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History

On September 6, 1974, the Illinois Eastern Community Colleges’ Continuing Education facilities in Fairfield were opened. The modest facility included a large conference room, a textbook library, a workroom, a secretarial pool area and an administrative office.

On July 26, 1976, the Board of Trustees approved the concept of a “Campus Beyond Walls” for the Continuing Education Division. On December 8, 1976, the Board formally named the college Illinois Eastern College of Continuing Education. The IECC Board and the Illinois Board of Higher Education had also approved the new concept and therefore it officially became the fourth college in the Illinois Eastern Community Colleges District 529. Dr. James Spencer served as the IECC Chancellor in 1976 when Frontier Community College was founded. He was later honored by the naming of a lane on Frontier’s campus – Spencer Lane, which runs in front of the Learning Resource Center.

In 1977, a group of citizens concerned with higher education formed a Foundation in support of the college. The College of Continuing Education Foundation, now called the Frontier Community College Foundation, continues to financially support the building needs, programs and scholarships of the college.

Also in 1977, a 6,500 square foot classroom building containing seven lecture classrooms was constructed. In 2000, a student lounge addition was added to Classroom Building West.

On April 18, 1978, the college was officially named Frontier Community College.

On June 24, 1982, the Frontier Community College became accredited by the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

In 1986, the Frontier Community College Foundation constructed a 10,500 square foot specialized classroom building with five laboratory classrooms to assist the college in meeting its educational objectives.

FCC's founding president Richard L. Mason retired in 1996. He now actively serves on the Frontier Community College Foundation.

Dr. William Lex served as president of Frontier Community College from 1996 until 2000.

In 2001, construction on a new Learning Resource Center and Nursing Building was begun. The 13,300 square foot structure houses the learning resource center and the nursing program.  The building was opened in the fall of 2002 with an estimated building cost of 1.7 million dollars.

In June 2001, FCC welcomed Dr. Michael Dreith as the third president.  Dreith joined FCC from Lewis and Clark Community College where he was Dean of Community Services. His employment at Lewis and Clark began in 1986 as associate professor of Broadcasting and from 1994-96, he served as associate dean of Liberal Arts and Business. In 1982, he was employed at WFIW radio station in Fairfield.

On February 20, 2002, Frontier added the Sanyo Building to the family of FCC buildings on the west edge of Fairfield. The 38,000 square feet building was renamed the Workforce Development Center. The building houses the new Automotive Technology Program and there are plans to add further business and industry training programs.

In 2003, Frontier Community College Foundation purchased the Bud Harrison property, which is adjacent to the FCC campus. The purchase was assisted by the City of Fairfield, Lebensfeld Foundation, Forrestine Hutchison Foundation and Joe and the late Libby Flemming. The 2,400 square-feet television sales and repair shop will be transformed into a conference center which will serve Frontier and the community. The college transformed the structure with minor modifications to the outside appearance of the building. The building was renamed as Foundation Hall.

In 2005, Rotary Plaza was constructed at the intersection of the campus’ sidewalks just north of the Adult Education Center and not only commemorates a century of service by Rotary International, but also pays tribute to 100 years of education in Wayne County. The plaza is a way to honor the rich history of one-room schools and those citizens who attended them. The plaza was landscaped by Peter’s Landscaping with volunteer labor from the Fairfield Rotary Club. The centerpiece of the plaza is an original one-room school bell from the Frame School, which formerly stood near Barnhill, and reportedly was one of the last standing one-room schools. The bell was donated to the project by Claudia Berg in 2004. Barnhill and Frame School Districts joined New Hope in 1955. The $20,000 project was financed by a $5,000 grant from the Fairfield Rotary Club and a Brick Paver Fundraiser which generated the additional $15,000. A total of 300 bricks are a permanent part of the plaza.

In January 2007 the FCC Foundation made a decision to construct a sign on the eastern edge of FCC’s campus due to the growth of the campus. The $10,000 brick signage was designed with a colonial style to compliment the existing buildings on FCC’s campus.  It was completed in June 2007.

Dr. Charles Novak was appointed as Interim President at FCC by the Illinois Eastern Community College Board of Trustees effective June 2007. Novak’s community college administration included former president at Olney Central College; vice-chancellor for academic and financial affairs at IECC; interim president at Morton College in Cicero and Illinois Valley Community College in Oglesby; and retired president from Richland Community College in Decatur.

On July 1, 2008, Dr. Tim Taylor was appointed President of Frontier Community College. Prior to joining FCC, Dr. Taylor served as Dean of the Business and Technology Division at Richland Community College in Decatur, Illinois. Taylor serves as FCC’s fourth president. 

In November 2011, five classrooms and two restrooms were added to the Workforce Development Center for the following Career & Technical Programs:  Automotive Technology, Basic Nurse Assistant Training, Electrical Distribution Systems, Health Informatics, Phlebotomy, and Emergency Preparedness.

Concrete work was completed in August 2012 at Foundation Hall with a new entrance from Frontier Drive, a parking lot with 50 parking spaces, and a sidewalk between Foundation Hall and the Richard L. Mason Building.

 Dr. Gerald "Jay" Edgren has been appointed by the IECC Board of Trustees as the sixth president at Frontier Community College.  He began his duties July 1, 2014.  Edgren had been serving as the Director of Education at Sanford-Brown College in Seattle, Washington, since October 2012.  Prior to that, Edgren worked for Moraine Park Technical College in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, for over 13 years.  

 

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