Recognizing the need for an affordable higher education, the Illinois General Assembly passed the Public Junior College Act in July 1965.
Clem Phipps, chairman of the Eastern Illinois Area Junior College Steering Committee, believed junior colleges were the single most important thing to happen to education in the ‘60s. With his vote of confidence, along with members of the Junior College Steering Committee, the idea of Lake Land College became a reality.
After an intense year of planning and lobbying on the parts of area educators, local business owners and concerned residents, the idea generated enough support to begin drafting a formal resolution to bring a school to the area.
The Lake Land College referendum vote passed 50 years ago on Sept. 24, 1966. The referendum created the district for the college.
Residents in 13 school districts, by more than a four-to-one margin in incorporated areas, approved the creation of a junior college in the East Central Illinois area.
Residents agreed to pay 12.5 cents for every 100 dollars of assessed home value for educational and building purposes.
This milestone marks one of the many celebratory dates in the history of Lake Land College.