The 1980s

Building on the solid foundation created during its first decade, College of DuPage saw an expansion of facilities on campus and extensive outreach into the community, which recognized the College as an emerging educational and civic leader not only in District 502 but also nationally. 

One of the Board of Trustees’ highest priorities was completing the main campus, which fell under the tenure of College of DuPage’s second president, Dr. Harold D. McAninch, who began in 1979. In the fall of 1983, both the Student Resource Center and the Physical Education and Community Recreation Center opened its doors. Three years later, the Arts Center became the latest addition to campus.

The College opened its first official off-site location, the Addison Regional Center, in 1982. Expanding its boundaries beyond District 502, the College formed the International Studies Committee in 1985. This would lead to study abroad opportunities and academic programs for both student and community members that expanded their global education and cultural awareness. COD also welcomed its first Fulbright scholars-in-residence in 1987 and 1989.

Reflecting the College’s growing reputation, the new PE Center was the site of numerous local, state and national events, including a 1984 campaign visit by President Ronald Reagan that attracted 10,000 spectators and national media attention, and a 1988 visit by presidential candidate George Bush. In 1986, the College was selected for the book “Searching for Academic Excellence: Twenty Colleges and Universities on the Move and Their Leaders,” authored by J. Wade Gilley, Senior Vice President of George Mason University.

Enrollment passed 27,000 in fall 1983. In 1984, College of DuPage earned the maximum 10-year accreditation recommended by the North Central Association, demonstrating excellence in education, fiscal responsibility and the staff.

Photos of the 1980s

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Two students search for classes in the Quarterly class schedule publication, which was a staple on campus for more than 20 years.


In the fall of 1983, the Student Resource Center (above) and the Physical Education Center open. One of the College’s highest priorities is to complete the main campus.


President Ronald Reagan makes a 1984 campaign visit to the College of DuPage campus that attracted 10,000 spectators and national media attention.


The Arts Center made its debut in 1986 and was later rechristened the McAninch Arts Center to honor College of DuPage President Harold D. McAninch. It is popularly known as The MAC.


The College of DuPage ice hockey team wins a national championship in 1988 and would repeat two years later. 

College of DuPage

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