50th Anniversary

In 1966, the citizens of Central Illinois voted to create the district that became Illinois Central College, a public, comprehensive community college. For the 2017-2018 academic year, Illinois Central College will be recognizing the 50th anniversary of its mission, “Through learning; minds change. We believe by changing minds, we can change the world.”

ICC’s 50th Anniversary Gala Dinner & Auction
Sat, Apr 7 @ 5:30 pm
Embassy Suites Riverfront Grand Ballroom, East Peoria, IL

Join us for an exciting Gala scheduled for April 7, 2018 celebrating our 50 years in Central Illinois.

Share Your Most Memorable ICC Experience

Your Information

As part of Illinois Central College’s 50th Anniversary, we would like to invite you to share your most memorable ICC experience with us. Help future generations discover the history of this institution, which has proudly served Central Illinois for 50 years.

Community College Month

In 1985, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the month of April as Community College Month. ICC joins community colleges nationwide every year in April to celebrate and recognize the impact of community college on students, employees and the surrounding community.

Alumni Association

You have led the way throughout our fifty years as an institution, and our legacy would be nothing without you and the students who follow in your footsteps. Our vision is to be one of the most vibrant alumni associations among community colleges. You are our legacy and an inspiration to those who seek higher education. Join our Alumni Association, and help us change the world through learning!

We invite you to join the ICC Alumni Association, as well as connect with us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Gifts to ICC

We have helped so many students attain an affordable education throughout our many years in the Peoria region. Help us reach more by donating to our Educational Foundation.

Your gift will support scholarships, technology and programs to advance the quality and accessibility of our institution and our ability to respond quickly to emerging priorities. Your support is a vital investment in the future of our community.

The History of Illinois Central College

In 1966, the citizens of Central Illinois voted to create the district that became Illinois Central College, a public, comprehensive community college. Dr. Kenneth L. Edwards became the first College president, and 56 full-time faculty members welcomed 2,496 students representing the 10-county district in the fall of 1967. Temporary buildings on the interim campus housed both classrooms and offices.

Pictures from ICC's beginning construction and it's first year of offering classes.

The College experienced rapid growth in enrollment and in construction during the 1970s. In “Phase I” of the College’s development, permanent facilities were built on the East Peoria Campus. Enrollment increased to nearly 9,000 students. As a result, a center opened in downtown Peoria to offer more classes. Under “Phase II” of construction, the Library Administration Building and Gymnasium were constructed on the East Peoria Campus. In 1976, Dr. Leon “Bud” Perley was named the College’s second president. Later, the Performing Arts Center and Agricultural and Industrial Technologies Building were completed.

In early 1980, the student population exceeded 15,000. The Peoria downtown location moved to its current home at 115 S.W. Adams, now called the Perley Building. Dr. Thomas K. Thomas became the third president of ICC in 1989.

During the 1990s, ICC continued to expand course work to meet the needs of students. College services were expanded in downtown Peoria to better meet student needs with the addition of the Health and Public Services Building, renamed the Thomas Building in 2001. The addition of the Caterpillar Service Training Building marked increased collaboration among the College, industry, and the community.

In 2001, Dr. John S. Erwin became the fourth College president. In 2002, ICC offered its first classes at the North Campus (recently renamed Peoria Campus), located on North University Street in Peoria. In 2003, the Gymnasium was named in honor of ICC’s legendary coach Lorene Ramsey, and a Skilled Trades and Manufacturing expansion including the Lee Morgan School of Industrial Technology was made to the Agricultural and Industrial Technologies Building. The Technology Center opened in 2004, and the David R. Leitch Career Center opened in 2006. In 2009, ICC Pekin welcomed its first students. In 2011, the CougarPlex was completed resulting in a major expansion to the gym and fitness center. In May 2016, the College welcomed Dr. Sheila Quirk-Bailey as its fifth president. In the spring of 2017, the Peoria Campus was remodeled, and the new Student Center was completed.

Today the ICC district covers 2,322 square miles and serves 35 high schools. In any given semester, the College offers more than 1,700 classes. The ICC Educational Foundation has roughly 600 scholarships totaling nearly $750,000 available to students. Since the Beginning, ICC has touched more than 490,000 lives. One out of every four graduating high school students within the district comes to ICC. Every year we award more than 1,800 certificates and degrees. With each degree or certificate we confer, we create a small ripple of change for the better in our world. As our mission says, “Through learning, minds change. We believe by changing minds, we can change the world.”