50th Anniversary Video-Nicole Selvaggio, Alumna and Adjunct Communications Instructor

Moraine Valley Community College celebrates its 50th Anniversary this year. To learn more about and to re-live some of what those five decades have been like, the college has been collecting oral histories. Each week this semester we will highlight one of the videos.

“I talk about Moraine to anybody who will listen to me. I love it here.”

Nicole Selvaggio is an Adjunct Communications Instructor here at MVCC who has been able to be a part of the Moraine Valley family, as she calls it, in a few different roles. She began here as a student athlete. She was a star tennis player for the school and then became Head Women’s Tennis Coach immediately upon graduation. She’s seen great improvements in tennis facilities and in the FitRec center on campus.

She is also an instructor in the Communications Department as an Adjunct Faculty member where she is able to work with people who were mentors to her. She can now provide encouragement to her students and her athletes as someone who was in their exact spot several years ago. She hopes to be here at Moraine Valley 50 years from now when it’s time to celebrate the 100th anniversary.

To enjoy more of these oral histories, along with historic photos and documents, visit the MVCC College Archives.

Nicole Selvaggio, Alumna and Adjunct Communications Instructor

50 Years of Women’s Voices: Oral Histories of Moraine Valley

As part of its 50th Anniversary, Moraine Valley has collected oral histories from the people who have helped make it into the quality institution it is today. Meet some of the women behind those recordings and hear them tell the college’s story through their own experiences. Learn more about the College’s history at the Moraine Valley College Archives.

50 Years of Women’s Voices: Oral Histories of Moraine Valley

The audio of this discussion is available below:

From the Archives: Women’s History at Moraine Valley

Members of the Glacier Gals present doll house to hospital (left to right: Jackie Baker, Norma Allan, Penn Berrens, Lucille Glonek, and Shirley Lawrisak)

Women have been instrumental in the growth and success of Moraine Valley Community College since its founding in 1967. In turn, the college has implemented programs and organizations over the years to foster and support women’s education.

An early women’s group at the college was the Glacier Gals. The organization grew to as many as 85 members and was active from 1969 to 1974. Its objectives were to promote friendship among women associated with Moraine Valley, to perform services for the college, and to provide a scholarship fund for a female Moraine Valley student.

Article from The Reporter, a local newspaper, on September 2, 1971: Glacier Gals Donate Doll House To Hospital

In 1971, the Glacier Gals completed construction of a children’s doll house which they donated to Little Company of Mary hospital. In the same year, the women’s group donated $50 worth of books to the school library.

To learn more about women in the history of Moraine Valley, be sure to stop by the library on Wednesday, March 29 at 11 a.m. Dr. Sylvia Jenkins and Dr. Margaret Lehner will be joined by two retired faculty members, Dr. Sharon Fritz and Lenette Staudinger, for a panel discussion, “50 Years of Women’s Voices: Oral Histories of Moraine Valley”. The panel will be moderated by Dr. Linda Brandt, a counselor at Moraine Valley for over 40 years.

First page of the Glacier Gals 1971-1972 yearbook

50th Anniversary Video-Mark Horstmeyer, Retired Director of College and Community Relations

Moraine Valley Community College celebrates its 50th Anniversary this year. To learn more about and to re-live some of what those five decades have been like, the college has been collecting oral histories. Each week this semester we will highlight one of the videos.

In his 17 years at MVCC, Mark Horstmeyer saw the college grow from being the 7th largest community college in the state to the 2nd largest. He credits the sense of community at the college with its success. He remembers experiencing this when knocking on doors for the 2006 referendum. He also recalls the glitch in the voting system that caused everyone to be on pins and needles for about a week waiting for voting results.

One of the highlights of his career here was coaching the cross country teams. He brought the program back to the college and was the coach through 16 very successful seasons. He is proud to see that his student athletes are now doing so many wonderful thing with their lives.

To enjoy more of these oral histories, along with historic photos and documents, visit the MVCC College Archives.

Mark Horstmeyer, Retired Director of College and Community Relations

50th Anniversary Video-Ray Lehner, Retired Respiratory Care Technology Faculty Member

Moraine Valley Community College celebrates its 50th Anniversary this year. To learn more about and to re-live some of what those five decades have been like, the college has been collecting oral histories. Each week this semester we will highlight one of the videos.

This week, we hear from one of the very first faculty members at MVCC, Ray Lehner. He talks about his decision to join the faculty as joining a place where he could make the biggest difference. He shares some of his teaching methods and speaks about the camaraderie of the faculty. Ray feels that Moraine Valley is “a resource, a reference, a refuge, a lifeboat, an oasis, a haven, and for some a second home.”  

To enjoy more of these oral histories, along with historic photos and documents, visit the MVCC College Archives.

50th Anniversary Video-Ray Lehner, Retired Respiratory Care Technology Faculty Member

50th Anniversary Video-Holly Katavich, Manager of Compensation and HRIS, Human Resources

Moraine Valley Community College celebrates its 50th Anniversary this year. To learn more about and to re-live some of what those five decades have been like, the college has been collecting oral histories. Each week this semester we will highlight one of the videos.

Holly Katavich started at MVCC as a student worker and has been here ever since. In those 17 years, she was encouraged to pursue her education and establish her career. She credits the caring faculty and staff at MVCC for her success. She remembers a fountain on the first floor of the library that she liked to study by and a very different T building with an open floor plan. She also describes the atmosphere on campus on 9/11.

To enjoy more of these oral histories, along with historic photos and documents, visit the MVCC College Archives.

Holly Katavich, Manager of Compensation and HRIS, Human Resources

Rock Solid for 50 Years

Moraine Valley Community College celebrates its 50th Anniversary this year. To learn more about and to re-live some of what those five decades have been like, the college has been collecting oral histories. Each week this semester we will highlight one of the videos.

Brian Andersen and Matt Walsh, charter members of the Moraine Valley Foundation, tell us of involvement of the Oak Lawn Rotary in the establishment of the college. The campus was located on a former turf farm which did not make for sturdy building foundations. All the buildings therefore have beams down to solid rock–a rock solid foundation.

The efforts of the Foundation have played a large part in the success of the college. They created many events and fundraising efforts that led to greater awareness of the college and increased enrollment. Children’s fairs, a golf driving range, referendum passage, scholarships, and the construction of the Fine and Performing Arts Center are just a few of the things that the Foundation made possible.

To enjoy more of these oral histories, along with historic photos and documents, visit the MVCC College Archives.

Brian Andersen and Matt Walsh, Charter Members of the Foundation—Andersen, Executive Vice President; Walsh, Foundation’s First President

50th Anniversary Video-Kate Wulle, Retired Theater Faculty Member

Moraine Valley Community College celebrates its 50th Anniversary this year. To learn more about and to re-live some of what those five decades have been like, the college has been collecting oral histories. Each week this semester we will highlight one of the videos.

Opening tonight at the John and Angeline Oremus Theater is the Academic Theater production of Spring Awakening. It seems like the perfect to time hear from long-time faculty member Kate Wulle about how the Theater department got off the ground here at MVCC. She and two other faculty members developed the program and were involved in the production of 100 plays on campus during her 31 years on the faculty. 

Kate also shares interesting stories about the campus in the early days. She talks about the interdisciplinary teaching structure and the college without walls concept. “Try having students give speeches while a film on emergency childbirth is playing on the other side of a rather thin drape.” Another story tells about faculty voicing concerns over architectural designs for a new building on campus with an auto shop on the second floor of the building.

To enjoy more of these oral histories, along with historic photos and documents, visit the MVCC College Archives. To find out more about current and upcoming theater productions and art installations on campus visit the FPAC

Kate Wulle, Retired Theater Faculty Member

From the Archives: Founders Day


This year, Moraine Valley Community College turns 50! February 18th is Founders Day, which commemorates the day in 1967 when residents voted “Yes” to establish a Class 1 junior college district in the Southwest suburbs of Chicago.

Sample ballot for the referendum that established the college

So why Moraine Valley? What’s a moraine anyway? A moraine is a geological phenomenon which occurs with the accumulation of glacial debris. The name reflects the landscape in which the college is situated: the place where the Valparaiso and Tinley moraines meet to form a valley. According to a document from the initial planning and development of the college, “The existence of these moraines influenced the direction of flow of the Chicago River… This geological history provides an explanation and background for the natural and distinctly beautiful hills and valleys found in the Palos Hills area where the college will be located.”

Former logo of Moraine Valley Community College

The College opened its doors to 1,210 students on September 16th, 1968. Classes were held in leased warehouses on 115th in Alsip. For students who enrolled in classes for the 1968-69 academic year, tuition cost $6.50 per credit hour. Classes were held at the Palos Hills location that we know today the following year, but the first permanent structure, Building A, was not opened until 1972.

Check out the library’s collection for more local history:

For more information on the history of Moraine Valley Community College, visit the College Archives website at http://ext.morainevalley.edu/collegearchives/.

Happy Founders Day!

On this date 50 years ago, district residents approved a referendum to create Moraine Valley Community College. This effort was spearheaded by the Oak Lawn Rotary. Moraine Valley will thank the Rotary for its efforts long ago by presenting the current members with a thank-you banner signed by faculty, staff and students (from the MVCC Public Relations Department).