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Lower Columbia College

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  • Frances "Agnes" Staggs (1920 - 2016)
    Frances “Agnes” Staggs was born May 14, 1920, to the late Samuel and Artie Dennis in Kingston, Tenn., and peacefully passed away Sunday, May 1, 2016, in Longview. She was preceded in death by her husb...


Lower Columbia College was established in 1934 as Lower Columbia Junior College. Students registered for classes at Korten's Music Store in Longview, Dahlman Hardware in Castle Rock, and the Orr Furniture Store in Kelso. Classes were held at R.A. Long High School. The first class to graduate with an Associate degree was in 1936; the class consisted of seven students.

The second class, with ninety-six students, graduated in 1937. As the number of students increased, instruction expanded into the Myklebust building in downtown Longview and the Moose Hall. The Moose Hall continued to house classes until the 1949 Olympia earthquake, when damage caused the building to be condemned. Classes were also held on the first floor of the Longview Public Library.

Enrollment was 149 students in 1939, 200 students in 1950, and 300 students in 1954. The student population consisted of both male and female students. In 1948, the college received its first accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

In 1942, twenty-six acres were purchased from the Longview Company to build a campus. In 1950, construction began on Old Main, LCC's first permanent building. The original building had thirteen classrooms and cost a quarter of a million dollars. The Lower Columbia College League, an association of friends of the college, used fundraising to pay for the construction.

Lower Columbia Junior College became part of the Longview School District and changed from a junior college to a community college in 1961. LCC joined the state-supported community college system in 1967. Today, the college includes twenty-six buildings on 38.75 acres and enrolls between 4,000 and 5,000 students each quarter.

Notable Alumni

  • Bud Black - Major League Baseball manager for Colorado Rockies
  • Billy Jones - Head baseball coach at Appalachian State
  • Joe Kraemer - Former Major League Baseball pitcher for the Chicago Cubs
  • Bas Nooij - Professional baseball player in the Dutch Baseball League
  • Krist Novoselic - Musician, former Nirvana bassist
  • Sid Snyder - Former politician and businessman
  • Rick Sweet - Minor League Baseball manager for the Louisville Bats, the top Cincinnati Reds farm club
  • Pim Walsma - Baseball player for the Dutch National Team