With the start of the academic year, Waubonsee Community College is kicking off its 50th anniversary celebrations this month with a full slate of events and initiatives planned to honor the milestone. The college’s focus for the anniversary will be on honoring those who’ve helped shape the college’s “Proud Past, Bold Future.”

The college was established in August 1966, when the electorate of 12 school districts in most of Kane and portions of Kendall, DeKalb, LaSalle and Will counties voted to establish Community College District 516. A naming contest held in March 1967 drew 600 entries, resulting in the current name, which means “early dawn” or “early day” and comes from a Pottawatomie Native American chief who lived in the Fox River Valley during the 1800s.

Five decades later, the college has proudly served more than 290,000 students – including 33,568 degree and certificate earners - and has grown to four campuses, as well as online offerings. Waubonsee is proud of its reputation as an innovator in the areas of accessibility, distance learning and sustainability, as well as its history of bold initiatives in partnership with the community, including the 2020 College Master Plan and Vision 2050.

The celebrations will begin on campus later this month, when new students will be welcomed to their academic life on campus during the college’s first New Student Convocation on Aug. 25. That event will be followed by a campus-wide welcome celebration.

In September, Waubonsee will host a grand re-opening of their Aurora Fox Valley Campus. That event will showcase the college’s renovated space, now home to state-of-art learning facilities for health care programs in addition to its many general education courses.

Alumni and friends of the college will be invited to attend a reunion in March to reconnect and to celebrate the achievements of the many accomplished Waubonsee alumni as well as share stories of the many college and community leaders who made this success possible.

In addition to a number of programs and initiatives to honor the college’s many community partners, the college’s faculty, staff and students are being challenged to complete 50 hours of volunteer work this year for the 50 Hours of Caring initiative. That challenge is designed to recognize the way the college exemplifies and encourages involvement beyond its campuses and classrooms through community service, collaborative partnerships and cultural activities.

To follow the college’s 50th anniversary reflections and celebrations throughout the year, visit www.waubonsee.edu/50 or look for updates on the college’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

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