Always Forward: 1990s
The 90s began with the opening of the new swimming pool located inside the YMCA of Delta County (now the Northern Lights YMCA). This marked the "inauguration" of the new facility that up until then had only offered exercise classes in the gymnasium along with childcare services.
1990 also marked the beginning of the Outstanding Graduate Award. With help from area sponsors, each of Bay's six academic divisions recognized individual graduates for their achievements in a specific program. Bay College also began its award for Outstanding Full-Time Faculty. The first recipients were Norm Clark, Al Howard, Shirley Mande and Dean Schoen.
The 90s also were a time for change within the culture of Bay College. The long haul to become a "non-smoking/non-tobacco" campus was a far cry from the 60s when smoking was very much a part of everyday life in classrooms and buildings. The first step was desginated by smoking and non-smoking buildings. Later in the decade, smoke houses were constructed outdoors for students and staff to use.
The TRiO office was first established when a federal grant was awarded in 1993. TRiO targets first generation students who need assistance in math and writing.
The Team Problem Solving class in the CAD department was entered into the Guinness Book of World Records for their project of building the World's Largest Tricycle. The trike was 25' high and was diplayed at the Escanaba State Fair in 1998. This was one of four records this team would create over the next 13 years!
The first ITV (interactive television) classroom was offered in 1994 which allowed students in the Iron Mountain and Manistique areas to attend class without driving to the Escanaba campus. Five years later, Todd McCann became the first Bay College instructor to teach an online class. Rhetoric & Composition was the first class offered and student interest in the online format became very popular. At the beginning of the new millenium there were 25 online classes per semester. By Fall 2011 that number had reached 977!
Dwight Link retired and was succeed by Dr. Michael Alkins as president in 1997.
Other highlights in the 90s include:
Escanaba or Gladstone high schools, especially if equipment such as typewriters was needed. Some technical classes, such as welding, were held at another location, the former Northern Rebuilders site, at 800 Third Avenue North in Escanaba. Classes began on September 16, 1963. The first students to register at the College were Gary Reese and Kay (Weingartner) Moreau.