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Key Events in College History
The story of Jefferson College during its 50th Anniversary celebration in April, 2013. Interviews with early students and some of the key people responsible for the establishment and growth of the college.
A Tradition of Excellence: Key Events in the History of Jefferson College
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Adult and Continuing Education program is created.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Ceramics Studio is added to the Fine Arts Building.
The Associate Degree Nursing Program begins in the fall.
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.
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.
The Learning Center opens, offering private study and free tutoring services.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jefferson College is declared the state's fastest-growing college.
The Technology Center is completed in the fall.
MCI donates an additional $2.8 million of telecommunications equipment to the College.
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.
The College receives its third consecutive 10-year accreditation by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
The Honors Program begins.
Dr. Ray Henry retires and Dr. Gery Hochanadel begins as the College's third president.
The Library installs an automated, CD-ROM based catalog.
In August, the Assessment Center opens.
The Jefferson College Foundation and Alumni Association are established.
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.
Dr. Hochanadel leaves the College and Vice President Ron Fundis is appointed as Interim President.
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.
The Faculty Senate presents the first "Alumnus of the Year" award to Marcella Weaver.
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.
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.
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.
$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.
Viking Woods student housing opens in the fall.
The Friday Speaker Series begins in October.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The College celebrates its 50th anniversary with numerous events and activities honoring the institution’s past, present and future.
In connection with the College’s long-range strategic plan, the Board of Trustees approves a $300,000 contract to renovate the Student Center in order to create a “one stop” location for enrollment, financial aid, advising, and payment, while better complying with federal and institutional privacy laws.
As one of several academic strategies developed to help students complete their associate degree, the college created a new Adult Learners (One Night Plus) option that allows students to earn an Associate of Arts degree by attending class one night a week and working online.
Building on the strengths of Jefferson College’s Nursing program and a continued emphasis on providing training for employment in high-demand healthcare fields, Jefferson College entered into a partnership with Central Methodist University allowing area registered nurses to obtain their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from CMU.
To safeguard the well-being of all students, visitors, and employees, the Board of Trustees approved the formation of the Jefferson College Campus Police Department.
To educate residents in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields, Jefferson College received $1.257 million as part of a $19.7 million U.S. Department of Labor (TAACCT) Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant awarded to the state’s community college consortium via the Missouri Community College Association.
In connection with Jefferson County’s designation as a Certified Work Ready Community, Governor Jay Nixon acknowledged Jefferson College’s leadership role spearheaded by Business and Community Development Director Bryan Herrick.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for on the second floor of the Student Center to mark the creation of a centralized “one stop” location for Enrollment Services. Similarly, the third floor was also renovated to provide consolidated office space for advising, student development, counseling, and Project Success. Both renovation projects were completed in connection with the College’s long-range strategic plan.
As a further extension of the commitment to providing students with support services in order to foster academic and personal success, the Academic Success Center opened on the Hillsboro campus consisting of a science lab, math lab, writing lab, computer information systems lab, and psychology tutoring.
The Jefferson College Library celebrated its 30th anniversary as part of the Federal Depository Library Program with an open house and ceremony highlighting its role as the state’s only community college facility in the FLDP.
In celebration of Black History Month, the College hosted several special activities highlighted by a travelling exhibit from the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and a visit by St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith.
The Jefferson College softball team, led by head coach Tony Cook, finished competed in the NJCAA national tournament for only the second time in program history, finishing ninth in the nation.
Jefferson College proudly served as the “welcome home headquarters” for a community wide celebration for the Missouri National Guard’s 220th Engineer Company returning from Afghanistan.
Jefferson College was one of only seven colleges and universities nationally to be recognized in connection with the 2015 Healthy Campus Award sponsored by Active Minds and the Margaret Clark Morgan Foundation for improving and prioritizing student health.
The College was granted another five-year extension for its highly-successful TRIO Grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Known as “Project Success,” the program is designed to provide support and resources to qualifying students who are first-generation, low income, or have a documented disability. The program has been funded at the College since 1997.
The Events and Outreach Committee hosted the first annual “Ripple of Hope” as special guest Adam Walinsky, speech writer for the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy, spoke about his first-hand account of Kennedy and the now infamous speech given the night that Martian Luther Kink Jr. was assassinated.
As part of a continued emphasis on health-related education, the Jefferson College Foundation received a $210,125 grant from the Jefferson Memorial Community Foundation to continue and support the student/employee holistic Wellness Program, to purchase Nursing SIM lab equipment, and to provide Health Occupation scholarships.
The Jefferson College Foundation’s Jazz & Jeans fundraiser grossed nearly $100,000–a new record. The guest emcee for the evening was KTRS radio personality John Carney.
The Xi Zeta chapter of Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society celebrated its 50th anniversary with a special ceremony that included representatives from the first induction ceremonies in 1965 and 1966. The celebration also involved the burial of a time capsule.
The College held a campus and community celebration to unveil a new Viking mascot “Victor E. Viking” and retire the previous mascot “JC” following a 10 year reign.
The baseball field underwent significant updates, including the installation of a new backstop w/suspended netting system, replacement of retaining wall on first base seating area, new padding/protective netting on dugout railings, and installation of turf home plate halo and walk-ups.
In an effort to update essential Library services to students, faculty, staff, and the community, the Board of Trustees approved a plan to renovate the two-story 62,000 square foot building and create a reimagined space for learning and gathering.
As part of the College’s 51st commencement ceremonies, the first group of students from the Jefferson College/Fox C-6 College Accelerated Program (CAP) received their Associate of Arts degrees prior to graduating from high school the following week.
Following the sudden closure of ITT locations across the region and country, Jefferson College’s quick reaction and resources for displaced Nursing students was hailed as a best practice by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.
Jefferson College received the 2016 Active Minds Healthy Campus Award as one of the healthiest college campuses in the nation, marking the second consecutive year that it was honored for comprehensive health-conscious programming.
As a way to commemorate the tragedy and heroism surrounding the 2001 terrorist attacks on America, over 10,000 people visited the 9/11 Never Forget mobile exhibit co-hosted by Jefferson College, the Arnold Tourism Commission, and the Jefferson College Foundation.
Jefferson College became one of fewer than 100 institutions in the nation to be granted accreditation from the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP) in connection with offering quality concurrent enrollment programs for high school students.
Following an extremely rigorous self-evaluation and review, the Law Enforcement Academy was granted accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc.
As part of an ongoing emphasis to improve health and well-being on campus, the Fitness Center in the Field House was renovated thanks in part to a grant from the Jefferson Memorial Community Foundation to the Jefferson College Foundation.
The Jefferson Memorial Community Foundation awarded $245,000 in three separate health-related education to the Jefferson College Foundation to support the College. $150,000 was designated for Library renovation, $50,000 was earmarked to offset costs associated with the Wellness Program, and $45,000 was specified for a series of 15 ($3,000) scholarships to first-year or pre-program students entering one of Jefferson’s Health Occupation Programs.
Over 2,000 visitors from all parts of the United States and around the world traveled to the Hillsboro campus to experience the highly anticipated solar eclipse in August during the 2 minutes 38 seconds of totality (darkness). In addition to being a prime location to view the natural phenomenon, the College hosted a variety of informational, educational activities for all ages.
Thanks in part to funding from the Jefferson Memorial Community Foundation and the Missouri State Board of Nursing, a renovated and expanded NEST (Nursing Education Simulation Technology) lab opened in September, significantly advancing student training to meet the needs of workforce partners throughout the region.
The Jefferson College Arnold campus celebrated its 10th anniversary in November. The “Decade of Dedication” event included over 200 attendees and sent a heartfelt “thank you” to those who have given their support throughout the past decade. It also provided new and prospective students the opportunity to visit with faculty and staff to learn about the College.
A $300,000 Automotive Technology Shop renovation was unveiled in an effort to improve student learning. The new shop provides better utilization of instructional space and emulates a modern automotive environment. Improvements include double the amount of lifted working spaces for increased hands on learning, updated workbenches and cabinetry, installation of energy-efficient high-powered LED lighting, and increased storage capacity.
The College hosted a 20th anniversary celebration of the federally funded Project SUCCESS (Students Utilizing Career Counseling and Educational Support Services) program that has helped nearly 1,400 students achieve academic and personal success. Through the program, students receive intense academic and personal support to those who are first-generation, low-income and/or who have a documented disability.
The Board of Trustees' adopted new mission/vision/values statements to help guide the institution during the next five-year strategic planning process for 2020-2025 and well into the future.
The College introduced the Associate of Fine Arts (A.F.A.) degree, designed for transfer to another college or university as part of a bachelor's degree in fine arts.
To unify, coordinate, and better support institutional diversity and inclusion efforts, the Board of Trustees adopted an Inclusion and Diversity Plan.
To mark the completion of a $5 million renovation to the Library, over 250 people attended the grand opening on April 2 in connection with the 55th anniversary of the establishment of the College.
The Vikings Baseball team qualified for the NJCAA World Series, winning a team record 54 games and finishing #7 in the nation.
To mark Jefferson College's first-ever international student educational exchange program, a group of 12 students and 3 instructors from Darmstadt, Germany, visited the College as part of a remarkable learning experience.
In an effort to provide non-perishable food, frozen/refrigerated goods, and personal hygiene items free of change to students in need, the Vikings' Vault food pantry opened in September.
The College adopted a Campus Compact Civic Engagement Plan to strengthen outreach and service-learning opportunities. Accordingly, a cross-section of 88 faculty, staff and students participated in the first-ever Day of Service as they dispersed across Jefferson County to provide needed assistance to 12 agencies and organizations throughout our community.