One man’s dream turns golden

Linn State Technical College celebrated its 50th anniversary on Wednesday with a kick-off celebration and monument dedication.

The first classes began in 1961, but the vision for the technical college began in 1942, when Thurman Willett envisioned the creation of a technical college that could serve young people.

At the celebration on Wednesday, John Klebba, board of regents president, said Willett must have encountered many polite smiles and people telling him his idea “would not fly.”

“Very few would have kept that dream alive, but he did,” Klebba said.

After securing a start-up grant of $7,500 from the Osage County R-II school district, challenges remained.

Klebba said Willett’s early recruiting materials could certainly boast of small classes and free live music — the small number of students enrolled met in a basement underneath the band hall of the high school.


Linn State Technical College President Donald Claycomb speaks at the dedication of the new Eagle Monument at the school.

Read additional details in our newspaper or e-Edition. Newspaper subscribers: Click on an e-Edition article and log in using your current account information at no extra charge. For e-edition help, e-mail Click here to purchase the full version of archived articles.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Please review our Policies and Procedures before registering or commenting

News Tribune - comments