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Timeline of Educational Excellence

Fifty Years of Facts

Though the founding of this institution reaches back into the 1920's, here are some interesting events and milestones in the history of Northeast Community College as an institution to date.


Northeastern Nebraska College and Northeast Nebraska Technical College merge on July 1, offering 39 programs of study. Resident tuition and fees for a full-time student (30 credit hours) is $288 a year. Farm and Ranch Operations Management was among the first programs offered. The college program began with three students. (It has over 250 students today.) Intercollegiate athletics include basketball, wrestling and co-ed golf.


The Utility Line Building, now known as the Arlo Wirth Building, is constructed.
The Student Union opens in the basement of the Complex “B” Building, which is now known as the Weller Building.


The name Northeast Nebraska Technical Community College (NNTCC) is changed to Northeast Technical Community College (NTCC) on July 1, 1975. “The change reflects the merging of two separate colleges: the vocational tech college and the liberal arts college; and aims to recognize both,” said President Dr. Robert Cox. “The name was just too long and by eliminating the word, Nebraska, all functional words would still be intact.”


The Northeast Technical Community College men's basketball team (27-2 under Coach Chuck Stevenson) defeats Whitworth College to claim the National Little College Athletic Association (NLCAA) National Championship. The tournament was held in the Norfolk City Auditorium.


Ground is broken in May for the Science/Agriculture Building. When it opened in the second semester of the 1977-78 year, the 16,000-square-foot building featured new classrooms, laboratories and a greenhouse.


“Year of the Anniversaries” observed at Northeast Technical Community College. The observance was highlighted by the fifth anniversary of NTCC.


Construction begins on the 46,000-square-foot Activities Center. The $1.7-million “multi-purpose building” features a 2,130-seat gymnasium, a 290-seat theater and classrooms.


Enrollment at Northeast Technical Community College reached an all-time high of 1,554 students, a seven percent increase over the previous year.


Planning begins to address the need for expanded facilities due to rapidly increasing enrollments in NTCC's Utility Line and Electrician programs. The Welding and Welding/Machinist programs begin. The Voice of NTCC, KAYR cable radio, began broadcasting on January 19.


The Board of Governors approves the construction of two, eight unit apartment buildings for male NTCC students. At the time, the residence hall was only for female students. Each apartment unit houses four-to-five students.


NTCC marked the 10th anniversary of the merger of Northeastern Nebraska College and Northeast Nebraska Technical College. Resident tuition and fees for a full-time student (30 credit hours) is $585 a year. First apartment building constructed. Intercollegiate athletics include men's basketball and golf and women's basketball and volleyball.


The new Student Center opens.


NTCC purchases 533 acres of farmland on the Norfolk Regional Center grounds from the State of Nebraska for use in the College's Agricultural programs. A second, eight-unit apartment building is constructed.


The college/community concert band held its organizational meeting. The band continues to perform today. Fire Science program begins.


Enrollment at Northeast Technical Community College increases eight percent over the previous year.


The Northeast student newspaper, “The Viewpoint,” marks its 20th anniversary. The newspaper was previously known as “Iconoclast,” “Maybasket,” and “News Hawk.”


A new swine-farrowing facility opens at the Northeast Technical Community College farm.


The Board of Governors approves a bid to construct a $1.5-million facility between the Science/ Agriculture and Electronics/ Broadcasting Buildings to house Agriculture, Early Childhood Education, English, Journalism, and Nursing programs.


In compliance with LB 663, the College's name is officially changed to Northeast Community College. Associate Degree Nursing program begins.


Construction begins on a 24-bed addition to the college dormitory. The new Ag/Allied Health Building opens.


Northeast Community College marks the 20th anniversary of the merger of Northeastern Nebraska College and Northeast Nebraska Technical College. Physical Therapist Assistant program begins. Resident tuition and fees for a full-time student (30 credit hours) is $915 a year.


Plans are announced to create a Lifelong Learning Center on the Northeast Community College campus. In addition to Northeast, other partners include Wayne State College, the University of Nebraska Research and Extension Center, Madison County Extension Service, Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District, and Educational Service Unit #8.


Dr. Robert Cox, Northeast Community College's first president, retires. He is succeeded by Dr. James Underwood, former chief academic officer at Richland Community College in Decatur, Illinois. The 23,650-square-foot Diesel Technology Building is constructed.


A $2.5-million goal to raise funds to construct the Lifelong Learning Center is reached. Former “Tonight Show” host and Norfolk native Johnny Carson donates $1 million to the project.


Northeast Community College experiences a record growth enrollment in fiscal year 1997 with 7,278 credit students, an increase of 515 students over the previous fiscal year.


Northeast Community College expands its services with the opening of an education center in O’Neill and a regional office in West Point. Northeast Community College marks its 25th anniversary. Veterinary Technology program begins.


Construction begins on expanding the Student Center to include a larger dining room, a larger cafeteria, a larger child care center, and a bookstore. Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and Paramedic program begins.


Dr. James Underwood retires as president of Northeast Community College. Northeast becomes one of first partners of One Stop Northeast Career Center in West Point. Northeast programming is conducted in classrooms and office spaces in the center.


Former Northeast Vice President of Student Services Dr. Bill Path is named College president. A $1.7 million, 18,000-square-foot addition to the Ag/Allied Health Building opens. It creates two floors of additional classrooms, labs, offices, storage space, an elevator, and a glass-enclosed walkway to connect with the Science building.


Northeast Community College was recognized as one of the fastest-growing community colleges in the nation by the National Center for Educational Statistics. Northeast was 18th on a list of 50 community colleges with a student enrollment of 2,500-4,999. The Electromechanical program begins.


Construction begins on the 40,500-square-foot Burkhardt Hall. The new residence hall adds 150 new beds, bringing the number of on-campus beds to 350. Resident tuition and fees for a full-time student (30 credit hours) is $1,785 a year. Intercollegiate athletics include men's and women's basketball.


A grand opening ceremony is held April 15th for the new Northeast Community College Agriculture Complex. The 48,500-square-foot structure sits one mile east of the main campus.


Construction is completed on a 15,000-square-foot addition to the Cox Activities Center. The new addition houses Audio Recording, Broadcasting and Music. A new 10,000-square-foot education center opens for fall semester in the Westside Technology Park in South Sioux City. A Memorandum of Understanding is signed by the presidents of Northeast Community College and Wayne State College and the executive director of the Nebraska State College System to build a joint facility in South Sioux City.


Plans begin to expand Northeast Community College class offerings in West Point. When construction is completed two years later, Northeast occupies a portion of the new Nielsen Community Center.


A new 36,800-square-foot Utility Line/Truck Driving Building opens just east of Northeast's main campus.


Construction begins on the $7.7-million College Welcome Center on the Norfolk campus.


Construction begins on the $12 million College Center in South Sioux City that will house Northeast and Wayne State College programming. A new 6,000-square-foot Industrial Training Building also sits on the College Center's 57 acres. The Wind Energy and Graphic Design programs begin.


Northeast Community College partners with the University of Nebraska Medical Center and Faith Regional Health Services to open the J. Paul and Eleanor McIntosh College of Nursing. This follows a successful $12.9 million capital campaign.


Northeast Community College is named one of the nation's top 120 community colleges by the Aspen Institute's College Excellence Program. The college received the honor again in 2012. Northeast Community College President Dr. Bill Path resigns.


Dr. Michael Chipps, former president of Mid-Plains Community College in North Platte, becomes the fourth president of Northeast Community College. Total credit enrollment is 7,323 and non-credit enrollment is 15,015.


Ground is broken on Northeast's Norfolk campus for a new Applied Technology Training and Education Building. The Board of Governors authorizes the purchase of land to construct a new extended campus in O’Neill. Northeast Community College offers over 80 programs and concentrations of study. Resident tuition and fees for a full-time student (30 credit hours) is $2,910 a year. Intercollegiate athletics include men's golf and basketball and women's volleyball and basketball.


Northeast Community College signs articulation agreements with Bellevue University and Concordia University. Ground is broken for the new Path (residence) Hall and Hawks Point dining facility on the Norfolk campus. The Kenneth J. Echtenkamp Information Technology building is dedicated. Northeast opens a new regional office in Hartington.


Northeast Community College is named as one of four national finalists for the American Association of Community College's 2015 Exemplary CEO/Board of Trustees Award of Excellence. The Northeast Community College Board of Governors adopts a new mission statement, Northeast Community College is dedicated to the success of students and the region it serves. The board approves the five year, Vision 2020 strategic plan. Northeast dedicates and opens its new extended campus facility in O’Neill and a new regional office in Ainsworth. The new Applied Technology and Physical Plant buildings open on the Norfolk campus. Intercollegiate men's soccer and women's softball are added to the athletic lineup.


A record 916 students are honored during Northeast Community College's 43rd annual commencement ceremony. Northeast is named as a top ten national finalist for the prestigious Aspen (Institute) Prize for Community College Excellence. Northeast's Service Center is recognized with the Association of College and University Technology Advancement's 2016 Award of Institutional Excellence in Information Technology. Northeast is presented with a Silver Award of Excellence for student support services at the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics World Congress in Vitória, Brazil. Northeast opens its new Path (residence) Hall and Hawks Points dining facility in Hawks Village. Women's soccer is added to the intercollegiate athletic lineup.


Northeast Community College's Phi Theta Kappa Tau Chi chapter earned its first-ever five-star status. His Excellency Edward Yakobe Sawerengera, ambassador to the United States from the African Republic of Malawi, led a five-member delegation to Nebraska which included an all-day visit to Northeast to learn about the institution and America's higher education system. The Association of Community College Trustees presented Dr. Michael Chipps, president, with its Western Region CEO Award. The “Hawk Sculpture Campus Tradition” was presented the 2017 National Service Project of the Year Award from the Association of the Promotion of Campus Activities.


Board member Steven Anderson was recognized by the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) with its Western Region Trustee Leadership Award, while Diane Reikofski, board recording secretary and executive assistant to the college president, received ACCT's Western Region Professional Board Staff Member Award. Michael Roeber, agriculture/livestock judging instructor, was presented the Nebraska Community College Association's Faculty Member Award. The Night Hawks Escape Room, sponsored by the Student Activities Council, was presented the 2018 National Event of the Year award from the Association of the Promotion of Campus Activities.


The Aspen Institute named Northeast Community College as one of the Top 150 community colleges in the United States. Dr. Michael Chipps, president, retired; Mary Honke and Steve Schram are named as co-interim presidents. Dr. Leah Barrett, former vice president for student affairs for the Northern Wyoming Community College District, was named the fifth president of Northeast Community College. A ribbon cutting ceremony is held for the Donald E. Nielsen Career and Technical Education Center in West Point. The Association for the Promotion of Campus Activities presents Tia Smith, president of Northeast's Student Activities Council, with its national Student Programmer of the Year award.


Author and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott donated $15 million to the College, making it the largest single donor contribution in Northeast’s history. During the peak of Covid-19, faculty and students concluded the spring semester using alternative delivery methods of instruction while many employees worked remotely. To abide by social distancing recommendations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Northeast Community College hosted the annual Big Bang Boom fireworks display.


The Aspen Institute named Northeast Community College as one of the nation’s top 150 institutions. Northeast announces a new strategic plan called envision which has four strategic priorities - student pathways to success; excellence and innovation in educational programs; a rewarding and inspirational place to work; and effective resource management. Union 73 opens on the Norfolk campus providing students additional space for academic and student support services. The name Union 73 relates to both a student union on a college campus as a place that offers several services to students and to the 1973 merger, or union, of Northeastern Nebraska College and Northeast Nebraska Technical College, now known as Northeast Community College.


A dedication ceremony took place for the College’s new Veterinary Technology building and nearby combination Farm Operations building and Large Animal Handling facility at the Acklie Family College Farm. Northeast became a Registered Apprenticeship Program Sponsor through the US Department of Labor. Under the program, individuals will receive a nationally recognized credential from the Department of Labor upon completion of their apprenticeship. Northeast was selected as the 2022 Nebraska Career and Technical Education (CTE) Outstanding Postsecondary Institution by the Department of Education for its focus on empowering individuals to be adaptable, inventive, and re-tooled with the skills and education to promote high-wage, high-demand, high-skilled careers throughout its 20-county region.


Northeast Community College celebrates it’s 50th graduating class and 50th anniversary. Northeast unveils an official college seal that represents the identity, tradition and values of the institution. To allow for the creation of space that will improve learning environments for students and for the flexibility for multiple program uses, the College announces it is moving forward with replacing the Maclay building and renovating the former Library/Resource Center. It also announced use of American Rescue Plan Act funds, federal grants and private donations to construct a commercial driver’s license (CDL) truck driving training facility and an adjacent truck driving range, and a 1,500 sq. ft. addition to its existing Industrial Training building to increase capacity of the welding program on the South Sioux City Campus.