College History

The 1950s

1956: Founding of Battle Creek Community College

Battle Creek Community College at the GAR Hall.The Battle Creek Public Schools (BCPS) Board of Education established Battle Creek Community College on Sept. 1, 1956. Battle Creek Community College was located in the G.A.R. Hall (Grand Army of the Republic), at 3 College Street in Battle Creek, Michigan. The College used the science laboratories in the high school, the second floor of the W.K. Kellogg Junior High School for a library, the Willard Library as a bookstore, and the YWCA as a student center.

94 day students and 82 evening students enrolled that fall for the first semester; classes began on Sept. 17, 1956.

Guiding the fledgling College was Superintendent Harry R. Davidson and Dr. Robert O. Hatton, who served as the first Director. The College hired four full-time instructors (Sidney DeBoer, Eva L. Hampton, Wayne VanDerWeele, and Virginia Taylor) and four part-time instructors (Loyal Phares, Bob Vollmer, Madge Burnham, and A.W. Anderson). Feme Griffith was the Registrar and Donald Best, Librarian. December: The College published the first edition of the student newspaper The Triad.


May 4 – “Spring Swing” dance for students is held at Post Clubhouse and includes a sit-down meal and music by Forrest Mark.


A successful millage vote led to the purchase of 33 acres of the North Avenue site from the city and construction of what is now the Richard C. Whitmore Administration Building and its accompanying classroom structure.

First CommencementJune 12 – Battle Creek Community College’s first annual commencement was held at Southeastern Junior High Auditorium. Music was provided by the high school orchestra and the community college choir. The commencement address was given by Dr. Thomas Hamilton, Vice-President for Academic Affairs at Michigan State University.

1959: College Renamed Kellogg Community College

July – The W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s capital gift of $1,750,000 made building a new comprehensive campus possible. As a gesture of appreciation, “Battle Creek Community College” was rechristened “Kellogg Community College” as a memorial to Mr. W.K. Kellogg.
Groundbreaking for Kellogg Community College in Kolb Park.
Sept. 18 – Groundbreaking ceremony on the new North Avenue campus.

The 1960s


Students on the1960 first day

In Dec. the W.K. Kellogg Foundation provided a supplemental gift of $311,477 to provide for completion of campus building projects that had expanded during the planning stages.

Sept. – The Classroom-Administration Building, Science Building, and heating plant are completed.


"Drawing of the Lane-Thomas Building The Lane-Thomas Foundation granted $450,000 to construct a technical studies center.

Library, student center, and auditorium are completed.

1962: North Avenue Campus Dedicated

1962 graduation breakfast at the reflecting pools.May 20-23 – Dedication of the new campus involves the whole community. Thousands tour the grounds and five new buildings. The dedication celebration included a breakfast by the reflecting pools, drama productions in the new auditorium, and speeches by Paul Niven, CBS News Commentator, and John Mason Brown. The bronze bust of W.K. Kellogg, by artist Alfred Brunettin, was unveiled at a formal dedication. The bust is the focal point of a green marble wall in the Memorial Lounge of the auditorium which reads, “In 1910 Mr. Kellogg stated: ‘It appears that the business is going to prosper and I know how to invest my money—I’ll invest it in people’.”

Dr. Wayne VanDerWeele served in interim as acting Director after Dr. Hatton’s resignation.

1963: Dr. Leon C. Billingsly, Director

Dr. Leon Billingsly became the 2nd Director of Kellogg Community College in the summer of 1963. The Lane-Thomas Building was formally dedicated on Dec. 4th. The building was made possible by a grant from the Lane-Thomas Foundation and named in the memory of the Lane and Thomas families.

1964: Dr. Richard F. Whitmore, DirectorDr. Richard F. Whitmore

Dr. Richard F. Whitmore moved his family to Battle Creek in the summer of 1964 to become the 3rd Director of Kellogg Community College. Dr. Whitmore went on to serve as Director of the College from 1964-1970 and President from 1971-1986.


Kellogg Community College, as part of the Battle Creek School System, received accreditation from the North Central Association (NCA) for a full ten years.

1966: 10th Anniversary of Foundingtenth anniversary brochure

From April 29 to May 7, Kellogg Community College celebrates the 10th anniversary of its founding with a “Festival of Fine Arts Celebrating a Decade of Splendid Progress,” which includes a Director’s Breakfast by the reflecting pools.

Kellogg Community College adopts a new seal in July. Designed by George P. Clark, the seal features the covered walkways, a trademark of the KCC campus, and quotation “Education is for all who can profit.” A classroom building, made possible by an additional grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, opened for classes in Sept. of 1966.

Drawing of the Miller Memorial Gymnasium The Miller Memorial Gymnasium was dedicated on Dec. 11th. The gymnasium was made possible by a grant from the Albert L. and Louise B. Miller Foundation.


The library is dedicated to Dr. Emory W. Morris. A plaque is unveiled at the event.


Kellogg Community College reveals its Long Range Development Plan with both academic and physical components. In 1969, the school was still sponsored by the Battle Creek Board of Education, but a committee had begun studying the creation of a county-wide district.

The 1970s

1970: KCC Receives Independent Status

On June 29, 1970, voters of Calhoun County created an area-wide college district. Kellogg Community College, with a newly elected Board of Trustees, began a new era of service to the area.

On Wednesday, July 8, 1970, members of the newly elected Kellogg Community College Board of Trustees accepted their oath of office. The swearing-in was held at the Calhoun Intermediate Education Center and the oath administered by Catherine Sharp, secretary for the Calhoun Intermediate School District. First board members included Mrs. Elizabeth Binda, Dr. D.S. Cannatti, Mr. Stanley Everett, Mr. Robert Gifford, Mr. Louis Perry, Mr. Michael Rae, and Mr. Edward Swan.

By 1970, the college student population grew to approximately 2000 day and 1100 evening students enrolled in 373 classes in 72 different curriculums.

A grant from W.K. Kellogg Foundation allowed for the expansion of the Allied Health programs to include Dental Hygienist, Dental Assistant, Medical Laboratory Technician, Radiology Technician, Registered Nurse, and Practical Nurse.

1971: Dr. Richard F. Whitmore, President

At the first of the year, Dr. Richard F. Whitmore, Director since 1964, becomes the first President of Kellogg Community College. Jurisdiction of the College’s physical properties and assets were transferred from the Battle Creek Board of Education to the Kellogg Community College Board of Trustees.

Drawing of the Davidson BuildingThe Harry R. Davidson Visual and Performing Arts Center is dedicated on April 25th. The Center was named for Harry R. Davidson, Superintendent of the Battle Creek Public Schools, in appreciation of his leadership in establishing the College and his guidance during its development. Construction on the Center started in July of 1969 and was completed in 1970, financed with a grant provided by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and state funds.


Fall 1972 enrollment figures topped 4,200, bolstered by 427 returning veterans taking advantage of a new increase in their G.I. Bill allowance.
Kellogg Community College received full accreditation from the North Central Association (NCA) with its new independent status.


Nov. 21 – Ted Nugent’s Amboy Dukes and the Whiz Kids rock Miller Gymnasium. Triad Co-Editor Steve Allen reported that the majority of the crowd to be “freaks, hippies, or the ‘hippified straights’.”


KCC Bruins won the first annual National Volleyball Junior College Championships (NJCAA) lead by Coach Mick Haley.

April – In April KCC received four awards from the American Association for Nurserymen for the landscape development of the campus.


Drawing of the Morris LibraryMay – On May 11, Kellogg Community College rededicated the newly enlarged library and renamed the building the Emory W. Morris Learning Resource Center (LRC). The building included the W.K. Kellogg’s Memorial Room, which featured W.K. Kellogg’s rolltop desk, diary, and the large copper cauldron in which the process was discovered that now gives us Corn Flakes. The LRC was dedicated to Dr. Emory William Morris, former president of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and great supporter of Kellogg Community College. Outside the library, a fountain sculpture was added to the reflecting pool, designed by William Collopy, Chair of the Department of Visual and Performing Arts. The College Life Committee replaced the elected student government.


The United States celebrated its Bicentennial. The Concert Lecture Series brought actor Howard Mann to campus to perform his one-man show as George Washington.


The groundbreaking ceremony for the Lyle C. Roll Science/Health Technology Center was held Aug. 18, 1977. In attendance were Dr. Richard F. Whitmore, Dr. Russell Mawby, Lyle C. Roll, and Dr. Dominic Cannatti.


Sid DeBoer and students studying anatomySidney DeBoer, science instructor, retires from Kellogg Community College after 22 years of service. DeBoer was the first instructor to be hired by the College back in 1956.


The Benjamin Franklin Scholars’ Program begins in the fall.

The 1980s


The dedication ceremony for the Lyle C. Roll Science/Health Technology Center took place May 18, 1980. Classes had already started that Jan. An oil portrait of Lyle C. Roll is on display at the building’s entrance.

1981: 25th Anniversary of Founding

Kellogg Community College celebrates its 25th anniversary

In the fall of 1981, KCC had 2,907 students enrolled in day classes, 3,925 students enrolled in evening classes, and 924 students enrolled in a combination of day and evening classes.


Kellogg Community College was re-accredited by the North Central Association (NCA).

1986: Dr. Paul R. Ohm, PresidentDr. Paul Ohm

President Richard Whitmore announced his resignation in January.

On June 20, the Kellogg Community College Board of Trustees appointed Dr. Paul Ohm the second president. Dr. Ohm assumed his duties on Aug. 18.

Dr. James E. Cook retires from Kellogg Community College after 29 years of service. Dr. Cook joined the College as an instructor in 1958 and later served as chair of the Engineering Technology Department, Dean of Applied Arts and Sciences, Dean of Instruction, Vice President for Research and Development, and Executive Vice President. G. Edward Haring is selected as the new Vice President.

Dr. Neva A. Bartel retires from Kellogg Community College after 20 years of service. Dr. Bartel joined the College in 1966 as an English instructor and has served as chair of the English Department, coordinator of Liberal Arts and Sciences and dean of the Arts and Science Division. She later authored A Celebration of Progress: A History of Kellogg Community College, 1956-1991.

Charlie Baber retired from Kellogg Community College after 24 years of theater productions. Baber joined the College in 1962.


The Gold Key Scholarship, termed “the College’s most prestigious,” was established.

Nov. – The Visual and Performing Arts Department presented the musical “Oliver” in the campus theater.


Dec. – The W.K. Kellogg Foundation funds the start of the EMS Program at KCC as part of a strategy to improve the level of care to residents in Calhoun County.

The 1990s

1990: Regional Manufacturing Technology Center Opens

The Regional Manufacturing Technology Center (RMTC) opened to house the College’s innovative open entry/open exit Industrial Trades program. Built through grants from the State of Michigan and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and equipped through private contributions. Gene Verrette served as the first director.


The College campus was expanded when the W.K. Kellogg Foundation moved to a new headquarters building in downtown Battle Creek and deeded over its former headquarters to the College. It was renovated into a conference center with a grant from the Foundation and named the Russell G. Mawby Center for Community Education in honor of the Chairman Emeritus of the Foundation.


Kellogg Community College was re-accredited by the North Central Association (NCA).

1994: Grahl Center OpensGrahl Center

The Grahl Center, the College’s facility in Coldwater, opened. The building was named for Dr. Freidrich Grahl, a Coldwater industrialist and retired German educator, who donated all of the furnishings for the building. Mark O’Connell served as the first director.

1996: Fehsenfeld Center Opens

In Sept. the College opened the John R. Fehsenfeld Center in Hastings, Barry County. The facility is named for John R. Fehsenfeld, the retired superintendent of the Barry Intermediate School District, and a promoter of KCC in Barry County. Phyllis Peters Hart, the first student to enroll at Battle Creek Community College in 1956, cut the ribbon during the Dec. dedication ceremony. Phyllis was also presented with the very first KCC Alumni Association membership card. Tim Sleevi served as the first director.

The College accepted ownership of the Regional Manufacturing Technology Center (RMTC) in the Fort Custer Industrial Park.


The College Theater/Auditorium is renamed the Elizabeth H. Binda Performing Arts Center to recognize her 27 years of service to the Board of Trustees.


$75 million millage passed, funding the 21st Century Project, a fifteen-year project to renovate the campus and update aging infrastructure.

The Kellogg Community College Foundation is established to provide financial assistance to the students and programs of the College. Emily Horsman serves as the first Executive Director.


The 21st Century Project really got moving during the summer of 1999 as they broke ground at the RMTC for a new addition.

The 2000s


March – A grand reopening celebration and ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at the Regional Manufacturing Technology Center. New additions included new computer labs, classrooms, and conference rooms. Part of the 21st Century Project.

Aug. – The Learning Resource Center (LRC) reopens after extensive renovations which included the addition of group study rooms. Part of the 21st Century Project.

2001: Eastern Academic Center Opens

The Eastern Academic Center in Albion opens for classes in the fall of 2001. Wyhomme Matthews served as the first director.


Kellogg Community College was re-accredited by the North Central Association (NCA).

2003: Ohm Information Technology Center Opens

When classes began in fall of 2003, the Paul R. Ohm Information Technology Center (OITC) and the Music Center of Southcentral Michigan (attached to the Davidson Building) were opened for the first time. The Senator John J.H. Schwarz Science Building, after a complete renovation, was rededicated to its new use as a science building.

Dr. Ohm announces his resignation.

2004: Dr. G. Edward Haring, President

Dr. G. Edward Haring is named the third president of the College.

The Whitmore Administration building was renovated and rededicated to Richard F. Whitmore, Kellogg Community College President Emeritus.

Roll Building drawingKellogg Community College began a $5 million renovation to the Roll Building in the fall.


Aug. – The EMS Program completes it’s first high fidelity ambulance environmental simulator that leads to the first high fidelity medical simulation lab on the KCC Campus.

2006: 50th Anniversary of Founding

May 6 – 50th Anniversary Gala, which included the unveiling of the “Inspiring Generations” sculpture Kellogg Community College celebrates its 50th anniversary (1956-2006)

Photo of people in the shape of the number 50 for the 50th Anniversary

The A Classroom Building was renovated.

In the fall of 2006, the College enrolled over 8,300.


John Dilworth, chair of the Social Science department at KCC, retired June 30th, after a 37-year career at the College.


June 18 – KCC unveils new logos. The new Bruins logo is added to the Miller Gym floor.

The A Classroom Building was rededicated in memorial honor of Steven R. Severin, a thirty-year faculty member of the College.

The 2010s

2010: Dr. Dennis J. Bona, President

April 5 – KCC broke ground for the installation of a new Renewable Energy Certificate Program at the Regional Manufacturing Technology Center (RMTC).

June 30 – President G. Edward Haring retired.

New Human Patient Simulation Center (HPSC) opens in the newly renovated C Classroom Building.

Sept. 15 – Dr. Dennis Bona, who was serving as Interim President, was named the fourth president of Kellogg Community College.

Nov. 17 – The renovated front steps and the W.K. Kellogg quote were rededicated. “Education offers the greatest opportunity for really improving one generation over another.”


Feb. 21 – Kellogg Community College Department of Public Safety is formed as an official law enforcement agency. KCC President, Dr. Dennis Bona, administered the oath of office to Officer Timothy Hurtt.

April 25 – The Aspen Institute recognizes Kellogg Community College as one of the nation’s 120 best community colleges.

July 1 – “Starting Here and Now”, open entry/open exit project for developmental education, begins. The initiative is funded by a $760,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Nov. 22 – Retirement of the $3 million in property bonds for Kellogg Community College’s Fehsenfeld Center in Barry County.


April – Local artist Vee Kalnins completes the installation of Rhom-Petals, a new fountain sculpture in Rhom-Petals sculpture at Morris Librarythe LRC reflecting pool.

College receives re-accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

Aug. 30 – First group of Legacy Scholars enrolls at KCC

Sept. 20 – Open House held for Downtown Battle Creek Office that opened in Spring, 2012.
Battle Creek Community College Historical Marker
Oct. 14
– Dedication of Michigan Historical Marker honoring Battle Creek Community College.

Dec. 7 – Schwarz Science Building Room 101 was renamed the Sidney V. DeBoer Lecture Hall honoring the first faculty hired for Battle Creek Community College in 1956.


April 28 – Dedication of Michigan Historical Marker honoring North Avenue Campus.

May 20 – Renovated Student Center opens.

June 30 – Early Childhood Education Program receives NAEYC accreditation.

Aug. 23 – Eastern Academic Center (Albion) expansion started .

Sept. – KCC receives a $2.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to purchase manufacturing equipment and expand training programs as part of a nationwide effort to prepare unemployed workers for emerging jobs.


Jan.Eastern Academic Center (Albion) expansion completed.

March – The Kellogg Community College Center for Diversity and Innovation is funded by a three-year grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

May – Community Garden planted, a partnership between Youth Exchange and Study Program (YES Program), KCC Service Learning, and the greater Battle Creek community.

Sept. – 20th anniversary of the Grahl Center (Coldwater).

Oct. – Elizabeth H. Binda Center for the Performing Arts renovations completed.


Feb. – The College is certified to become an official GED Testing Center to make education more accessible.

March – KCC receives a 2.6 million dollar Community College Skilled Trades Equipment Program (CCSTEP) grant from the Michigan Strategic Fund to purchase equipment for Healthcare, Law Enforcement and Manufacturing programs.

Aug. – The Quincy Early College Program, a partnership between Quincy Schools, KCC, and the Branch Area Careers Center, begins with 20 sophomores participating.

Sept. 24 – Davidson Building renovations completed and re-dedication event occurs with the naming of the Ed Zentera Band Room.people at the RMTC groundbreaking.

Nov. 13 RMTC celebrates its 25th anniversary and breaks ground for a 8,400 square foot expansion.

2016: Mark O’Connell, President

Jan. 21 – The Kellogg Community College Board of Trustees appoints Mark O’Connell as the fifth president of the College.

June 30 – Governor Rick Snyder announces capital outlay funding of $2.2 million for Kellogg Community College to upgrade the Regional Manufacturing Technology Center.

Sept. 1 – KCC receives $50,000 DENSO grant for new manufacturing equipment.

Oct. – The final Volleyball match is played at the Miller Physical Education Building before it is demolished to be replaced with a new facility.

KCC hosts the first-ever indoor trick-or-treating event, the Bruin Boo.

Nov. –  KCC the only Community College in Michigan named to the 2015 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.

KCC wins 8 National Council for Marketing and Public Relations marketing awards.

Dec. – KCC presents the world premier of opera “Snow White” by Michigan composer Karen Phipps.


Kellogg Community College 60th anniversary events include a KCC Homecoming in April, a photographic exhibit, and a Gala Celebration on June 3.

Jan. Rosler Metal Finishing donates nearly $30,000 worth of state-of-the-art finishing equipment to the RMTC.

Mar.Agricultural Operations Program in partnership with Michigan State University is announced.

Michigan Campus Compact names Kellogg Community College the 2017 Engaged Campus of the Year.

May – Ground-breaking ceremony for the new Miller Physical Education BuildingPhoto of people at ground breaking ceremony for the new Miller Building.

Aug. – Center for Diversity and Innovation receives an $800,000 grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation.

Oct. – KCC Public Information and Marketing Department wins 9 medallion awards from NCMPR.

Nov. – State approves $2.15 million in matching funds for RMTC renovation.


Apr. – KCC Nursing Program receives national accreditation by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

May – KCC and Western Michigan University sign a major transfer agreement.

PTK students lead lighting project to replace outdated lighting in the Morris Library with LED bulbs.

June – $4.3 million dollar upgrade to the Regional Manufacturing Technology Center (RMTC) begins.  Funding from the State of Michigan capital outlay program, tax incentives, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and KCC’s dedicated capital millage.

RN to BSN agreement signed with Olivet College.

Aug. – Re-dedication of Miller Physical Education Building.

Oct. – New Agricultural Science degree created for students enrolled in a partner program with the Institute of Agricultural Technology at Michigan State University.


Feb. – KCC publishes children’s book “Blaze Goes to College”.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer visits the Regional Manufacturing Technology Center.

Mar. – Student representative added to KCC Board of Trustees.

Apr. – Medical Assistant Program sees first graduates.

May – President Mark O’Connell announces retirement.

June – Dr. Kay Keck receives Distinguished Woman in Higher Education Leadership Award from the Michigan ACE Women’s Network.

The 2020s

2020: Dr. Adrien Bennings, President

Jan. – KCC welcomes Dr. Adrien Bennings as sixth president.

Feb. – Upgrades completed at the Eastern Academic Center.

KCC signs transfer agreements with 25 Michigan universities as part of statewide MiTransfer Pathways initiative.

Mar. – “Always a Bruin” book completed by KCC Professor Emeritus Elizabeth Neumeyer.

KCC closes campuses at noon on March 18, due to the coronavirus.  Most classes resume in an online format March 23. 

May. – KCC celebrates a Virtual Commencement.

KCC launches new Cybersecurity associate degree program.

Jul. – KCC Athletic Director Tom Shaw named MCCAA Athletic Director of the year.


Jan. – KCC receives $442,000 Perkins V grant to support career and technical education services for students.

KCC receives $2.1 million TRIO grant to support specialized services for students.

KCC choirs release first-ever virtual choir performance.

Mar. – Dr. Donna Malaski awarded international advising award from National Academic Advising Association.

Apr. – KCC to celebrate music and theatre with virtual performing arts gala marking 65 years of choral excellence.

May. – KCC holds first-ever drive-thru commencement May 13.