the historic images of Sinclair’s beginnings 

David A. Sinclair (1850-1902) was an early supporter of the YMCA movement. He came to Dayton in 1874 to represent the Hamilton, Ontario YMCA at a conference, and was so impressed with the leadership of the Dayton branch that he accepted a position here. He could not understand why Dayton had so many jobless men, and so asked men local employers what was causing the problem. When told men lacked the necessary skills and training he became determined to do something about it. Under his leadership, the YMCA began to offer vocational training classes which eventually grew into Sinclair Community College. Sadly, David Sinclair did not live long enough to see it: exhausted from efforts to build the first YMCA building at Third and Ludlow Streets (now Dayton City Hall), he died six years before the first college building opened. Inducted: 1996
Photo: Archive collection of Sinclair

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2.) Course offerings increased, including a YMCA Law School. Locations changed as the school grew at 117 W. Monument Avenue in Dayton, and changed its name to Sinclair College of the YMCA in 1948.

3.) The YMCA Law School transferred to the University of Dayton. 

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Chemistry lab of the Dayton YMCA Junior College in the 1930s.
Photo: Archive collection of Sinclair

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4.) A site for the newly-formed Sinclair Community College was selected and a one-mill, ten-year levy was approved in 1966 for construction of a new campus. 

5.) In 1972, the new 20-acre campus was opened at 444 West Third Street. The campus had seven buildings and began classes in the fall quarter. 

6.) The current Sinclair Dayton campus includes 20 numbered buildings and one large parking structure that covers about 12 city blocks on the western edge of downtown Dayton.  

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Dayton location of Sinclair Community College which also has four branch campuses in Mason, Eaton, Huber Heights and Englewood TY GREENLEES / STAFF
Photo: Ty Greenlees

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7.) Currently, Sinclair has an enrollment of more than 30,000 students studying at locations in Dayton, Eaton, Englewood, Huber Heights, Mason, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and online.