Moraine Valley Community College || College History || Timeline

Timeline

1965

  • Oak Lawn Rotary Club members initiate efforts to establish a community college in the southwest suburbs of Chicago.

1966

  • A steering committee is formed to study the proposed junior college district, projected enrollment and financing possibilities.
  • A petition to form a community college district is submitted to the Illinois Junior College Board in Springfield. Soon after, the Illinois Junior College Board and the Illinois Board of Education approve the establishment of a community college district for the southwest suburbs.

1967

  • Area residents pass a referendum approving the formation of a community college.
  • An election creates Community College District 524 and its first seven trustees. Theodore F. Lownik is named Board Chairman.
  • The first temporary office for the unnamed college is established at 4740 W. 95th Street in Oak Lawn.
  • 1968
  • The Board of Trustees holds a contest to name the college, and after a citizen's committee reviews the names, the board chooses Moraine Valley Community College. The name relates to the college's location—where the Valparaiso and Tinley moraines meet to form a valley.
  • The first classes are held on Sept. 16 for 1,218 Moraine Valley students in leased warehouses on 115th Street in Alsip.
  • Dr. Robert E. Turner begins his tenure as the college's first president after serving as president of Macomb Community College in Warren, Michigan.

1969

  • The first Student Congress forms.
  • The Oak Lawn Rotary Club establishes a scholarship fund for Moraine Valley students.
  • Seven temporary buildings open, the first structures on the new Palos Hills campus.

1970

  • Students are first offered computerized registration as credit and noncredit enrollment reaches 4,089.
  • Construction begins on the first permanent facility, Building A.
  • Consumer advocate Ralph Nader addresses students on campus as part of the Moraine Valley concert/lecture series.

1971

  • The college's gymnasium opens.
  • Moraine Valley is invited to join the League for Innovation in the Community College.
  • Noted child care authority Dr. Benjamin Spock is a featured speaker at a lecture for students.

1972

  • The first permanent campus structure, Building A, opens.
  • The first annual Messiah concert is held.
  • The first tree is planted on campus.
  • Sen. Paul Simon (D-IL) visits Moraine Valley.

1973

  • Moraine Valley starts the first two-year special education program in Illinois.
  • The college begins restoration of its Nature Study Area on campus.
  • The men's gymnastics team places third in state competition.

1974

  • The first independent study and nontraditional learning programs are offered.
  •  Lights are added to the tennis courts.
  • The first student trustee is elected to the board.

1975

  • Dr. James D. Koeller is appointed Moraine Valley's second president.
  • The college joins the Northern Illinois Learning Resources Cooperative.
  • Construction begins on Buildings B and L.
  • Total enrollment reaches 9,749.

1976

  • The college starts its Returning Woman Program, offering support services for women returning to school.
  • A re-enactment of the Revolutionary War is staged on campus.

1977

  • Buildings B and L open, increasing classroom, office and resource space.
  • The first Seniorama health fair for senior citizens is held.

1978

  • The original student governing body, the Commission Board, forms.
  • The new Learning Resources Center/Library, Adult Center, and Career Planning and Placement Center all open as student services expand.

1979

  • Students are able to register by telephone.
  • Sen. Joseph R. Biden (D-Del.) visits campus to speak to students.

1980

  • Former Vice President Walter Mondale visits the college to address students about the hostage situation in Iran.
  • Moraine Valley's enrollment grows to 12,614.

1981

  • Baby boomers continue to seek an education at Moraine Valley, pushing the year's enrollment up 12.5 percent.
  • The college publishes the first issue of its literary magazine, the Mastodon.

1982

  • Moraine Valley hires Dr. Fred Gaskin as its third president.
  • The Moraine Valley Community College Foundation is formed.
  • Construction begins on the new College Center.

1983

Noted activist Ralph Nader and therapist/TV star Dr. Joyce Brothers lecture to students.

The Marauders football team plays its first season.

1984

  • The College Center and the Health Fitness Center open.
  • Presidential hopeful Gary Hart and former Sen. Charles Percy (R-IL) each make stops on campus.
  • The football team, in only its second season, wins the conference title.

1985

  • Enrollment reaches 17,021.
  • New programs and events, like Weekend College and College Career Night, are inaugurated.

1986

  • Construction begins on the state-of-the-art Center for Contemporary Technology and is highlighted by the presence of Illinois Gov. James Thompson at the groundbreaking.
  • The literacy program wins the Governor's Home Town Award.

1987

  • Moraine Valley celebrates "20 Years of Building Strong Futures" and continues its development within the community.
  • The college lays the groundwork for high-tech training agreements with several international technology leaders, further establishing itself as a partner with business and industry.

1988

  • President Ronald Reagan visits campus.
  • The Center for Contemporary Technology opens.
  • General Motors holds a special technical demonstration of its Sunraycer solar-powered car at the college.

1989

  • Ten members from Beijing Machinery and Electronics College arrive on campus to begin six months of research and study as part of a sister-college relationship.
  • The Commission of the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution in Washington, D.C. names Moraine Valley a Bicentennial Campus.

1990

  • Pulitzer Prize-winning Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page addresses the college's graduates.
  • The Alumni Association is established.
  • Ten members of the Polish Delegation of Business and Labor visit the college's Ridgeland Center to tour the Electrical Construction Program.

1991

  • Dr. Vernon O. Crawley is named the college's fourth president.
  • Construction gets underway on the Fine and Performing Arts Center.
  • Moraine Valley is officially named one of 12 satellite offices of the Illinois World Trade Center.

1992

  • Moraine Valley celebrates "Lifelong Learning" with a 25th anniversary observance and the burial of a time capsule.
  • Jamie Farr, popular cast member on the hit TV series M*A*S*H, is a featured guest speaker.
  • Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar visits the campus, announcing the release of more than $1.6 million in state funds for a campus remodeling project.
  • The college dedicates its new G. Jack Bradley Observation Deck in the Nature Study Area.
  • Students, faculty and staff vote to adopt Moraine Valley's first college flag.

1993

  • The college establishes a Center for Peace and Conflict Resolution, working with community leaders.
  • Moraine Valley's AutoCAD Authorized Training Center is the only such center in the United States to win five Autodesk Awards for training excellence.
  • A student ambassador program begins with students representing Moraine Valley at recruitment activities and college events.

1994

  • The Fine and Performing Arts Center opens its doors. Home to the Dorothy Menker Theater, John and Angeline Oremus Theater, and the Robert F. DeCaprio Art Gallery, it is a cultural jewel for the southwest suburbs. The community approved a $15 million referendum to finance the project.
  • The Moving Wall, a traveling monument honoring Vietnam veterans, attracts thousands of community residents during its visit to campus.
  • An automated system goes into service, allowing students to register for classes, make tuition payments by credit card, change their schedule, and check course availability by touch-tone telephone.
  • During the spring, temporary buildings that housed offices and classrooms are finally razed.
  • The college combines support services for minority and international students with the creation of the Center for Cultural Diversity.
  • An armillary sundial handcrafted by retired mathematics Professor Roger Carlsen, is installed on the observation deck in the Nature Study Area.

1995

  • Almost 400 faculty and staff begin using an electronic mail system.
  • The Illinois Community College Board recognizes Moraine Valley for offering a training and development assessment program to address the needs of the workplace.
  • The college enters into a partnership with Christ Hospital and Medical Center for the training of students in careers as patient care associates and with Little Company of Mary Hospital for the training of students as certified nurse assistants.

1996

  • The college launches its Web site.
  • Faculty members begin using the Internet in their fall semester courses. Internet access also becomes available in the library and the Center for Contemporary Technology.
  • Moraine Valley excels in its first full year as a member of the Skyway Athletic Conference, winning conference championships in women's softball, men's soccer and men's basketball.
  • The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy selects the college's Family Reading program as one of only 14 recipients of national grants.
  • Thanks to the opening of Moraine Valley's Center for Advanced Studies, four-year colleges and universities offer students and community members the opportunity to complete their bachelor's or master's degrees on the Moraine Valley campus.

1997

  • Gwendolyn Brooks, the first African-American to receive the Pulitzer Prize for poetry and an Illinois Poet Laureate, visits the Fine and Performing Arts Center, where she recites some of her award-winning work.
  • To ensure a smooth transfer to senior institutions, Moraine Valley completes program revisions to meet requirements of the Illinois Articulation Initiative.
  • The Chicago Sun-Times hosts a forum on campus giving students an opportunity to discuss family, economics, technology, and politics.
  • More than 1,000 students, staff and community members take part in AIDS Awareness Week activities.

1998

  • United Parcel Service commissions the college's art students to create a mural to celebrate the company's role in transporting Keiko, the orca whale made famous in the movie Free Willy, from its home in Oregon to its native waters near Iceland. The 50-foot mural was hung at UPS in Hodgkins.
  • Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar visits the college to show support for state funding of a new building on campus to house 27 multipurpose classrooms, a bookstore, meeting rooms and offices (Building D).
  • College unveils the new school mascot, the Cyclones, replacing the Marauders.
  • Students for the first time can register for classes, print a schedule and view final grades online.
  • "Virtual college" is introduced, providing students with 10 courses taught via the Internet.
  • A new off-campus education center at Dwight D. Eisenhower High School in Blue Island opens its doors to students.
  • Singer Michael Bolton's "Bombers" and a team comprised of local sports celebrities match skills in the Heart to Heart Celebrity softball game played at the college to benefit Hope Children's Hospital in Oak Lawn.

1999

  • Creation of an intranet site allows faculty and staff members online access to internal information about the college.
  • Moraine Valley begins its partnership with United Parcel Service in the Earn and Learn Program.
  • The college establishes a Biology Resource Center in the library to provide multimedia support to students.
  • Moraine Valley is selected as the new location of the Department of Corrections Training Academy, which provides training to Cook County local corrections officers.
  • The Chicago Cows on Parade citywide art exhibit in 1999 includes a cow titled "Children on Parade" designed by Associate Art Professor Judith Raphael.

2000

  • Moraine Valley is selected as one of only 12 Vanguard Learning Colleges in the country—the only one in Illinois—for its outstanding record of achievement in learning-centered education.
  • A traveling Smithsonian Institute exhibition focusing on a unique culture created by escaped slaves brought to Caribbean countries from Africa makes Moraine Valley its only stop in Illinois.
  • Student Government Association members travel to Springfield to discuss issues affecting today's community college students.
  • The Automotive Technology Department is designated as an official DaimlerChrysler CAP (Chrysler Apprenticeship Program) training center for the Chicagoland area. The college hosts the Daimler/Chrysler regional finals for the 'Build Your Dream Car" competition. Moraine Valley is the only community college selected to host the regional finals of the country's national competition.
  • United States Vice President Dick Cheney visits campus while on the campaign trail.
  • Diligent attention by the Y2K task force to the college's computer systems, fax machines and even elevators keeps the 'bug" at bay and the college operating smoothly into the new millennium.
  • International student enrollment peaks to a new high with the registration of more than 240 students from 45 countries.

2001

  • The Nature Study Area celebrates its 25th anniversary as an outdoor classroom and unique natural resource. It is one of the only places in Cook County where you can see the three beach levels of Old Lake Chicago, now Lake Michigan.
  • The Academic Skills Center is renamed in honor of Dr. Irene Brodie, former dean of Developmental Education, for her generous monetary gift to enhance programs and services for underprepared students.
  • An increase in demand for online courses prompts the college to boost online class offerings to 32.
  • The 10th annual Holidays Around the World celebration brings more than 700 school children to campus with handmade ornaments from different countries to decorate campus evergreens.
  • Marking a tradition of service to the community, the college hosts its 20th General Educational Development graduation.
  • Area high school students experience a college-level class through Moraine Valley's new Jump Start Program that offers one free college class to qualified high school students.
  • The college's newest academic facility, Building D, opens. The facility includes a CyberCafe, university-like Bookstore, and modern classrooms.

2002

  • The Bob and Marge Bobb Student Life Center opens in the College Center, serving as the hub for student clubs and a space to relax with friends.
  • A new 1.45-mile walking path is installed around the campus perimeter drive.
  • The college introduces a new Web site address—www.morainevalley.edu.
  • The college's national honor society, Phi Theta Kappa, receives the highest possible five-star status for achievement for the fourth consecutive year.

2003

  • The Moraine Valley Chorale performs at the legendary Carnegie Hall in New York along with 21 other choruses representing community colleges from the United States and Canada.
  • The college's Cisco Academy and Local Area Network Program are announced as one of only four faculty training centers in the world to provide faculty training for the new Fundamentals of Wireless LANs.
  • As one of only 12 community colleges in the nation selected as a Vanguard Learning College, the initiative earns a Public Broadcasting System Award in Advanced Teaching and Learning.
  • A new mentoring program for women in technology boosts female enrollment in technology fields with the use of mentors who help create a supportive environment.
  • A new partnership between the college and Walt Disney World sends 36 students to Orlando, Fla., as spring-semester interns.
  • Fall semester sees a record-high enrollment of 14,380 students, while spring enrollment again sets the record with 14,750 students.

2004

  • Moraine Valley becomes the second largest community college in Illinois.
  • Award-winning journalist Bill Kurtis (also a community college graduate) holds a probing discussion on campus on the death penalty, an issue raised in his book, The Death Penalty on Trial: Crisis in American Justice."
  • The National Science Foundation awards Moraine Valley a $3 million grant to establish on campus the first Midwest Regional Center for Systems Security and Information Assurance.
  • A telescope built and donated by Tom McCague, retired department chair and associate professor of Biology, is installed on the G. Jack Bradley Observation Deck in the college's Nature Study Area.
  • The Moraine Valley Education Center at Blue Island opens its doors, making it the first full-service off-campus extension site.
  • Noteworthy speakers on campus include Harry Mark Petrakis, novelist, who shares his tales of Greek life in America; FOX-TV anchor Robin Robinson, a keynote speaker during Black History Month; Fulbright Scholar Dr. Adnan Mehdi Ibrahim El Amine from Lebanon; and Ray Hanania, an Arab-American journalist.
  • A traveling display of Mary Shelley's legendary creature, Frankenstein, visits the college as part of a national tour.

2005

  • U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, joined by Illinois Senate President Emil Jones Jr., speaks during the college's Black History Month celebration.
  • A record 1,568 degrees and certificates are awarded to the class of 2005, the highest number of graduates in Moraine Valley's history.
  • Major renovations transform the 35-year-old library into a magnificent resource for contemporary learning.
  • Men's soccer team is the first college from the United States invited to participate in an international tournament in Rotterdam, Holland. It also is the first Moraine Valley team to compete abroad.
  • Marking the 50th anniversary of the Fulbright Program, Harriet Fulbright, wife of the late Sen. William J. Fulbright, program founder, speaks at the college on the importance of international education exchanges.

2006

  • District residents give their vote of confidence by approving an $89 million bond referendum to fund technology upgrades, a science building, an instructional and job training center, enhanced facilities dedicated to student programs and services, and a new education center in the southwest sector of the district.
  • Along with the addition of a new front entrance to the college comes a new address: 9000 W. College Pkwy.
  • The women's volleyball team, the only team from the United States invited to participate in an international tournament in Dublin, Ireland, earns a silver medal.
  • Enrollment swells to more than 17,000 students per semester, putting the college in the ranks of the fastest growing community colleges in the nation.
  • Moraine Valley and Saint Xavier University sign a dual admission agreement that will provide a smooth transfer for students wishing to pursue a bachelor's degree in nursing at Saint Xavier after completing their associate's degree at Moraine Valley.
  • The college's Forensics team earns a gold medal at the National Community College Speech and Debate tournament.
  • The Glacier wins second place in the two-year college category of the national 2006 Newspaper of the Year award by the Collegiate Press, plus obtains a second-place finish in the Illinois Community College Journalism Association awards.

2007

  • A groundbreaking ceremony in November commemorates the start of an $89 million campus expansion project that includes the Student Services Center (College Center) Renovation and Addition, and construction of the Moraine Business and Conference Center (Instructional and Job Training Center) and the Vernon O. Crawley Science Hall.
  • Moraine Valley faculty Richard Wolf and Andrew Zbeeb's successful presentation at the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies in Oxford, England, prompts an invitation for Moraine Valley students to study at the Centre. Moraine Valley is the first community college in the world to be invited to participate in this prestigious program.
  • Moraine Valley celebrates 'A Proud Past. A Brighter Future" our 40th anniversary.
  • The college's Global Education and Humanities departments host a presentation by Aaron Elster, a child survivor of the Holocaust.
  • Building 100, the last of the temporary buildings, is razed.

2008

  • Two Moraine Valley students are the first community college students from the United States to participate in the prestigious Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies summer program in Oxford, England.
  • The college hosts a seminar to help businesses learn to “go green” and offers a multitude of one-day classes to teach home and business owners how to become more environmentally friendly.
  • Construction continues as scheduled on the Dr. Vernon O. Crawley Science Hall, the Moraine Business and Conference Center, and the Student Services Center and Student Union renovation and addition.
    The college in February 2008 hosts Drepung Loseling monks from Tibet, who perform instrumental music and chants, and create a traditional mandala sand painting on campus.
  • A Moraine Valley student is the first apprentice from outside England to participate in a summer training program tending to the Alnwick Garden, located on the property of the Duchess of Northumberland in England.
  • Spring enrollment of 18,065 students surpasses several of Moraine Valley’s all-time records: enrollment for any semester; credit students, and credit hours in a spring semester. Summer school enrollment also rises to a record high of 11,665 students, exceeding the 11,000-student mark for the sixth consecutive year.
  • Biology and environmental science faculty members work to restore the college’s Nature Study Area prairie by eliminating non-native plants through a planned burn in April 2008.
  • The groundbreaking ceremony for the Southwest Education Center, held Nov. 11, leads the way for the college’s first “green” building. The center, to be built at 179th Street and 94th Avenue, will introduce energy efficient and environmentally conscious design.

2009

  • Site work begins for the Southwest Education Center to be constructed in Tinley Park. The building, which is certified LEED, will use geothermal wells to connect thermal pipes with the Earth below the frost line to send warm air into the building.
  • The college in July hosts Gov. Pat Quinn and the Illinois Green Governments Coordinating Council’s 2009 Sustainable University Symposium.
  • Library receives the Excellence in Academic Libraries national award for its creativity and innovation in meeting the needs of students and all library-users, and for creating programs that support distance and lifelong learning.
  • The college’s Forensics team takes 2nd place in a national tournament and earned four individual medals in competition with more than 500 participants from 79 teams.
  • Major construction projects come to fruition with building dedications in October. The Student Union opens in March, and the Dr. Vernon O. Crawley Science Hall and Moraine Business and Conference Center open in August. A portion of the renovated offices in the Student Services Center opens in October.
  • Growth at the college continues, with enrollment for fall 2009 semester that sets a record high with 19,071 students.
  • Men’s soccer and women’s volleyball teams travel to Milan, Italy, to participate in the 2009 World Interuniversity Games.
  • Dr. Vernon O. Crawley, college president, is selected national Marie Y. Martin Chief Executive Officer of the Year by the Association of Community College Trustees. Dr. Crawley also was a recipient of the regional award presented by the ACCT.

2010

  • The Southwest Education Center in Tinley Park opens in October as the college’s first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified building, featuring geothermal wells, daylighting, water-saving fixtures, lighting controls, recycled materials, and much more.
  • The college plants a community garden in conjunction with Urban Farming and Kraft Food’s Triscuit brand that bears lettuce, peppers, cucumbers and other vegetables.
  • Renovations to the Student Services Center, formerly the College Center, is completed putting many services under one roof.
  • A team of Moraine Valley students takes first place in the Collegiate Cyber Defense competition, beating out colleges and universities from California, Washington and the Midwest.
  • Moraine Valley hosts the daughter of the last remaining World War II veteran who was accompanied by a photographer and a traveling photo exhibit depicting the faces of the war.
  • Moraine Valley is designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Two-Year Education by the National Security Agency, one of only six two-year colleges in the country to receive this honor.

2011

  • The Board of Higher Education approves the purchase of the building that houses the college’s education center in Blue Island.
  • A team of Moraine Valley students takes first place in the Collegiate Cyber Defense competition, edging out colleges and universities from across the country.
  • Moraine Valley is one stop on Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon’s statewide tour of community colleges to discuss college completion efforts.
  • The college’s police department becomes the main dispatch for the 12 higher education institutions of the South Metropolitan Higher Education Consortium, handling mutual aid during times of emergency and disaster.
  • Dr. Vernon O. Crawley announces his 2012 retirement after serving as the college president for 20 years.
  • Ten Moraine Valley students sweep the physical science category of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) competition hosted by the Skyway Collegiate Conference.
  • For the first time, a Moraine Valley student receives the Terry O’Banion Student Technology Award from the League for Innovation in the Community College.

2012

  • The college celebrates its 45th anniversary.
  • The Southwest Education Center in Tinley Park earns Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
  • Dr. Sylvia M. Jenkins becomes the college’s fifth president.
  • College breaks ground for new Health Education and Wellness Center.

2013

  • For the second consecutive year, the college ranks in the top 3 percent of the public and private two-year and four-year institutions nationwide that confer associate’s degrees.
  • Men’s Cyclones basketball team earns 2nd place in the nation in the NJCAA Division II championship tournament.
  • The Speech Team takes it all and wins the gold at the Phi Rho Pi national championship tournament.

2014

  • A 113,000-square-foot Health, Fitness & Recreation Center opens on the west side of campus featuring a fitness center, lap pool, gymnasium, and more. The center is open to students, staff and community members.
  • Legendary Buddy Guy, pioneer of the Chicago blues sound and a resident of our college’s district, performs in concert to celebrate the Fine and Performing Arts Center’s 20th anniversary.
  • The college is named a National Weather Service weather-ready campus, garnering this distinction for the highest level of preparedness for weather and natural emergencies.
  • Award-winning journalist Bill Kurtis, a community college graduate himself, presents “Death by Food: How the American Diet is Killing Us.”
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