The History of QVCC
The Early Years
The College history dates back to early 1946, when a group of area citizens sought to establish a two-year college in northeastern Connecticut to meet the educational needs of returning World War II veterans. Their vision finally became a reality in 1965 when the state organized the community college system. In 1969, Connecticut legislators authorized the establishment of a community college in Danielson.
Under the leadership of President Robert E. Miller, the College began offering classes on September 27, 1971. The first classes were held at Harvard H. Ellis Technical School and Killingly High School. Enrollment included 215 students, eight full-time professional employees, and a few office support personnel. Within a few years, the state acquired 68 acres of land on Upper Maple Street to build a college. Quinebaug Valley Community College welcomed students to its new campus in 1983. Three years later, QVCC opened a Center in Willimantic to better serve residents in southern Windham County.
Naming the College
Quinebaug, a native American word meaning “crazy river”, refers to the meandering river that flows through northeastern Connecticut.
Following the retirement of Dr. Miller, in May 1992 Dianne E. Williams became the College’s second president. Dr. Ross Tomlin succeeded her and served from 2010 until 2012. Dr. Miller returned as an interim president from 2012 to 2013, and Dr. Carmen Cid, dean of arts and sciences at Eastern Connecticut State University, served as interim president during 2013 and 2014. Dr. Carlee Drummer became the fourth president in July 2014. Dr. Rose Ellis became the QVCC Interim Campus Chief Executive Officer as of July 1, 2019.
QVCC enrolls some 1,500 credit and 2,000 non-credit students and offers a wide range of degree and certificate programs for people of all ages and backgrounds. In 2007, the campus expanded to include a 30,000 West Wing of classrooms, SPIROL art gallery, bookstore, faculty offices and community room.
In May 2014, the College opened a 38,000 square foot wing, which houses the Quinebaug Middle College high school. The wing contains Six new classrooms, two science labs, half gym, art room, special education room, fitness room, music room and two practice rooms, health suite, offices and collaborative rooms.
The most recent expansion to the Danielson campus came in 2016, with the opening of the 10,000 square foot Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center for Eastern Connecticut. Currently, QVCC offers courses to community members in the Willimantic area at Windham Technical High School, 210 Birch Street, Willimantic, CT.