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Linn State President to kick off 50th Anniversary Lunch and Learn

On October 4, Dr. Donald Claycomb, president of Linn State Technical College, will kick off the Linn State Library’s 50th Anniversary Lunch and Learn series with a discussion about the launch of Sputnik 1 and its significance to the founding of the college.

Along with Rick Mihalevich, dean of Institutional Research and Planning, Claycomb will give a presentation on Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite to be launched by the Soviet Union on October 4, 1957.  The unanticipated announcement of Sputnik 1’s success marked the beginning of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. 

The next year, Congress passed the National Defense Education Act which in part funded technical education programs in the United States.   Thurman Willett, who was superintendent of the Osage County R-II School District at the time, acquired a $7,500 federal grant to start the school’s first program in Electronics.

“It was a small 184 pound object,” said Fran Stumpf, director of Library Services at Linn State.  “It caused a furor heard round the world and is responsible for the creation of Linn State Technical College.”

The college invites the public to bring their lunch and learn from President Claycomb and Dean Mihalevich about Sputnik 1, the National Defense Education Act and the early years of Linn Tech.

The presentation will be held in the Vehicle and Power Center Conference Hall on the main campus from 12:00 p.m. – 12:50 p.m.   For further details, contact Stumpf at 573.897.5202.

With more than 35 programs, Linn State Technical College is Missouri’s only public two-year technical college with a statewide mission.   LSTC prepares students for profitable employment and a life of learning.  LSTC has three locations in Linn, Mexico and Jefferson City.

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