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).

Jerry Bennett, Mayor of Palos Hills

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 the Mayor of Palos Hill, Jerry Bennett. Having held office for 35 years he has seen amazing transformations at the college. The architecture and landscaping have made the college a showpiece for the city and for the area. Because of the academic reputation of the college and its commitment to the surrounding community, providing amazing opportunities for the south suburban area, Palos Hills is proud to be home to Moraine Valley Community College.

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

Jerry Bennett, Mayor of Palos Hills

Demetrius Robinson, Manager of Student Life

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.

Demetrius Robinson describes Student Life on campus, before the S and U buildings were built, when activities were housed in the old College Center. He shares some of his favorite memories as times when the whole MVCC community came together in celebration. He remembers a party for the Chicago Bears trip to the Super Bowl and dressing as a clown to celebrate the passage of a referendum.

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

 

Demetrius Robinson, Manager of Student Life

Elaine Echols, Class of 2007

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.

Elaine Echols was one of the first inductees into MVCC’s Alumni Hall of Fame. She came to the college later in life and studied Criminal Justice. She went on to further studies and currently works as a court appointed children’s advocate as well running the Sister2Sister Network that she founded. This summer, at the age of 61, she will begin law school at Northwestern University.

She believes that her decision to come to MVCC was the best thing she could have done because of the support and encouragement she received from her professors. So much of what she does in her job and her women’s support network she learned here at Moraine Valley and she hopes that she can inspire other students to overcome obstacles and to achieve their goals.

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

Elaine Echols, Class of 2007

50th Anniversary Video–Pat O’Connor, Chief of Police

Moraine Valley Community College celebrates it 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 those videos.

This week, since MVCC was recently ranked in the top 10 of the safest community colleges in the country, it seems fitting to start with the interview of Pat O’Connor, Chief of Police.

His history with MVCC goes back to almost the beginning days of the campus when he was a musician and played a concert here in 1973. A few years later he enrolled in a class here that wound up guiding him into law enforcement. See below for the interview video. To enjoy more of these oral histories, historic photos, and documents you can visit the MVCC College Archives.

50th Anniversary Interview Video–Pat O’Connor, Chief of Police