The 1970s

Groundbreaking for the College’s first permanent structure took place on July 29, 1970, and the first two floors of the building opened in June 1973. Initially known as Building A, it is now the Berg Instructional Center. The third floor would open four years later. On the west side of campus, Building M, another interim facility, opened in 1971.

Enrollment far exceeded expectations the first year. By 1973, it passed the 10,000 mark and hit 19,642 by the College’s 10th anniversary in 1977. District 502 also expanded into Will County after the annexation of part of the Lemont High School District in 1977, while the College also earned accreditation for a six-year period from the North Central Association.

Two successful referendums were passed by district voters: an $11 million bond issue in 1975 to help pay for the cost of buildings, equipment and site development, and an Education Fund increase in 1976 after five previous attempts were voted down.

Photos of the 1970s

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Illinois Republican Sen. Charles Percy meets with College of DuPage President Dr. Rodney K. Berg during a campus visit in 1972, during which Percy urged students to bridge the communication gap between generations.


Groundbreaking for Building A (now the Berg Instructional Center) occurs in 1970, and construction takes nearly three years when the first two floors open. The third floor would open four years later.


The men’s gymnastics team places third at the national championships in 1974.


Building A – later the Berg Instructional Center – opens in 1973 as the campus’ first permanent structure in Glen Ellyn.


Jim Belushi, a 1974 graduate, performs in a production of “Camino Real” at COD. He establishes the John Belushi Scholarship in 1987 in memory of his brother, John. Jim also received the American Association of Community Colleges’ 1999 Outstanding Alumni Award. In 2015, the Belushi Performance Hall was dedicated in the McAninch Arts Center. 


John Belushi in a student production of “The Crucible.”

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