Column: MSTC – 100 years in the making

October 1, 2013

From “Column: MSTC – 100 years in the making” — By Sue Budjac, president MSTC – Mid-State Technical College is celebrating 100 years as a leading provider of higher education in central Wisconsin.

Last month, I spoke of my forthcoming participation in the Sept. 14 MSTC Centennial Bike Ride & Walk. I completed the 100K and learned a lot from other riders. Nearly 150 riders, walkers and volunteers were on hand for a fun and beautiful day.

This event was a tremendous success and is an example of MSTC and the community coming together to create a remarkable result. The event raised more than $8,000, with all proceeds going to student scholarships, reducing barriers for our students. Thank you to all of the participants, volunteers, individuals who pledged and numerous sponsors of the event.

A glimpse into the history books provides a vivid image of what life was like 100 years ago. For example, the big news in 1913 was the grand opening of New York City’s Grand Central Station. Henry Ford unveiled the first assembly line. Thomas Edison introduced an updated Kinetophone, or “talking pictures.” And in a true feat of innovation, machines that make their own ice, called “refrigerators,” became available in Europe. Only one year earlier, the world mourned the loss of the Titanic.

It is incredible that MSTC first opened its doors in similar times. In 1919, adult enrollment was just 200; now, nearly 9,000 people attend MSTC every year. The Wisconsin Valley Leader newspaper reported in 1916 that 52 people graduated from what was then called the Wood County Training School; today, 1,000 students graduate from MSTC each year.

Our academic programs have evolved through the years to adapt to changing industry and workforce needs. In 1947, MSTC organized fur farming and commercial cranberry growing programs. The first two-year program, marketing, was added 15 years later. Today, MSTC offers more than 100 career programs and certificates, with 10 innovative career programs found nowhere else in the Wisconsin Technical College System.

MSTC services and programs are a reflection of the communities we serve. I invite you to visit one of our college locations and experience present-day MSTC. Each location is hosting a centennial celebration to honor our past and celebrate our future. During these celebrations you will experience hands-on demonstrations, visit high-tech labs and classrooms, explore career programs and certificates, discover new learning technologies, and meet faculty, staff, students and college leaders. All events are free and open to anyone who would like to attend.

• Wisconsin Rapids Campus Centennial Celebration, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 10.

• Marshfield Campus Centennial Celebration, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 22.

• Adams County Center Centennial Celebration, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 5.

• Stevens Point Campus Centennial Celebration (and grand opening at our new downtown location), 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. June 4.

Thank you to individuals and organizations throughout central Wisconsin for your many contributions to, and ongoing support of, MSTC’s 100 years of success. Visit to learn more about MSTC centennial celebrations, as well as our many career programs and student services.



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