Southwestern Illinois College turned 70 this fall – Sept. 17 to be exact – and Sept. 21, the College Activities office and SWIC Foundation teamed up to throw a birthday bash for students, faculty and staff.
Now that the birthday candles have been lit, happy birthday has been sung and a giant commemorative 70 photo comprised of employees and students has been taken, the college is kicking off a year of events to mark the important milestone.
“As with many anniversaries and milestones in life, you take a moment to reflect on how far you've come. SWIC is no different,” said President Georgia Costello, Ph.D. “We started in Quonset huts on the grounds of what was then Belleville Township High School West on West Main with 183 students, mostly veterans
returning from World War II. Today, we serve 20,000 students annually and proudly serve the largest student veteran population of all Illinois public institutions.”
Over the years, SWIC has moved and expanded its facilities. The college has grown beyond Belleville to facilities in Granite City and Red Bud, plus off-campus sites such as Scott Air Force Base and many in-district high schools.
A robust online class lineup now allows the college to move beyond its physical walls to meet students’ needs, Costello notes.
While many things have changed at the college, a few things remain the same, according to Costello.
“One thing that hasn’t changed is our commitment to student success. SWIC also proudly continues to offer the best regional value in higher education as we celebrate our seventh decade of service to the community,” Costello said.
Many activities are planned for the coming academic year to celebrate the college’s 70th birthday.
Events This Spring
- Spring on the Quad! SWIC Concert Band, Belleville Campus Quad, March 21 at 2:30 p.m.
- Exhibition Opening Reception: High School Art Show, Schmidt Art Center, March 23 from 6-8 p.m.
- George Portz and the Friends of Bluegrass, Belleville Campus MC Theatre, March 24 at 7 p.m.
- Chamber Music Series: An Evening in Spain, Schmidt Art Center, March 30 at 7 p.m.
- Speak Your Piece: Open Mic, Belleville Campus First Floor Lounge, March 30 at 7 p.m
- Glo Bingo, Belleville Campus Gym, April 28