History of Allen Community College
The college was established in 1923, as the Iola Junior College under the jurisdiction of the Board of Education of Iola Public Schools, District #10. The College was designed as an extension of the high school, primarily to serve the students within the district. It was located on the third floor of Iola High School. That first year saw an enrollment of 93 students, and the IJC men's basketball team won the state championship.
Iola Junior College served the community until June 1965, when the local Board of Education successfully petitioned the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to create a countywide community college. On July 1, 1965, Allen County Community Junior College came into being.
Expansion and growth...
On February 14, 1966, the voters of Allen County approved a $1,500,000 bond issue to construct a campus on the north edge of Iola. A 96-bed residence hall (Horton Hall) was opened for occupancy on August 25, 1969, and the College held its first classes in the new buildings on the 90-acre campus on January 5, 1970. In 1976, an all-weather track was built on campus to provide a place for the track & field teams to practice and hold meets.
In 1979, the Board of Trustees authorized the purchase of a 250-acre farm, located five miles north of Iola on Highway 169, to enhance the agriculture program. A large animal and classroom building was completed on the farm in 1982. In 1988, a horse barn was added. On May 20, 2000, the eight-student Zahn Scholarship House was dedicated. It was built on the farm with a gift from an alumnus to give agricultural students an opportunity to reside there while enrolled at the College. The farm was sold in 2016 due to increasing costs of operation and lack of use as an agricultural laboratory.
In 1980, the school officially shortened its name to Allen County Community College. A 56-bed residence hall (Winter Hall) was built in August 1983 to accommodate the growing number of students who were selecting ACCC. A physical fitness trail was constructed on campus in the summer of 1984, and in 1985, an 1800 square foot Activities Building was completed where students could go for recreation and winter indoor sports practices. A fitness center was constructed inside the Activities Building in 1989. That same year, the 15,000 square foot Technology Building was built.
To accommodate the growing number of Kansas students from outside the commuting area and out-of-state, additional housing was purchased or built. Growth in athletic teams also was cause for some major changes in facilities. In 1988, a group of five duplexes was purchased from the City of Iola adding 30 beds.
In the spring of 1991, the Burlingame Campus began operations in a 7,500 square foot building built in a cooperative venture between the City of Burlingame, the unified school district, and ACCC. Two modular units were added in 1995, providing six more classrooms. An addition that more than doubled the size of the original building was completed in the fall of 2001.
In 1999 a new soccer field was built to accommodate our men’s and women’s soccer teams.
In the Spring of 2000, the college embarked on an effort that would have as dramatic an effect on its enrollment as the addition of the Burlingame Campus. That spring, the first online classes offered by the college were conducted. They proved so popular that today our online program produces over half the total credit hours taken by our students in an academic year.
In 2002, a major revision to the Technology Building was conducted repurposing spaces from technical education laboratories to a small theater and several classrooms to accommodate a decrease in enrollment in career/technical education and a growing need for general education classrooms and a College Theater. The building was later renamed the Theater Building.
In 2005, major upgrades and additions to the track and field facilities were completed. Fall 2007 saw the opening of Masterson Hall that accommodates 52 residents and two staff. This was a critical addition because the summer prior to its opening, Iola experienced a flood that destroyed over a hundred houses, most in areas where students could afford to rent. Herynk Hall was built in 2013 and its apartment style quarters added 24 more beds to college housing. The most recent addition to our housing was through a gift from donors. Ballard house was purchased from the Endowment Association in 2016 and is home to eight students during the academic year.
The most recent major remodel and addition is to our Student Center. This project, which spanned 2017-2019, completely renovated the cafeteria, kitchen, Ambler Board of Trustees Meeting Room, and Student Life and Endowment offices. It also provided a new area that is home to a Student Commons area, game rooms, the Red Devil Book Store, The Stadler Conference Room, and several glass enclosed study rooms.
The college now enrolls approximately 2,500 students each semester in the programs offered on the campuses in Iola and Burlingame, over Interactive Television, on the Internet, and at the outreach sites located within the six-county service area. Allen will remain cognizant of the needs of its service area and responsive to those needs with new programs and services that can be implemented quickly, effectively, and efficiently.
In 2001, Henry "Skip" Kreibach, a computer science instructor, designed this new crest f
or Allen Community College. It shows a large torch flanked by an oil lamp on the left and an open book on the right. The flame from the torch is windswept, forming the vague silhouettes of two students. In front of the torch is a banner bearing the year of Allen's founding, 1923, in roman numerals.
In many stories and myths, fire represents knowledge. The torch's eternal flame shows that our pursuit of knowledge never stops. The flames are windswept, symbolizing the windswept plains of Kansas. The multi-colored flames represent diversity. The forms of students in the flame is symbolic of filling the students with knowledge. In many cultures, the oil lamp represents prosperity and a desire to conquer darkness or ignorance. The open book represents learning and study.
Since its founding in 1923, Allen Community College has had many logos to represent the Red Devils. One of the more popular logos, nicknamed "Chubby" by many students, is shown at the left.
Another popular logo, affectionately dubbed "Pierre". These logos were used until the late 1990s.
In 1998, many of the coaches wanted a more menacing Red Devil. Kyle Malzahn, the head
soccer coach, created a few different designs and presented them to the Allen Board of Directors. The board adopted the "Power Devil" shown at the left. This became the first "official" logo for Allen. Its sharp lines and stylistic design convey the message of speed, power, and a touch of attitude.
Lyrics by Steven Dye, Patty Abts, and Gerald Chester
Our dear old College in all its glory
With spirit and pride so true,
Tells us of an age old story
Of helping students through.
In these halls are the doors to knowledge
And confidence in our minds
That we can have the best junior college
From now 'till the end of time.
May red and black forever reign,
Our colors in heart and mind
And may we echo in loyal strains
The spirit of ties that bind.
So raise your voices high in praise
And sing out loud and clear,
For when we go our sep'rate ways
We'll recall these happy years.
Lyrics by Tom Campbell
We are the Allen County Red Devils;
We are the scarlet and the black.
We are the best and so you better beware,
'Cause we're gonna go on the attack!
We are the Allen County Red Devils;
To count us out would be a sin.
We have a fire that burns within our brave hearts;
We're not gonna stop until we win!
Go Red Devils!
Fight Red Devils!