MCC 1929 – 2019

Arial view of MCC Campus

Imagine what your life would have been like 90 years ago, in 1929. World War I ended just 11 years prior and you’d spent an entire decade celebrating with the music and dancing of the Roaring Twenties. Sadly, though, that music came to a crashing and abrupt halt October of ‘29 with the collapse of the stock market and ushering in of the Great Depression.

In the midst of all that, Muscatine Community College (MCC) was born, the result of the work of mostly a half dozen people, five of them women. Women, by the way, had just won the right to vote in 1920.

That first class of 51 students, 26 women and 25 men, has since grown to more than 1,400 this current fall semester.

“Miss Willetta Strahan served as the first dean and registrar,” said current MCC President Naomi DeWinter. “Her foresight was just incredible. She would go to family farms and talk to parents about sending their sons and daughters to college.

“At that time, the thought of higher education wasn’t what it is today,” she said. “It was not a common thing to send your children to college. That shows how education was valued even 90 years ago in Muscatine.

“It’s unimaginable, the trust they had in the beginning years. From 1929 to the mid-sixties they were taking classes in basements of buildings. But the community was already showing its pride in what was then Muscatine Junior College.”

One of the factors really helping the college during its first few decades was local business leaders understanding the value of having employees with advanced education. No better illustration of their support came in 1962 when the HJ Heinz Company donated the land on which the college is currently located. One of the first buildings to be built there, Strahan Hall, was named after the college’s visionary first dean.

As the current torch bearer leading the college, DeWinter has looked back to the college’s previous leaders and the vision they had for the college’s future.

“You really try to imagine what they were thinking and dreaming when they were in a leadership position,” she said. “Being here for this anniversary, it feels like you’re tied to something larger. In talking to alumni and others who have some touch with the college, I think we’ve honored those first leaders original vision.”

As for the college’s next 90 years, DeWinter refers to MCC’s role as the community’s college.

“I see it as being indispensable for every aspect of the community, as well as leading the way in statewide initiatives like Future Ready Iowa, and getting more high school students choosing to go to college after high school,” she said.

“MCC provides a balance in college transfer, career training and signature programs like fine arts, it’s not an either/or. That’s the beauty of community colleges, we can really foster the creative sides of our students. I don’t see that waning as we go on.”

The college has a number of activities planned to celebrate the anniversary. To learn more go online to


A long list of noted individuals has passed through the halls of Muscatine Community College. The below names just scratch the surface, and are an example, of our many great alumni who have attended the college.

  • Adam Sterner, Raymond
  • Stan Stolte, Head Baseball Coach, UNLV
  • Bob Kintzel, Head Basketball Coach, Johnson & Wales
  • Travis Crose , HNI
  • Tracy Bogart, Temp Associates
  • Rick Rector, Quad City Times
  • Roger Bates, Muscatine Journal
  • Matt Green, Bayer
  • Santos Saucedo, Bayer
  • Annette Ernst, HNI
  • Mike Morgan, Fighting Chance Solutions
  • Dan Nietzel, Fighting Chance Solutions
  • Edwin Colon, Fighting Chance Solutions
  • John Lawrence, Fighting Chance Solutions
  • Casey Edkin, Muscatine Community School District
  • Jeff Jarrett, Kent
  • Don Ager
  • Alicia Bull, Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce & Industry
  • Dave Duncan, Tyson
  • Jodi Royal Goodwin, City of Muscatine
  • Angie Johnson, Unity Point
  • Bob Allbee, MCC President, Retired
  • Mike Hillman, University of Iowa
  • Erika Cox, Muscatine Power & Water
  • Shane Orr, United Way
  • Charla Schafer, Community Foundation
  • Kandy Steele, Muscatine Community School District
  • Derek Sawvell, Wilton Advocate
  • Diana Broderson, Muscatine Mayor
  • DeWayne Hopkins, Former Mayor
  • Jan Phillips, Professor Emeritus, MCC
  • Joni Axel, Attorney
  • Max Alan Collins Jr., Author
  • Cecil Vandygriff, Kent, Retired
  • Rosy Avalos Eichelberger, Attorney
  • Evelyn Schauland, Former Mayor and Kindergarten teacher
  • Barb Collins, Author
  • Jon Koch, City of Muscatine
  • Mike Furlong, Ardon Creek Winery
  • John Maxwell, Cinnamon Ridge Farms
  • Jerry Page, HNI, Retired
  • Cynthia Maeglin, Muscatine Travel, Retired
  • Karen Diercks, Owner, Flower Gallery
  • Marv Krieger, Krieger Motors, Retired
  • John Axel, HNI, Retired
  • Rosa Mendoza, Diversity Center of Iowa
  • Chris Boar, Bayer
  • Tony Joseph, Joseph Industries
  • Awad Dabit, Dabeet’s Bistro
  • Jean Garner, Muscatine Community School District, Retired
  • Tim Zeman, Musco
  • Paul Hagens, Musco
  • Dave Cooney, Pollinators/Arboretum
  • Jeff Miller, Muscatine Community School District
  • Brian Seligman, Muscatine Power & Water
  • Bobby Kaufmann, Iowa Legislator
  • Mark Lofgren, Iowa Legislator
  • Paula Lofgren, Educator
  • Dave Kerr, Iowa Legislator
  • Curly “Boo” Johnson, Former Harlem Globetrotter
  • Carol Steinmetz, Artist
  • Steve Ellsworth, First National Bank
  • Patty Morrison, Bridgestone
  • Gail Cooper, Stanley Consultants
  • Marshall McDonald, Professor Emeritus, MCC
  • Brian Wright, Muscatine County
  • Marty Junge , O’Grady Chem, Van Horne IA
  • Abe Ales , Bayer
  • Steve Fordyce, Nutrien Ag Solutions
  • Russel Fullenkamp, Nutrien Ag Solutions
  • Brian McGreer, Aledo Bank
  • Cory Bull, Ag Credit Services, Aledo IL
  • Tom Watson, Farmer, Illinois City IL
  • Troy Schlopkoal Nutrien, Ag Solutions
  • Steve Phillips, Phillips Bros. Rental
  • Jack Friedman, Innovative Ag Services
  • Adam Smith, Becks Seed, Mt. Pleasant
  • Greg O’Toole, Ag Center, Letts IA
  • Brian Wood, Krieger Motors
  • Nick Ehlers, Farmer, Bennett, IA
  • Tom Burmeister, Burmeister Farms, Bennett IA
  • Lee Burmeister, Burmeister Farms, Bennett IA
  • Dana DeKeyrel, Bayer
  • Richard DeKeyrel, Home Improvement Innovations
  • Myron Eichelberger, Pizza Ranch
  • Phil Schliessman,  HyVee
  • Jamie Shroeder, Muscatine Community School District
  • Katie Watson, MCC
  • Andrew Anderson, Ruhl & Ruhl Realtors
  • Ethan Anderson, Big Imprint Web Design & Marketing
  • Anna Anderson, Aningri LLC
  • Samuel Anderson, Ruan
  • Matthew Anderson, Grain Processing Corp
  • Sarah Anderson, Sarah Kirsten Sewing Patterns

Author: alaneastern

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