Timeline: 1915-1924 1925-1934 1935-1944 1945-1954 1955-1964 1965-1974 1975-1984 1985-1994 1995-2005


"By 1958 with the building of Rochester John Marshall High School the JC occupied the entire Coffman Building. The expanded quarters and the passage of state aid for junior college students in 1957 set the stage for explosive growth."

In 1964 Rochester Junior College became part of the Junior College State System thus ending its near 50 year association with the Rochester Public Schools.



Enrollment from 1955 to the fall of 1963 exploded from 275 to1156 students.  Record registrations, orientation attendance and graduates occurred.  Between 1953 and 1963 RJC’s growth rate topped the state at 413%.



The 1956 Booster Cup Recipient wast Johng Lim




In 1962 the tradition of freshmen having to wear RJC Beanies for three weeks at the start of fall term began.  The beanies allowed freshmen to be distinguished from high school kids and was deemed a privilege.

Geraldine Whipple Evans was student in the late fifties (pictured on the far left).  She would later become the college’s 6th President. 



Chuck Johnson, a local business leader and owner of Johnson Printing, was a former student senate president and Booster Cup recipient in the early 60’s.


Bob Wise, Don Lavine and Julie Siem provided leadership for Musical productions like The Music Man in 1964.

RJC student Arlin Snesrud wrote a new Alma Mater for the college in the late fifties.


The college’s first All-American was Roger Garmers in men’s basketball in 1957. Garmers set a scoring record of 50 points in one game.  He repeated as all-American the following year.  Garmers is pictured with Joe Rockenbach.




Philo created a powerhouse that would dominate in community college wrestling.  He coached 7 All-Americans, won 10 titles and led RJC to a national ranking as high as second. Philo is the college’s first coach elected to the NJCAA Hall of Fame in 1979.


1960 marked one of RJC’s greatest athletic years with the Jackets capturing 3 conference titles in the spring. The golfers won their 11th consecutive Southern Minnesota title.  The tennis squad won their 5th straight title and the trackmen copped their 3rd straight title.

The first Yellowjacket design made its appearance.



The college’s foundation was established in 1961.

In 1960 the College lost its beloved Charles Singley.  In his 36 years, Charlie was known for his sage advice, his readiness with a story to ease frayed nerves and his unquestionable loyalty to Rochester Junior College.


The Echo Staff led by Marie Matte received a first class rating in national competition in 1961 - not its last.



RJC was highlighted in the June 1960 issue of Seventeen magazine.



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