It is my pleasure to take pen — or in this case, computer — in hand to write about my appreciation for Clinton Community College. I received an Associate Degree from CCC in May of 1967, 51 years ago. I enrolled in the fall of 1965, part of the first group of students to make use of the new building on Lincoln Boulevard.
Paul B. Sharar, (1900-1976) was Dean of the College. He was, in fact, the first Dean of Clinton Junior College as it was called in those days. The college opened in 1946 and was located on the top floor of Clinton High School. Dean Sharar was a wonderful leader in his own quiet way and I know were it not for his dedication and leadership and the community support of the time, we would not have the gem we possess in our community now.
I recall that a number of my friends who went to university immediately following high school used to lament about being in classes of 300 or more, which were taught by graduate assistants only slightly older than the students themselves — graduate assistants that had office hours for their students of about 30 minutes per week.
The faculty at CCC, in 1965, read like a Who’s Who of Education. Even after 51 years, I have vivid memories of classroom and campus experiences. I want to name a number of these faculty legends: Max Lynn in sports and Physical Education, E. T. Mogck in Mathematics, John DeHaan for Chorus, Jack Whipple for Accounting and Economics, Gene Empson in Psychology and Sociology, Mary T. East for Literature and English and, of course, Patricia Gorman for Biology.
As a farm boy, I learned to swim from Max Lynn, not to mention play softball. I sang in the Messiah Community Chorus led by Mr. DeHaan. Mr. Mogck taught me more about algebra than I ever thought possible. Miss East, a legend from Clinton High School, introduced us to a new world of literature. Jack Whipple was our adviser and, because of him, I joined the Circle K Club, which was the college equivalent of the Kiwanis Club. Miss Patricia Gorman was the best science teacher I ever had. I know how much time she devoted to her preparation and how she was always available. Nursing students left the college with the best background possible to go on to their career.
I know that today we have a variety of students in terms of age, background, as well as education and economic circumstances. After graduation from CCC, I graduated from Iowa Wesleyan College of Mount Pleasant. I have been working in banking for 47 years.
I also know that CCC is well ahead of the curve in providing the best environment in which to learn, regardless of personal need. I sometimes think that the college is one of the best kept secrets around. I would not trade my years at the college for anything and that includes the campus and social life as well as the academics. I want to take a moment to urge all alumni to remember, appreciate and, if possible, support this gem in our community through your time, talent and treasure. Memory is a wonderful gift and my memories of CCC are wonderful.
Roger J. Hill is Senior Vice President and Trust Officer with DeWitt Bank & Trust Co.