100 Years, 100 Stories
Video: On Tuesday, September 8, 2015, the MCC family celebrated the College’s Centennial on each campus with cake, punch and festivities that included “selfie stations” with props such as party hats. Students, employees and members of the Board of Trustees joined in the revelry.
The many birthday cakes were provided by the MCC Foundation.
Proclamations congratulating MCC on 100 years of service were issued by city governments in our area: Kansas City, Belton, Grandview, Harrisonville, Raytown, Blue Springs, North Kansas City, Independence and Lee’s Summit. The Missouri Senate passed a resolution. Some of these official documents were read at the campus parties.
In the spring of 1915, a representative of the University of Missouri was invited to introduce a two-year college plan in Kansas City. The Kansas City Board of Education seized the opportunity to experiment with innovations in post-secondary education.
The board’s action was in response to a trend that had been growing in the Kansas City school system: Parents were keeping their children in high school for a fifth year. They felt the teens were not mature enough to leave home, and in some cases parents couldn’t afford to pay university tuition plus room and board. The community was asking for an opportunity to provide higher education locally.
Thus, the Kansas City Polytechnic Institute was born.
The institute was officially established by the school board on May 29, 1915, as the first public institution of higher education in Kansas City. The plan was to provide fifth-year students with college-level work. Classes began on Sept. 7, 1915, with about 200 students.
From 1915 to 1964, the school board was the governing body of the college. In 1964, seven suburban school districts — Belton, Center, Grandview, Hickman Mills, Lee’s Summit, North Kansas City and Raytown — joined forces with the Kansas City School District to create the Metropolitan Community College District. That year the college Board of Trustees was elected and began governing the district.
As Kansas City expanded into the suburbs during the 1960s, so did MCC, opening the Longview, Maple Woods, and Penn Valley campuses in 1969.
In the 1980s and ’90s, Blue Springs, Park Hill, Independence and Fort Osage joined the MCC district. Blue River Community College was named the fourth campus in 1997, and the Business & Technology campus was added in 2002.
In December 2005, all five campuses joined together to become one Metropolitan Community College. The goal was to create a more unified district to serve the needs of students all over the Greater Kansas City region.
Today, MCC is a major public education provider in the area and one of the premier community college districts in the nation. With five campuses across the metropolitan community, MCC serves more than 37,000 students every year.