Kennedy–King College

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Kennedy-King College
Motto Education that Works
Established 1935
Type Community
Chancellor Cheryl L. Hyman
President Arshele Stevens (Interim)
Location Chicago, Illinois, USA
Campus Large City
Former names Woodrow Wilson Junior College
Athletics Basketball (Men), Basketball (Women)
Mascot Statesmen

Kennedy–King College (KKC) part of City Colleges of Chicago, is a two-year community college in Chicago, Illinois, United States. It is part of the City Colleges of Chicago, a system of two-year education that has existed in Chicago, Illinois since 1911. KKC was founded as Woodrow Wilson Junior College in 1935. The school was renamed in honor of Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. in July 1969, a year after they were assassinated.


KKC is a co-educational institution that awards associate degrees. Entrance is noncompetitive and application is by rolling admission. Admission preference is given to residents of the City of Chicago. As of 2006, total enrollment was 3,054; 0% of students were from out-of-state. 48% of students were 25 years of age or older. There is no on-campus housing.[1]

Campus and facilities[edit]


The 18-acre (7.3 ha) original KKC campus, which spans Wentworth Avenue, was completed in 1972. It included two gyms, a daycare center, a theater, a swimming pool, a television studio, and a radio station. The call letters for WKKC 89.3 FM radio stand for We're Kennedy-King College. The American Institute of Architects recognized the innovative design of the main campus building. Kennedy–King College Library [1], which was founded as Woodrow Wilson Junior College Library in 1935, had over 50,000 books.[2][3][2]

The school's address was 6800 South Wentworth Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60621-3798. Woodrow Wilson Junior College was located at 6800 South Stewart Avenue, Chicago, as of November 1942.[4]

In September 2005, the school was set to get a $192 million makeover. This included constructing new buildings and a prominent clock tower on a 40-acre (16.2 ha) new campus on Chicago's South Side. The Architect of the project was Kennedy King Architects, Inc., a collaboration between VOA and Johnson & Lee Architects, both of Chicago. The lead project designers were Brandon Lipman, AIA of VOA and Chris Lee, AIA of Johnson & Lee.[5] [3] The original location was shuttered after completion of the new campus and has been demolished.


The new Kennedy–King College campus is located at 6301 South Halsted Street, on the south side of Chicago.[6]

Dawson Technical Institute[edit]

The Dawson Technical Institute (DTI) is an occupational training center established in 1968 as the Chicago Skill Center (later the Chicago Urban Skills Institute) through the collaboration of the City Colleges and Thiokol. In 1973, the new skill center building named in memorial for William L. Dawson (1886-1970), a local politician and lawyer who served 27 years in the United States House of Representatives and was the first African American to chair a Congressional committee. The institute was named DTI in 1985 and operated as a part of City Wide College until the latter closed in 1993. DTI was under the auspices of Harold Washington College until 1995, when it joined KKC.[7] The institute is located at 3901 South State Street in Chicago.[8]

Washburne Culinary Institute[edit]

The Washburne Culinary Institute chef training program grants certificates and Associate of Arts degrees through KKC. The Institute operates the Parrot Cage Restaurant at the South Shore Cultural Center[9] and the Sikia, a gourmet African restaurant located on the main 63rd Street campus.[10]


The school participates in the National Junior College Athletic Association. [4] The KKC men's basketball team reached the national Top 20 in February 2007.[11] [5]

Prominent staff[edit]

John A Barkey was President of Woodrow Wilson College in November 1942.[12]

Paul Henning Willis was born in Texas circa 1878 and died in Chicago on 5 September 1939. He was a social sciences instructor at Woodrow Wilson Junior College at the time of his death. He was a former staff member of the Crane Technical School and the Northwestern University School of Commerce. He served as field secretary for the YMCA in Illinois during World War I.[13][14]

Historical notes[edit]

A letter to the editor from the dean's office that appeared in the Suburbanite Economist dated 26 January 1941 pointed out that more than ten percent (6 of 59) of the Phi Beta Kappa graduates of the University of Chicago's Class of 1938 were among the first graduates (Class of 1936) from Woodrow Wilson Junior College. High honors also went to a remarkable number of Wilson's Class of 1938 when they graduated with four-year degrees in 1940.

The poet Gwendolyn Brooks graduated from Wilson Junior College in 1936.


  1. ^ Romaniuk, Bohdan, ed., The College Blue Book, 33rd ed., Vol 1 (2006:Thomson Gale), pg 322
  2. ^ Peterson's "Historically Black American Colleges and Universities"
  3. ^ American Library Association's American Library Online
  4. ^ Southtown Economist, 11 November 1942
  5. ^ Reed Business Information, "Collegiate Makeover", 1 September 2005
  6. ^
  7. ^ History of Dawson Technical Institute
  8. ^ Location of DTI
  9. ^ "Parrot Cage Restaurant". Archived from the original on January 13, 2010. Retrieved February 17, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Sikia Restaurant". Archived from the original on January 9, 2010. Retrieved February 17, 2013. 
  11. ^ Elmwood Park Leaves, "Triton to Play Top-ranked Kennedy-King", 21 February 2007
  12. ^ Southtown Economist, 11 November 1942
  13. ^ Obituary, New York Times, September 1939
  14. ^ 1930 Federal Census for Illinois, Chicago, shows Paul H Willis aged 52 years old, born in Texas, parents born in Tennessee. Willis was listed with occupation of college professor.

External links[edit]