Napa Valley College, founded in 1942 in Napa, held its first class with just 16 students, only one of whom was male. Once World War II was over, veterans flooded into the new college. During 1948-49, a modern new college was built next to the high school.
The community reaffirmed its commitment to the local college in 1962 by passing a bond to buy land and build a new college campus. After 23 years, the college had its own campus, its own school district and an enrollment of 1,771 students.
In 1982, Napa College changed its name to Napa Valley College. The official opening of a permanent Upper Valley Campus in 1994 brought educational opportunities close to home for upper valley residents and added new dimensions to the college curriculum.
Napa Valley College celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2002 and continues to seek new avenues of service to students and the community.