History of Hawkeye

History of Hawkeye

1957 Vocational-technical education began with a practical nursing program in the Waterloo Schools.
1965 Proposal for an area vocational school was submitted to the Iowa Board of Instruction.

Harold Brock, one of the founding fathers of Hawkeye, borrowed $500 to start the college.

Hawkeye Institute of Technology was established; Travis Martin was hired as first superintendent.

Hawkeye’s Fall enrollment was 227 students.

The Waterloo Area Vocational School, which was operated by the Waterloo School District, was officially transferred to Hawkeye Institute of Technology.

Voters passed the tax levy - $1.75 million was raised over five years; the State of Iowa contributed $1.25 million in seed money.


The original board members defined the mission behind Hawkeye Institute of Technology to “teach for the future."

Hawkeye Institute of Technology was the only technical school in Iowa. John Deere helped Hawkeye with training programs in drafting, manufacturing, engineering and electronics. This effort evolved into a long-standing partnership between Deere and Hawkeye.

1968 Construction began on the first building on Hawkeye's main campus. Until this time, Hawkeye Institute of Technology operated entirely in rented facilities in Waterloo.
1969 Hawkeye dedicated Butler Hall and Buchanan Hall.
1970 Hawkeye celebrated the opening of Bremer Hall.
1973 Gates Business College closed its doors. Hawkeye Institute of Technology added several Gates business programs to its curriculum under the Gates Department of Business.

Black Hawk Hall was dedicated.

Hawkeye had 41 career programs and a full-time vocational-technical staff.


Hawkeye’s Fall enrollment was 1,628 students.

Dr. John E. Hawse was hired as Hawkeye Institute of Technology's second president.

1978 Hawkeye celebrated the opening of Hawkeye Center.
1983 Grundy Hall was dedicated.

Fayette Hall was dedicated.  This building is primarily the college's Greenhouse. 

Hawkeye's Metro Center opened at 844 West 4th in Waterloo. Programs and services offered included Adult Basic Education, GED, ESL, Senior Companion, Independent Learning Center, and GRAD Program with Waterloo School District.

1986 Hawkeye’s Fall enrollment was 2,149 students.
1987 Board of Trustees considered the addition of Arts and Sciences as a transfer program.
1989 Voters approved $6.2 million bond issue for new buildings and on-campus renovations.

Hawkeye received approval to become a comprehensive community college with Arts and Sciences transfer courses.

Workforce Development became a part of Hawkeye.


Dr. Phillip Barry was hired as Hawkeye's third president.

Hawkeye became a comprehensive community college with the addition of Arts and Sciences to the curriculum.


Hawkeye Institute of Technology officially became Hawkeye Community College.

Hawkeye experienced a 66% increase in enrollment (1991-1993).

Hawkeye’s Tama Hall was dedicated.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Center was dedicated. The MLK Center is located at 515 Beech Street in Waterloo. Programs and services include GED, college courses, summer program for grade school children, non-credit computer courses, and career workshops.

1994 Voters approved a 10-year maintenance fund levy.
1995 Hawkeye leased land to the Cedar Valley Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. The arboretum is a classroom without walls that complements the other programs at Hawkeye Community College. It grew to include a variety of gardens and more than 450 trees. It serves as a living museum showcasing Iowa's agricultural heritage with the land.

Dr. William Hierstein was named fourth president of Hawkeye Community College.

Hawkeye’s Fall enrollment was 3,638 students.


Hawkeye dedicated a new Library. The Library is 2.5 times bigger than Hawkeye’s previous facility. The new Library addressed the needs of Arts & Sciences curriculum.

Center for Business and Industry in Cedar Falls was dedicated. The Center for Business and Industry offers business and industry training - as well as college credit courses.

2001 Dr. Bettsey Barhorst became Hawkeye's fifth president.

Hawkeye's Independence Center was dedicated. The Independence Center offers credit and non-credit classes. The Independence Center also serves high school students in Jesup, Independence, and East Buchanan high schools by offering students the opportunity to take college credit classes while still in high school.

Voters approved $25.1 million bond issue. The bond issue was one of the largest in the history of Iowa's community colleges. Major projects from the 2003 vote included an addition to Black Hawk Hall, a Student Center, and a Student Health and Education Center.

Voters approved 10-year extension of maintenance levy.

2004 Hawkeye Technology Access Center (H-TAC) was dedicated. H-TAC offers high-end IT certifications and end-user computer training and was founded to meet the needs of local business and industry.

Hawkeye Foundation received largest single contribution from estates of William Fennemann and Edna Fennemann.

Greg Schmitz became Hawkeye's sixth president.

The Brobst Center for Teaching and Learning celebrated its opening. The Brobst Center was named in honor of Dr. Dan and Carol Brobst, long-time instructors and administrators at Hawkeye.

Black Hawk Hall addition was dedicated.

Hawkeye Community College signed a letter of intent as a partner in the Cedar Valley TechWorks project.

Hawkeye’s Fall enrollment was 5,360.

Newly remodeled Dental Clinic in Grundy Hall hosted an open house to showcase the new state-of-the-art equipment and software.

The Fennemann Center was dedicated in honor of William Fennemann and Edna Fennemann. Located at Hawkeye’s farm, the Fennemann Center has classrooms, computer labs, and the farm office.

2006 Hawkeye approved plans for new student center.
2007 Voters passed the equipment levy for Hawkeye.

Board approved the remodeling of Hawkeye Center.

New student center is named and dedicated to Harold Brock.


Hawkeye's Fall enrollment was a record 6,343.

Work began on new $5.3 Health Education and Services Center.

Hawkeye's Waverly Outreach Center, located in Waverly, Iowa, opened.


Board approved the addition to new Health Education and Services Center. 

Hawkeye’s Western Outreach Center,  located in Holland, Iowa, opened.


Hawkeye's Health Education and Services Center, located on Main Campus, opened.

Dr. Linda Allen became Hawkeye's seventh president.

2012 The Hawkeye Regional Transportation Training Center was dedicated.

Hawkeye Today...

  • Serves more 35,000 credit and non-credit students.

  • Has more than 90% of our graduates finding employment in their career field immediately after graduation.

  • Has the majority of graduates choosing to work, live, and raise their families in Iowa.

  • Serves an average of 300 businesses each year by providing customized training and an array of services.

  • Works to improve the quality of life in our community. Each year, hundreds of people turn to Hawkeye for ELL and HiSET classes. Hawkeye also helps seniors remain independent in their homes through the Senior Companion Program.

  • Is one of the Cedar Valley's largest employers with more than 600 employees. For every $1 Hawkeye pays in earnings, an additional 51-cents is generated in Hawkeye's service area.

  • Is a community partner and serves as the site for a number of community events including the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life.

Main Campus

1501 East Orange Road
P.O. Box 8015
Waterloo, Iowa 50704-8015


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