MCC celebrates 50 years, looks ahead to the future

CRYSTAL LAKE – While visiting his old college Tuesday, Van Vogel said McHenry County College looks a lot different now than he remembers it.

One of the college’s first students, the Wonder Lake resident attended MCC the first two years it opened in 1968 and 1969. Vogel said that when he attended the school, his classes were in the old Pure Oil building, which acted as an interim campus until college operations were moved into permanent campus facilities at its current location in 1975.

“As far as a facility, it wasn’t much of a college. It was an old industrial building we met in where the pipes clanked, and it was pretty bare minimum,” Vogel said.

While looking around, Vogel said his former college has really improved in the past 50 years and is headed on the right path.

“I love the idea of the science lab, and I think the fire program is excellent,” Vogel said.

Hundreds of people, including students, alumni, former and current teachers, faculty and community members, attended MCC’s Golden Homecoming on Tuesday. The event, celebrating MCC’s 50th anniversary, gave attendees a look at the college’s history as well as its future plans.

During the event, MCC turned the Scot Room into an archive room where attendees got to look at old photos and help identify the people in the photos, what events were taking place at that time and the date the photo was taken.

Walking around the archive room and looking at the black-and-white photos were former Trustees Carol Larson and George Lowe.

“It’s an outstanding evolution,” Larson said.

“What a change,” Lowe said. “It’s amazing how much this place has grown over the years.”

Other stations set up during the event included an alumni hub, a timeline of MCC’s history and a time capsule, where some attendees put in notes, buttons and a pin from 1966 in support of the referendum that established the college.

“I really, really enjoyed teaching here, and I think it’s a great place for students,” said former MCC math teacher Marilyn Zopp, who started teaching part time when the Crystal Lake campus opened its doors in 1975.

“I also worked very hard with a whole group of people to get our first-year experience program going,” Zopp said.

While most of the night focused on MCC’s past, people also got to learn more about where the community college is headed in the future. A station was set up where atendees could learn more about MCC’s latest project, the Liebman Science Center, which is scheduled to open in 2018 and create a critical learning space for future students.

“As a current student who’s going to be here next year, I hope MCC will be an institution that not only continues to advocate for the success of the college from a financial aspect but also advocates for student and faculty success,” MCC student Amber Steiger said.

Later into the event, MCC president Clinton Gabbard gave a presentation acknowledging those who helped influence what the college has become today and is set to do in the future. His speech was followed by a documentary on MCC’s 50 years of history.

“We’re focusing on committing to the long haul, going in a direction where we’ll continue to allow students to succeed,” Gabbard said.

Established April 1, 1967, MCC will continue its celebration with several more events planned throughout the year, including its MCC Scots Fest on June 10 and a 50th Anniversary Gala Moonlight Masquerade on Nov. 10.

To learn more about MCC’s history, visit

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via Crystal Lake

April 11, 2017 at 05:38PM

MCC celebrates 50 years, looks ahead to the future

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