Normandale Community College celebrated its 50th Anniversary at the Jubilee Open House on Saturday, September 22.
The event featured a Magical History Tour exhibit featuring Normandale historical displays and Normandale timeline, banners on loan from the 1968 Minnesota Historical Society exhibit, foods from the decades, a photo booth, an Alumni Art Exhibit and Scrabble Board.
The program started with music by the South France Band, made up by Normandale Music faculty and staff members. Former Normandale Music Instructor David Docter, who taught the first year of the college in 1968, led the Bloomington Chorale for one song. Steve Johnson, who is the Bloomington Chorale Director, also led a pair of songs as part of the program.
Mayor Gene Winstead honored Normandale with a proclamation that Sunday, September 23, the official 50th anniversary of the first day of classes, would be Normandale Community College Day. Normandale President Joyce Ester talked about the history of the college, and honored the past presidents in attendance.
Senator Amy Klobuchar spoke at the event stating, "Normandale has done a great of being ahead of its time. I believe strongly in Normandale, and the students you have educated. I want to thank you for a great 50 years, and 50 great more years to come."
The event finished with a group of Normandale storytellers that featured Chemistry Instructor Warren Eidsness, and English Instructor Betty Berglund, who were both instructors in 1968 when Normandale opened. Current student Latifa Rwali and Normandale alum Erik Burns were also part of the group of storytellers.
"Normandale gave me the opportunity and access to a great education, and it helped me learn to learn for the rest of my life," said Burns. "I was lucky to have the amazing opportunities I did at Normandale. It is really an underappreciated resource that provides excellent opportunities for economically disadvantaged and students who are still developing academically."