The 1990s brought a new era to the college. In 1991, the
name was officially changed to Northeast Community
College; however, the College had been using the name
since 1986 to show a more comprehensive curriculum.
Longtime President Dr. Robert Cox retired in 1995.
The Activities Center was renamed in honor of Dr. Cox
and his wife, Helenann. Dr. James Underwood, former
chief academic officer at Richland Community College
in Decatur, IL, was named his successor.
The campus continually changed and grew during the
1990s to meet the needs of the students and program
areas. This decade saw the construction of a 48-bed
addition onto the college dormitory (1992); the Ag/
Allied Health Building (1992); Diesel Technology
(1995); an expansion onto the Student Center (1999);
and the Lifelong Learning Center (LLC) in 1997. Some
$2.5 million was raised to construct the LLC, including
a $1 million donation by former “Tonight Show” host
and Norfolk native Johnny Carson.
Northeast Community College also expanded into
its 20-county service region by opening a regional
education center in a former elementary school in
O’Neill and a regional office in West Point (both in
Several new programs began during the decade
including Associate Degree Nursing, Physical Therapist
Assistant, Electromechanical Technology, Emergency
Medical Technician (EMT)/Paramedic, Behavioral
Science, and Early Childhood Education.
The Community Services Division was reorganized
in 1997 resulting in a new division under Educational
Services, Continuing Education and Distance
Learning. Distance-learning offerings via two-way,
interactive technology expanded from one course in
1995 to 111 credit courses seven years later.
Several new endeavors occurred under the Student
Services Division in the 1990s. The advising,
counseling, and career planning functions of the
Career Achievement Center were merged into
Student Services. The Student Ambassadors program
was established during the decade, as was the
Student Activities Council, which gives students the
opportunity to assist with campus activities. Northeast
Community College also created the Student Life
Department and a Transfer and International Student