DES MOINES- The man who many call "the Father of Iowa Community Colleges" Sen. John P. "Jack" Kibbie was honored at the statehouse Thursday, Jan. 26, by those who have been impacted the most by his leadership in action.
Some 200 Iowa Community College students, joined by Iowa Association of Community College Trustees Board Members, Community College Presidents and staff along with, agency boards and directors gathered on the first floor of the State Capitol East Rotunda. State legislators and special guest Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad recognized Sen. Kibbie's significant contribution to Iowa's educational system.
"This was the annual Community College Day at the Capitol, so we expected quite a few people to show up," said Kibbie. "I knew something was up, but I certainly didn't think it would be anything of that magnitude.
KIBBIE HONORED -- Governor Terry Branstad spoke at Thursday, Jan. 26, at a ceremony honoring Senate President Jack Kibbie of Emmetsburg for his leadership in the creation of Iowa’s nationally recognized community college system. Hundreds of community college students, alumni and educators filled the statehouse for the event. Kibbie is currently working to unite Iowa’s workforce efforts by supporting proven community college efforts to help Iowans gain the skills in demand by local employers. Seated behind Branstad is (left to right) Jan Lund of Estherville, President of Iowa Lakes Community College Board of Trustees and IACCT Board Chair; Senate President Kibbie and his wife, Kay Kibbie; and Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal. --Senate Press photo
In 1965, Senator Kibbie sponsored the bill to create Iowa's Community Colleges. During his tenure as an elected official in the Iowa House of Representatives, as a member of the Iowa Lakes Community College Board of Trustees and in the Iowa Senate, Kibbie has remained a steadfast supporter of Iowa's Community Colleges. Kibbie was first elected to the Iowa House in 1960. He served on the Iowa Lakes Community College Board beginning in 1970 and ending with his run for the Senate in 1988 Kibbie will not run for re-election in the upcoming 2012 elections.
"We owe a great deal to Senator Kibbie and this is an excellent opportunity to honor the person who effectively created Iowa's Community Colleges by floor managing the legislation in 1966. There is no one else in the state who is so well versed with the 46 years of history of the Community Colleges," says Janice Lund, IACCT Board Chair.
The program for the Recognition event included remarks by Governor Terry E. Branstad. He recognized Sen. Kibbie as a visionary and tenacious advocate for community college funding.
Senator Mike Gronstal, and Representatives Kraig Paulson, Linda Upmeyer and Kevin McCarthy as well as IACCT Board Chair Janice Lund and members of the audience also recognized Kibbie's contributions to Iowa's community colleges.
Iowa Association of Community College Trustees serves the 15 Community Colleges of Iowa, which are the largest postsecondary education system in Iowa. In the 2010-11 college academic year, they served over 155,140 and over 254,000 noncredit students. Iowa's Community Colleges are the workforce trainer of Iowa offering a wide variety of short-term and long-term credit and noncredit programs/courses to meet the needs of business and education in their local communities. Iowa's Community Colleges serve nearly 22 percent of Iowa's working population.