College History

Des Moines Area Community College is a publicly supported two-year institution serving the Des Moines metropolitan area and surrounding counties. The College District includes all or major portions of Audubon, Boone, Carroll, Dallas, Guthrie, Jasper, Madison, Marion, Polk, Story and Warren counties and minor parts of 11 adjacent counties.

It encompasses 6,560 square miles or about 11 percent of the land area of the state. Approximately 20 percent of the state's population resides within the district. It operates in the same geographical boundaries as Heartland Area Education Agency 11.

Des Moines Area Community College was officially created March 18, 1966, and was designated as Merged Area XI. A nine member Board of Directors was elected and formally installed that same year.

The College was established after extensive studies had indicated the need for such an institution. Leading figures throughout the College's District combined their talents and resources to assure proper planning for the College.

In 1968, the Board of Directors adopted Des Moines Area Community College as the official name of the institution. The first classes were held at the new Ankeny Campus location in 1968. Administrative and operational control of Boone Junior College was assumed in 1969 and Carroll Campus in Carroll, Iowa was initiated in 1979. The Urban Campus began operation in metropolitan Des Moines in 1972, and a new facility was constructed at Seventh and Laurel in 1980. The first classes were held in the fall of 1993 at Newton Polytechnic as a result of the cooperative effort of the Maytag Corporation, Iowa State University, the City of Newton, and the DMACC Foundation. In October 2001, the state-of-the-art technology facility, West Campus, opened in West Des Moines.

Paul Lowery was the first superintendent/president of the College. Joseph A. Borgen served 20 years as president from 1981 until his retirement in 2001. David England, was president of DMACC in October, 2001 until his resignation in March, 2003. Robert Denson became our current president in November 2003.

Much of the early years of DMACC, including the first 25 years, were recorded in a publication titled, "The First Twenty-Five Years: Highlights in the Development of Des Moines Area Community College" by Leonard Bengtson.

A couple of videos around 15 minutes each, offer digital time capsules of DMACC's history. One was made in 1995, and one is a compilation of more recent footage and TV commercials combined with the older footage.

College Timeline
Click a decade below to see DMACC's history during that time period.
1960s | 1970s | 1980s | 1990s | 2000s | 2010s