Key Events in the History of Jefferson College


A Tradition of Excellence: Key Events in the History of Jefferson College

1961
Missouri enacts Senate Bill Number 7 (Junior College Act), introduced by Senator Earl Blackwell of Hillsboro, which permits the establishment and authorization of funding for junior college districts.

1962
Concerned that only 23 percent of the 1961 high school graduates in Jefferson County entered college, a meeting of area citizens is called by Francis Breeze, Manager of Pittsburgh Plate Glass Works/President of Twin City Chamber of Commerce, on January 24 at Crystal City High School. They decide to petition the Missouri State Department of Education for permission to organize the Jefferson County Junior College District.

1963
On April 2, Jefferson County voters approve a Junior College District with a vote of 3,910 for and 3,852 against. A six-member Board of Trustees is also elected: Earl Blackwell and LeRoy Stovesand (six years), J. Charles Studyvin and Walter Walton (four years), and James Lee Chism and Mathew Wynn (two years).

Dr. Charles J. McClain is appointed President of Jefferson College on August 5.

After considering a variety of locations and proposals, the Board of Trustees accepts a donation by Max Lubin and Jack Molasky of 131.9 acres of land two miles north of Hillsboro for the college site.

1964
On February 4, voters approve, by a three-to-one margin, a $1.985 million phase I construction bond issue for three buildings: Student Center, Academic Building and Library Building.

In September, the first courses are offered at Hillsboro High School during the late afternoon/evening with 14 faculty members and 303 students.

1965
In August, the Student Center is completed, containing a bookstore, cafeteria, dining room, administration offices, and student offices. It is the first permanent building to be erected on a junior college campus in Missouri.

The Academic Building (Arts and Sciences I) is completed.

Jefferson College becomes the first junior college in Missouri to be designated as an Area Vocational School.

The first classes are offered on the present Hillsboro campus on September 10.

1966
In January, a ceremony is held to dedicate the Student Center and Academic Building.

The first GED tests are given on campus in May.

The first commencement ceremony is held in June, with a graduating class of 31.

Lubin and Molasky families donate an additional 33.56 acres, bringing the campus to a total size of 165.46 acres.

1967
In February, voters approve, by an eight-to-one majority, a $2.5 million phase II bond issue for a Physical Education building, Fine Arts building, and athletic fields with seating and parking areas.

The Technical Education building is completed in June.

The Library, which also houses administrative offices, business offices, classrooms, and meeting rooms, is completed in August.

Jefferson College opens the Vocational-Technical Division, offering nine occupational programs to 196 college and 160 high school students.

1968
The Adult and Continuing Education program is created.

1969
In March, Jefferson College is granted its first full 10-year accreditation by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

The Field House is completed with physical education facilities, locker and equipment facilities, and training areas.

1970
Dr. McClain leaves Jefferson College in February to assume the presidency of Northeast Missouri State University.

In July, Dr. Ray Henry is appointed the second president of the College.

The College enters into cooperative agreements with local school districts to offer adult education programs.

1971
L.C. White donates $5,332 as an endowment fund for scholarships.

The Pre-Vocational Building (Area Vocational School) is constructed providing classrooms, laboratories and offices for technical education.

The Starlight Chorus begins.

In November, the Fine Arts Building, with its unique indoor-outdoor theatre, opens.

The first off campus college-credit courses are offered. 

1972
The summer "Theater After Dark" program begins. Seats for the Outdoor Theater are secured from the old Municipal Stadium in Kansas City.

In the fall, the first dual enrollment classes are offered in county high schools.

1973
By an eight-to-one majority, voters approve a bond issue to expand the Vocational-Technical Building by 56,500 square feet, add science laboratories to the Academic Building, elevators to the Academic Building and Library Building, and build tennis courts.

1974
The Ceramics Studio is added to the Fine Arts Building.

The Associate Degree Nursing Program begins in the fall.

1975
Enrollment in the Adult and Continuing Education program exceeds 4,000. Subsequently, the program is granted full divisional status.

The first expansion of the Vocational-Technical Education building is completed.

The Community Chorale begins.

The women's athletics program begins.

1976
Faculty groups organize the first Jefferson Fair, an arts and crafts festival.

In only its second year of existence, the women's volleyball team competes in the NJCAA National Tournament, finishing fourth.

The Student Center Building is remodeled and the Career Information Center opens.

The Animal Health Technology program begins.

1977
The Learning Center opens, offering private study and free tutoring services.

1978
In May, the College acquires 300 additional acres adjoining the campus, bringing the total campus acreage to 480.

The first children's theater production is added to the summer theater program.

Col. John J. Livingston donates a 4,000 piece mineral collection to the College.

Jefferson becomes the first community college in the state to offer a complete word processing program.

Lucas and Theresia Duffner bequest $25,000 for an endowment fund for vocational-technical student scholarships.

1979
Jefferson College is granted its second consecutive 10-year accreditation by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

The Jefferson County History Center is established on campus.

1980
By an 8-to-1 margin, voters approve a $4.3 million bond issue for additions to the Library-Administration Building, Vocational-Technical Building, and Field House. Related improvements include alterations and additions to the Student Center, construction of a pedestrian bridge, added parking, and campus re-landscaping.

The Friends of Jefferson College, a community-based support organization, is formed as the first 100 members join in two days at Jefferson Fair.

1981
In May, the Administration wing of the Library Building opens, providing administrative and business offices, a computer center, and offices for the Adult and Continuing Education division.

The addition to the Vocational-Technical Building is completed for fall classes with expanded classrooms, office and laboratory space, and permanent facilities for the Law Enforcement Training Center and the Jefferson County Crime Laboratory.

Alterations to the Library are completed in August as the first floor becomes the main library reference area with space for auxiliary services and Learning Center. The second level contains stacks, quiet study areas, the Jefferson County History Center, classrooms, student newspaper offices, and a photography lab.

1982
The Field House addition is completed with the opening of the pool in July.

Student Center renovations include expanded dining-meeting rooms, remodeled kitchen and cafeteria, expanded bookstore, and facilities for the Friends of Jefferson College.

1983
The Child Care Center, built by students in the Area Vocational School, is completed in the spring.

In December, the College's cable television station, JCTV, begins broadcasting thanks to a gift of $100,000 from the local cable franchise board.

MCI Corporation donates $1.7 million in equipment for a telecommunications laboratory.

Three new "high tech" programs are approved to begin in the fall: Telecommunications, CNC/Robotics, and Industrial Robot Production Technician.

The Word Processing program is selected as one of the Outstanding Vocational Education programs in the nation.

1984
Jefferson College North opens for the summer semester.

The first live telecast of the College graduation ceremony is broadcast on JCTV.

The Jefferson College Library is designated as a Federal Depository.

1985
Jefferson College is declared the state's fastest-growing college.

1986
The Technology Center is completed in the fall.

MCI donates an additional $2.8 million of telecommunications equipment to the College.

1987
The new Arts and Sciences II Building is completed with space for JCTV, classrooms, laboratories, and faculty offices.

The volleyball team finishes second at the NJCAA national championship tournament, the highest standing in the program's history.

1988
The College receives its third consecutive 10-year accreditation by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

The Honors Program begins.

1989
Dr. Ray Henry retires and Dr. Gery Hochanadel begins as the College's third president.

The Library installs an automated, CD-ROM based catalog.

1990
In August, the Assessment Center opens.

1991
The Jefferson College Foundation and Alumni Association are established.

1992
Voters approve an $8 million bond issue to address campus maintenance and repair issues.

Missouri Baptist College and Jefferson College sign a 2+2 agreement so that citizens can receive a bachelor's degree in Jefferson County.

1993
Dr. Hochanadel leaves the College and Vice President Ron Fundis is appointed as Interim President.

1994
Dr. Gregory Adkins is selected as the College's fourth president.

Jefferson College enters into another 2+2 program with the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

The College begins serving as the host site for the Mastodon Art and Science Fair as over 2,000 entries are received as the largest event of its kind in the world.

1995
The Faculty Senate presents the first "Alumnus of the Year" award to Marcella Weaver.

1996
The Jefferson County Veterans Memorial is constructed on the Hillsboro campus as a place for reflection in memory of those who lost their lives during periods of conflict.

1997
The U.S. Department of Education awards Jefferson College a four-year TRIO grant for the "Project Success" (Students Using Career Counseling and Educational Support Services) proposal.

1999
The College receives its fourth consecutive 10-year accreditation by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Construction is completed on a new Area Technical School to serve students from 11 area high schools.

The first fully online class is offered by the College.

2000
$6.775 million in Student Housing System Revenue Bonds are issued to finance construction of student housing.

The College's first SMART classroom equipment is installed.

For the first time in program history, the women's basketball team competes in the NJCAA national tournament, finishing eighth.

2001
Viking Woods student housing opens in the fall.

The Friday Speaker Series begins in October.

2002
Bill McKenna is appointed by the Board of Trustees as the College's fifth president.

Voters approve the College's first operating levy increase (12 cents) by a majority of 54%.

Looking toward future expansion and improved educational access for county residents, the Board of Trustees approves the purchase of about six acres of land in Arnold.

For the first time in program history, the baseball team participates in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) World Series.

2003
The Board of Trustees purchases about 5.5 acres near Arnold for a new education center.

STARS (Smart Technology and Remote Services) internal communication portal is launched.

New degree/certificate programs began in Culinary Arts and Biotechnology.

2004
Voters approve a five-cent debt levy transfer by a majority of 69% to maintain, improve and repair campus buildings and facilities.

Online college credit registration begins and the Online Associate of Arts degree is approved. The Evening-Weekend Practical Nursing program is initiated.

In June, campus traffic and safety concerns are addressed with the opening of Jefferson College Drive.

The Jefferson College Foundation receives a $220,000 donation from the Community Health Center of Jefferson County for scholarships in the health and science fields. The Foundation also establishes the annual Outstanding Achievement Awards to recognize the exemplary accomplishments of faculty and staff.

The Continuing Education division expands significantly with over 300 online courses.

2005
Responding to the need for improved educational access in northern Jefferson County, Jefferson College Northwest opens in High Ridge.

To more accurately reflect the institution's mission and role in preparing students for success in the workplace, the name of the Vocational-Technical Education Division is changed to Career and Technical Education.

The Global Studies program and Veterinary Assistant certificate option is created.

The College's athletics program is expanded with the addition of men's soccer and women's softball.

The Student Center Cafeteria is renovated with expanded dining facilities, patio and entrance thanks in part to $50,000 contributions from Eagle Bank and Enterprise Leasing. A new student lounge is also created in the Arts and Science I building.

2006
Dr. Wayne Watts is chosen to succeed Bill McKenna as the College's sixth president.

The Board of Trustees agrees to purchase about 24 acres of land along Highway 30 for future expansion in northwestern Jefferson County. 

The soccer team wins the institution's first NJCAA Division I National Championship. In their inaugural season, the softball team finishes ninth at the NJCAA national tournament.

To increase student success and teaching effectiveness, the Advising and Retention Center opens and the Center for Teaching and Learning is created.

The Evening-Weekend Registered Nursing program is initiated.

2007
In June, Jefferson College Arnold is relocated to a new state-of-the-art building constructed as part of a unique public development/partnership with the city of Arnold and the Jefferson County Library.

The Associate of Arts in Teaching degree, "Introduction to College: Strategies of Success," and Auto Collision Repair classes are established. As the first of its kind in Missouri, the Law Enforcement Academy offers the option of receiving both an Associate of Applied Science degree and POST Class A certification.

Jefferson College receives the Missouri Community College Association Technology Innovation Award for its online Early Alert System.

The Field House court is named in honor of retired volleyball coach Jo Ellen Stringer as the "winningest" volleyball coach in the nation with over 1,200 victories.

All five athletic teams win MCCAC conference championships.

The Jefferson College Foundation hosts the first-ever Jefferson County Balloon glow.

2008
A new entrance marquee sign is erected on the Hillsboro campus.

Dr. Jill Biden, wife of U.S. Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the College as part of a public forum.

The Office Systems and Technologies program is renamed Business Information Technology.

JCTV begins posting much of its programming online and streaming live via the Internet.

Jefferson College is highlighted on the cover of NJCAA JUCO Review national magazine.

2009
The College receives its fifth consecutive 10-year accreditation by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Dr. Wayne Watts retires and the Board of Trustees selects Dr. Raymond Cummiskey as the College's seventh president.

Jefferson College is the host site for a healthcare forum led by U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill that garners national and international media coverage.

For the third consecutive year, each of the College's athletic teams wins their respective Midwest Community College Athletic Conference championship.

2010
College credit enrollment grows to its highest level ever as 6,203 students register for fall classes. The College's fifth campus "JC Online" is established in response to the popularity of online instruction.

Jefferson College Northwest is relocated from High Ridge to Cedar Hill and the former Jefferson College North site is renovated and reopened as Jefferson College Imperial, housing the Law Enforcement Academy, EMT and CNA programs.

Three additional online associate degrees are established: AAS-Business Information Technology, AAS-Business Management, and AAT-Associate of Arts in Teaching.

Jefferson College receives nearly $1.6 million in a five-month span to create new health-care programs in physical therapy, occupational therapy, respiratory therapy, and radiologic technology. The College is also awarded $701,000 to support job training in healthcare as part of the Graduate! St. Louis Consortium through the St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment (SLATE) from the U.S. Department of Labor.

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack visits Jefferson College as part of the National Summit of Rural America.

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education awards $219,670 to Jefferson College to expand adult education and literacy (AEL) services and recognizes the College with the Program Excellence Award.

Jefferson College received the Missouri Innovative Industry Training Award for implementation of the WorkKeys job skills assessment system in partnership with CG Power Systems.

For the fourth consecutive year, the women's basketball participates in the NJCAA national tournament, finishing second.

2011
As a result of historic enrollment growth, the College held two commencement ceremonies where over 850 students were eligible to receive degrees or certificates.

In June, a $1.2 million expansion to Jefferson College Arnold was unveiled, adding three SMART classrooms, a computer classroom, a science lab, and additional offices.

In conjunction with a revised institutional planning process designed to prepare for and achieve long-range progress and excellence, the Board of Trustees approved a five-year Strategic Plan based on the central themes to "Discover, Engage and Excel."

The College received a $1 million MoHealthWINs grant to develop a Radiologic Technology program with St. Charles Community College and a Computer Information Systems-Computer Support certificate program.

The Jefferson College Foundation holds its inaugural Monticello Society ceremony to honor those who have made significant contributions in support of Jefferson College.

Jefferson College receives a $677,933 grant from the Missouri Department of Higher Education as part of the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) to create "one stop technology centers" and provide free computer-related instruction.

Jefferson Health System establishes a minority nursing scholarship thanks to a five-year $50,000 donation. Dobbs Tire and Auto Centers also demonstrates a continued commitment to higher education with a second $50,000 five-year corporate pledge.

A new Athletics Hall of Fame is established, combining previous individual sport recognitions into a single, comprehensive organization.

The Starlight Chorus celebrates its 40th anniversary (and final performances) as founding-director Richard Bell retires. 

2012
The Foundation receives the single largest donation in its history with a gift totaling over $1 million from David Ault, consisting of a $500,000 bequest and a new home with accompanying golf membership at Fox Run Golf Club.

In an effort to expand career training opportunities, a series of new healthcare-related programs begins, including Biomedical Electronics, Computer Information Systems-Computer Support, Health Information Technology, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Physical Therapist Assistant, and Respiratory Therapy.

Jane Houser (the College's first non-traditional student in 1964) and her husband Branton contribute $50,000 to create an endowed scholarship for non-traditional students. The Jefferson County Democratic Club makes a $29,000 endowment contribution for scholarships.

The Automotive Technology program receives accreditation by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) and the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).

The Cultural Diversity Committee creates the annual Performing Arts and Cultural Enrichment (PACE) event series.

For the second consecutive year, the baseball team participates in the NJCAA JUCO World Series, finishing fifth.

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 13 March 2013 )