Photo gallery: MCC-Blue River campus celebrates its 20th birthday

Chancellor Kimberly Beatty serves up birthday cake with Richard Monroe (left), Blue River’s Campus Life & Leadership coordinator. (Photos by Tim Engle, Bob Florence and Clare Otto/MCC)

Metropolitan Community College-Blue River’s 20th birthday party was just like any other, complete with cake, balloons and singing.

New MCC Chancellor Kimberly Beatty was on hand Aug. 29 at the Campus Center to lead students and employees in two renditions of “Happy Birthday”: the traditional one and the chorus of the Stevie Wonder version. Check out the singing in this video clip from Facebook Live:

Chancellor Kimberly Beatty led student leaders at MCC-Blue River this morning in song to celebrate the campus' 20th…

Posted by Metropolitan Community College-Kansas City on Tuesday, August 29, 2017


There was even a special cake. It resembled Blue River’s Education Center building.

The campus actually openedĀ at its current location in Independence in January 1995 — in one building. At the time, MCC had other Eastern Jackson County locations as well: another in Independence, one in Blue Springs and one in Fort Osage.

The Fall 1997 class schedule: That August, the “Independence campus” was officially named Blue River.

The 78 Highway site was originally 30 acres donated by the Independence School District. It was the first MCC location to offer a state-of-the-art computer lab with internet connections.

In August 1997, MCC’s Board of Trustees voted to create a fourth permanent campus by consolidating the Blue Springs and Independence locations into the newly named MCC-Blue River campus. The new campus was said to take its moniker from the Blue and Little Blue rivers as well as from author David McCullough’s description (in his book “Truman”) of Independence being in “Blue River country.”

Other names in the running included Frontier, Three Trails, Trails and Truman.

The birthday party was a stop on Chancellor Beatty’s Engagement Tour. She’s visiting each campus in the first few weeks of school to meet students, faculty, staff and administrators. Dr. Beatty became MCC’s eighth chancellor July 1.

Here are more photos from the 20th birthday party, which was also a chance for students to learn about organizations on campus:

Some MCC-Blue River student leaders were recruited to help Chancellor Beatty lead the singing of “Happy Birthday.” (Click any photo to see it larger.)
Chancellor Beatty with Blue River student leaders (from left) Simran Kaur, Michaela Seymour, Ashley Seymour and Chelsea Blosser
Blue River president Michael Banks (from left), Chancellor Kimberly Beatty, Vice Chancellor Carlos Penaloza, Vice Chancellor Kathrine Swanson
Dr. Beatty with campus police officer Terry Dotson