Parkland College celebrates 45 years
Published: Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 17:10
In 1967, Parkland College opened in Champaign, Illinois. It began with the vision of architect Ernest Kump, and the rest is history from there.
This year marks the 45-year anniversary of the college and many signs can be seen throughout the college honoring the event.
Jessica Hisser, Business major, started at Parkland College 10 years ago. She pursued general studies before leaving school to become a stay-at-home mom. This year, she re-enrolled at Parkland.
“So many things have changed in ten years, it is just amazing,” Hisser said. “The most obvious change would be technology.”
“When I came to Parkland ten years ago, we had the computers with the gigantic backs,” Hisser remarked. “I did not have a cell phone yet, let alone a music playing device.”
“Fashion has also changed. In 2002, The North Face was not a popular brand,” Hisser said. “I saw many people wearing Levi’s and Tommy Hilfiger, it is just amazing how times change.”
According to the Parkland College Library, before Parkland's campus opened in the fall of 1973, classes were held in a temporary downtown location in Champaign.
The first semester was in the fall of 1967. The line for registration extended down the block and 1,338 students registered for classes.
These students paid $4.50 per credit hour for tuition. One year later, Parkland graduated 20 students who had earned one-year career program certificates.
Twenty different sites were proposed for the location of Parkland's permanent campus. Because of its central location on thedistrict map,the present site on Bradley Avenue in Champaign was selected for the permanent campus.
Kump, an architect from a firm based in Palo Alto, California designed the campus.
His original design was intended to accommodate 5,000 full-time students. Kump referred to his design as an "educational village" and recommended subdued lighting to give the feeling of a living room.
In 1979, Parkland College was featured in an exhibit at the New York Museum of Modern Art to highlight outstanding architectural designs.
The creation of the permanent campus began in July of 1970 and Parklandofficially opened the campus in the fall of 1973.
Later additions to the campus included the Physical Education building in 1976, the playing fields in 1980, the south building in 1983, the A-Wing in 1984. The Parkland Theatre and the William M. Staerkel Planetarium were added in 1987.
Access to the Parkland archives is available to all Parkland College faculty, staff and enrolled students, as well as alumni and researchers. Access is granted by scheduled appointment only and the archives may not leave the facility.
Crystal Terrance, student in general studies, knows that times have changed. Her mother came to Parkland College 30 years ago.
“My mom always tells me that she cannot believe how much technology is taking over our lives,” Terrance said. “She always talks about how the current fashion is really unattractive.”
“My mom is a firm believer that things such as cell phones and computers and even fashion put more stress on us,” Terrance remarked. “My mom also talks about how the college has evolved and how Parkland is growing.”
Parkland College has changed. Students can tell by the construction going on in the front of the building that Parkland will continue to evolve.
Daniel Blackmon, Communications major, is already looking into the next 45 years.
“I do not believe that in the next 45 years we will have flying cars,” Blackmon said. “I do believe that with the constant change in technology the future will look nothing like what we see today.”
“Fashion will continue to change, fashion changes every year, so to say that fashion will not change is impossible,” Blackmon remarked. “In 45 years, I will look back and remember these days and I will laugh at myself because I will be a totally different person.”
In 45 years, Parkland College will be much different than what it is today. It will possibly be bigger and better. Fashion will change, technology will change and most importantly, every person will change.
One can only imagine what Parkland College will look like in 2057.