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Includes timeline of selected events.

Timeline of College events

 Lake Michigan College Time Line



  • September 9 - Benton Harbor Junior College (BHJC) opened its doors to the first 78 students at Benton Harbor High School.
  • Dr. Clarence G. Beckwith became Dean of Benton Harbor Junior College.


  • The War Assets Administration provided an old Quonset hut which the students took to calling “Old Maimed” – classes at both the Quonset hut and the high school.


  • The old Central School on Pipestone was chosen to be the new school. Built in the 1860’s, this old building was refurbished and became the third home for the new College in the summer of 1948.


  • On May 4, the Benton Harbor Board of Education renamed the College Benton Harbor Community College and Technical Institute (CCTI).
  • The title of Chief Administrator was changed from Dean to President.


  • October 26, the College was approached by the Whirlpool Foundation with the possibility of establishing a technical institute. After Michigan State University made a study of the technical needs of the community, the College and the Foundation announced the establishment of the Whirlpool Foundation technical Institute which would give the students a high level of technical training.


  • Construction began in March, initial cost $260,000 for the new building at 715 East Britain Avenue.
  • In December, the State Fire Marshall condemned the old Central School site.


  • Classes in the new Britain Avenue campus started in January.


  • Dr. Robert E. Lahti was named the second  president of CCTI.


  • The Whirlpool Foundation Institute finished the modern technical building and language labs and renamed it the Louis Cassius Upton Memorial Technical Center.


  • CCTI is renamed Lake Michigan College as it becomes a county district. New facilities sought.


  • President Lahti gave his resignation to the Board of Trustees on Sept 27 (18), to be enacted by Oct 9, 1965, and a three man administrative committee directed college operations: Clarence H. Schauer, Jerry G. Solloway and Henry H. Brown.
  • Land bought for new facility.


  • Dr. Robert H. Plummer became the third president of Lake Michigan College.


  • Dr. James L. Lehman was named the fourth president of Lake Michigan College.
  • July – groundbreaking ceremonies for Science & Fine Arts building, Library & Learning Resource Center – Phase I.


  • October - First phase completed, Phase II started.


  • June 16 -18, Moving day for staff.
  • Library completed.
  • Monday, June 23, first day of class for summer session in the new building at Napier Avenue.


  • Phase II completed, Phase III started.


  • March 6 – Faculty strike.


  • Phase III completed.


  • Dedication of the Napier Avenue Campus on October 2.


  • Dr. Walter Browe was Interim President for a couple months before being named the fifth president.


  • Dr. Anne E. Mulder was named the sixth president.


  • Greg A. Koroch became Interim President.


  • Dr. Richard J. Pappas was named the seventh president.


  • Distance learning offered at LMC through telecourses.


  • Mendel Center Mainstage and Upton Telecommunications Center open.


  • College celebrates 50th anniversary.


  • Bertrand Crossing Campus is completed and opens for classes.


  • Title III federal grant helped to create 100% wired classrooms and expansion of online classes.


  • M-TEC at Lake Michigan College opens.
  • One Stop Student and the Financial Services Center opens.
  • LMC faculty vote to join Michigan Education Association.


  • The Library is rededicated as the William Hessel Library, the library Dean from 1957-1985.


  • South Haven residents vote to join LMC district.


  • South Haven Campus is completed and opens for classes.


  • Dr. Robert Harrison became Interim President.
  • The One-Stop Student Center and the Financial Services Center is named the Richard J. Pappas Student Services Center in honor of the seventh president.


  • Dr. Randall R. Miller named the eighth president
  • Nursing Education Center opens on Napier Avenue campus.


  • Bertrand Crossing Campus celebrates 10th anniversary; South Haven Campus marks 5th anniversary.


  • Dr. Robert Harrison - Interim President.
  • Dr. Robert Harrison becomes the ninth president.


  • The new Science Learning Labs open at the Napier Campus.


  • Renovation of dental assisting lab completed.
  • Changed mascot from Indians to Red Hawks.


  • Construction begins on Beckwith Hall, the first residence hall at the Napier Campus, and a new student activity center is named The Hawks' Nest.


  • The first student residents move into Beckwith Hall.
  • Bachelor of Applied Science in energy production and distribution management, the college's first baccalaureate degree program.


  • Construction begins on the Hanson Technology Center located on College campus. Set to open Fall 2016.
  • Enology and viticulture (wine) program and medical assistant program added.
  • Dr. Robert Harrison announces his retirement and Dr. Jennifer Spielvogel is named president.


  • Dr. Jennifer Spielvogel begins her term as College president in January; fired on May 5, 2016; sues College.
  • Robert Harrison, President Emeritus/Acting CEO.
  • Geospatial information science and technology program offered as a certificate begins in summer.
  • New associate's degree in applied science in engineering technology program will begin in the fall.
  • Berrien County Fifth Year Early/Middle School College program to start in fall.
  • Transfer agreements signed between LMC and WMU for K-5 and K-8 programs.
  • Pharmacy technician program, now available for certificate or an associate's degree.
  • Hanson Technology Center opened in fall.
  • Receipt of grant towards creating Great Lakes Wine Institute.
  • 0.48 mill capital millage request passed.


  • College celebrated grand opening of its cutting edge Fab Lab.
  • Economic Club of Southwest Michigan turns over its long-standing speaker series to the College.
  • Dr. Trevor Kubatzke begins his term as president in April.
  • Received a $3 million federal education grant designed to keep students on track academically and career-wise. LMC was Michigan's only community college to get the U.S. Department's Part F Title III Strengthening Institutions grant, which is good for five years.
  • LMC unveiled its new Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) model, which allows students to switch back and forth between attending classes online or in person.


  • LMC receives a $180,000 state grant that will allow it to join Kinexus in offering an apprenticeship program. The program will focus on helping companies fill entry-level machining and manufacturing jobs.
  • College offers a free, new program, called College Essentials for adults thinking about going to college for the first time or returning to school after a hiatus.
  • LMC offers new 7-week program for automation engineering.
  • Construction begins at Benton Harbor campus.
  • College purchases former WMU-SW building. The building will be called the Todd Center, after Edward J. Todd.
  • The wine and viticulture building will be named for longtime LMC supporters, Mike and Lisa Welch.
  • Plans underway to start a truck driver training program at Niles campus with N&M Transfer Co. Inc.


  • The College will spend up to $1 million for exterior improvements to its Benton Harbor campus - coincides with a major wave of construction, where LMC plans to spend $33 million for various upgrades.
  • LMC women's basketball team win District G title.
  • LMC designated a "Voter Friendly Campus" by national nonpartisan organizations Campus Vote Project and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA).
  • Higher Learning Commission's Institutional Actions Council reaffirmed accreditation.

  • LMC marketing department won gold in the Video Shorts-Series category at the 2018 Paragon Awards, held during the national conference of the National Council for Marketing & Public Relations.

  • Library, beginning in May, at temporary location in the Hanson Technology Center due to renovation.

  • Energy upgrading and modernization of the Mendel Center and Grand Upton Hall begins in May. LMC expects to save $115,369 per year in energy costs, or a 41 percent reduction overall – as well as 35 and 41 percent reductions in electricity and gas use, respectively.

  • Grand opening and dedication ceremony for the new Welch Center for Wine and Viticulture on its Benton Harbor Campus. This new $7 million, 14,000-square-foot teaching winery and facility is designed to provide Wine & Viticulture Technology students with a state-of-the-art environment to gain a hands-on education in the art, science, and business of winemaking.

  •  Hanson Technology Center at the Benton Harbor campus awarded the Collegiate Citation, the top higher-education honor, in the 2019 American School & University Educational Interiors Showcase.

  • Recognized for increasing student voter rates at a Washington D.C. awards ceremony in November. LMC was among 149 U.S. colleges and universities who earned an “ALL IN Campus Challenge” silver seal award for achieving a student voter participation rate between 30% and 39% in the 2018 midterm election. 


  •  A rededication ceremony for The Visual and Performing Arts Department was held. More than $600,000 in improvements were made to the theater that was first dedicated in 1991. A gift from the Hanson Family Foundation and Merlin and Carolyn Hanson, for which the venue is named, helped fund the improvements.

  • Ferris State to offer bachelor’s degree in criminal justice for LMC students Fall 2020.

  • Hessel Library returns to main building in a new renovated space - March 9.

  • Classes transition to online beginning March 23 due to COVID 19. 

  • Technicians use Fab Lab to produce face shields for police officers and other types of workers who must be out in the field to do their jobs during the pandemic.

  • College’s 73rd annual commencement includes pre-recorded virtual ceremony. The graduates of 2020 will receive degrees from 31 areas of study, 12 certificate programs, totaling 413 associate degrees, one bachelor's degree, and 27 certificates. In all 138 students are graduating with honors, 58 with high honors and 17 with highest honors. The ceremony includes students who graduated in the summer 2019, fall 2019 and spring 2020 semesters.

  • Summer classes continue with remote learning.

  • College reopens campuses in July.

  • Opens new Nature Trail to public. 1.8 miles of trail through 70 acres of woods.

  • Truck driving school begins in October.

  • Participates in free college program for pandemic frontline workers.


  • College partners with the State for the new Michigan Reconnect scholarship program for Michigan residents, age 25 or older, for free tuition to pursue an associate degree or skills certificate.
  • LMC invests in culinary program with revamped kitchen.
  • Commencement held for both class of 2020 and class of 2021 via a drive-in/drive-thru ceremony.
  • Free tuition available to new and returning students who are Michigan residents during 2021-2022 academic year.
  • LMC celebrates 75th anniversary.
  • Nursing program receives continued accreditation.


  • LMC partners with Rio Salado College to expand online classes.
  • LMC participates in job training program, the Michigan New Jobs Training Program.


  • Dr. Ken Flowers named as provost and VP of Academic Affairs.
  • All May 2022 graduating nursing students passed the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses on first attempt.
  • LMC and Siena Heights University celebrate 40 years of partnership.
  • LMC to start police academy in May 2024.


Rocky The Red Hawk

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Margaret Mead in the library

"Famed anthropologist Margaret Mead addresses reporters April 23, 1972, at Lake Michigan College before speaking to an audience of 700."

Time capsule: Margaret Mead. (2015, June 22). Herald-Palladium.