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Retired history professor Elizabeth Neumeyer is writing an updated history of Kellogg Community College.(Photo: Noe Hernandez/The Enquirer)Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin performed their last comedy act together,Norma Jean Mortenson legally changedher name to Marilyn Monroe, and Rocky Marciano gaveup boxingwithout losing a single fight.

It was also the year that Kellogg Community College opened for businessin Battle Creek.

Retired KCC history professor Elizabeth Neumeyer is penning a book this year that chronicles KCC’s history in the Cereal City, just in time for the college’s 60th anniversary.

“The theme of the book is that community is our middle name, and, as I’m writing the book, it’s just proving my point,” Neumeyer said Wednesday. “I’m finding I know more about KCC than I did when I taught there.”

The book, titled “Always a Bruin: The History of Kellogg Community College 1956 57 to 2016 17,” is the second book that digs into KCC’s roots. Neumeyer hopes to finish the book by the end of the year.

Former KCC English professor NevaBartel wrote the first book, “A Celebration of Progress: A History of Kellogg Community College, 1956 1991,” nine years before the end of the 20th century.

KCC celebrated its 60th anniversary with a summer community gala on campus. Neumeyer’s book will be the icing on the cake.

Neumeyer said KCCPresident Mark O’Connell requested the book when he was vice president of finance and caretaker of the college’s history and records.

O’Connell, who has been with the college for nearly 27 years,
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said the book will cover the college’s history from 1992 to the present.

“We felt it was very importantto document the history after (1991)because we were losing many of our facultyand staff who had been employees for20, 25years,” O’Connell said Thursday. “We’re very blessed to have one of our former instructors here to help us.”

History in the makingThe Battle Creek Public Schools Board of Education established Battle Creek Community College on Sept. 1, 1956 in the Grand Army of the Republic Hall to meet the area’s need for higher education. Kellogg Junior High School for a library, the Willard Library as a bookstoreand the YWCA as a student center.

Ninety four daytime students and 82 evening students enrolled that first semester. Kellogg Foundation. Kellogg.

By 1981, 2,907 students were enrolled in day classes, 3,925 students were taking night classes, and 924 were doing a little bit of both. In 1990, the college opened its Regional Manufacturing Technology Center to house an industrial trades program and connect graduates to local companies.

In 1998, voters approved a $75 million millage to renovate the campus and upgrade campus buildings. In 2012, the college opened an office in downtown Battle Creek.

KCC demolished the Miller Physical Education Building this year to build a new $10 million athletic facility.

A blast from the pastLeo Weeks, a KCC retiree from Olivet who graduatedin 1961,
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remembers when he had to use a computer punch card to register for classes.