Quarter-century celebration at ‘college that could’One of the best descriptions ever written about Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College was that it is: “The Little College that Could.”
One of the best descriptions ever written about Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College was that it is: “The Little College that Could.”
That little college, started in 1987 with 98 students, using rented classrooms in the basement of the Garfield Building and led by a handful of staff and faculty, will be celebrating 25 years of providing college education with the opening of fall semester next week.
Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College invites everyone to visit campus for a special 25th anniversary celebration Open House 5-8 p.m. Thursday.
Displays, self-guided and staff-hosted tours, food and prize drawings are some of the fun activities planned. Visitors can meet college staff, administrators and faculty, and all alumni and friends of the college are encouraged to return to campus to see old friends and share memories. The annual Alumni vs. Thunder Varsity volleyball game will take place in the gym, and many Thunder football and volleyball student athletes will be available to meet and greet.
The highlight of the Open House event will be a free concert by the a cappella vocal group Six Appeal at 6:30 p.m. in the amphitheater. With no instruments, Six Appeal uses a cappella to span decades of classic oldies, current chart toppers, and catchy original tunes. Despite their cheeky group name, the antics of these six young gentlemen provide a good-natured atmosphere for their electrifying performance. Six Appeal is known to make the audience laugh and leave people wondering how they made their music sound like a band, but using just voices. Six Appeal recently won the championship title in the 2012 National Harmony Sweepstakes Competition.
The Open House on Thursday kicks off a series of events and projects to celebrate the first 25 years of the college.
A tailgate party at one of the Thunder Football games in September is planned, and a movie-theater premiere of a video commemorating the first 25 years of Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College is scheduled for October. A special effort to locate and gather alumni of the college is also underway.
There were lots of skeptics and many obstacles to overcome, but Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College persevered, survived and quickly grew.
Enrollment during the 2011-2012 academic year was more than 2,800 students. The college employs nearly 150 professional staff, and about 60 more student employees. The spectacular campus in Cloquet has an estimated replacement value of more than $100 million. In the last five years, the college has added more than 1,500 college graduates to the communities it serves. The list goes on, proving in so many different ways that it is “The Little College that Could.”
Looking at the numbers, combined with its fascinating history and development, the college has definitely outgrown the “Little College” moniker.
In just 25 years, Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College has quickly, and quietly, established a solid community presence and track record of academic success.