Skip to main content

Recap of 50th anniversary


Brooklyn Park, May 24, 2023 – Hennepin Tech is thanking students, faculty, staff and the community for participating in the celebrations for the college’s 50th anniversary. Activities and events took place throughout the 2022-2023 academic year. Commencement marked the conclusion of the year-long celebration. Here is a look back at the key highlights.

August 25: Welcome Dinner with Mayor of Eden Prairie

Mayor of Eden Prairie Ron Case visited students during the fall semester’s Welcome Dinner on the Eden Prairie campus. Students, faculty and staff enjoyed a delicious buffet to celebrate the start of the term. To honor the 50th anniversary, the Mayor met with students, faculty and staff during the event and described why the college is a valuable asset to the city of Eden Prairie.

Eden Prairie dinner

September 1: Official Hennepin Tech Day

The State of Minnesota, the city of Brooklyn Park and the city of Eden Prairie officially proclaimed September 1 as “Hennepin Technical College Day.” To celebrate this special day on September 1, we showed our pride by wearing Hennepin Tech logo t-shirts on campus. In addition, we gave away 50 free prizes on both campuses and the Law Enforcement Criminal Justice Center. Students were randomly selected to receive either a logo t-shirt or logo hat. Interim President Joy Bodin was among those who handed out the swag during visits to several classrooms. To add to the fun, a special slide show highlighted vintage photos of the campus. On both campuses, the digital screen near the information desk was dedicated to displaying vintage photos.


September 20: Legacy Lunch

No one knows our history better than the people who worked hard for so many years to launch careers and changes lives. More than 100 retired and former employees gathered on the Brooklyn Park campus for a celebration lunch. Our Culinary students prepared a delicious bar-be-que buffet for the guests. Speakers shared their memories of working at the college over the years. One former employee said that in 1972, it cost only 80-cents to buy lunch and it even came with dessert! The event was organized by the Hennepin Technical College Foundation. Everyone who attended donated money to the Crisis Grant Fund, which provides funding to students when they experience an unexpected emergency. The Foundation presented an award to Carole Carlson in recognition for her work to launch the Foundation.


September 20: Tree Planting with Mayor of Brooklyn Park

After the Legacy Lunch, a commemorative Tree Planting took place outside the cafeteria. The Mayor of Brooklyn Park Lisa Jacobson thanked the college for improving the lives of individuals and the economic vitality of the community. Along with the mayor, Interim President Joy Bodin, Brooklyn Park Student Senate President Francis Killen, Foundation Board member Ernie Parker, and two former Hennepin Tech presidents all used shovels to help plant a maple tree outside the cafeteria on campus. The event was organized by the college’s Landscape, Horticulture, Greenhouse and Urban Forestry program. Students in the program brought equipment to the planting site and prepared the location for the tree. Hennepin Tech has earned the designation as a Tree Campus USA and the event helps the college maintain its title.


December 14: Holiday gathering

This year’s holiday gathering for faculty and staff had a 50th anniversary theme. The Employee Recognition Committee and Human Resources planned a fun-filled event with food and holiday cheer. The 50th Anniversary Committee added the swag! To recognize past milestones, employees had received a logo beverage tumbler. This year was no exception. Everyone received an insulated beverage tumbler with the 50th anniversary logo. In addition, faculty member Rick Montzka created commemorative coins using 3-D print technology.

Employees at holiday party

January 9: Commemorative gifts for students

There’s no need to check the weather forecast. We know it’s cold in January. During student Welcome Week for spring semester, the 50th Anniversary Committee handed out knit beanie hats to students.

February 20: Time Capsule Announced

The entire campus community was invited to contribute items to the Time Capsule. Cabinetmaking created a wooden box with the 50th Anniversary logo. Inside the box, there are items that represent life in 2022-23. The campus community donated the items. For example, the Culinary faculty and students donated two chef’s hats and they wrote their signatures on the hats. A few vintage items were also placed in the Time Capsule. Throughout spring semester, people were urged to bring donations to the 50th Anniversary Committee. A member of student senate wrote a letter to future students. The Time Capsule will be sealed and stored in the archive room on campus. It will be reopened for the college’s 75th anniversary in the year 2047.

Time capsule box

April 27: Open House and 50th Anniversary Recognition Ceremony

Five food trucks provided free food to people who toured the Brooklyn Park campus during Open House. Visitors met with faculty and registered for summer and fall semester. In the cafeteria, there was a display of the Time Capsule, vintage items from the history of the college, items that were donated for the Time Capsule. All visitors were invited to fill out a survey that describes their life in 2023 so that the information could be included in the Time Capsule.

At the conclusion of the Open House, visitors, faculty and staff gathered for the 50th Anniversary Recognition Ceremony. President Joy Bodin welcomed everyone to campus. The keynote speaker was Brian Friede, faculty member in Ford ASSET at Hennepin Tech. Friede was also a student and shared photos of his time on campus. Culinary students baked an anniversary cake and special desserts to share with guests of the event.

Speakers at ceremony

Crowd at event

April 27: Fluid Power 50th Anniversary Reunion

Faculty and the Hennepin Technical College Foundation organized a reunion of Fluid Power alumni. People enjoyed sharing updates about their careers in Fluid Power and describing what the program meant to them. The lab for Fluid Power was dedicated as the “David Thun Fluid Power Laboratory” in recognition of a donation in support of the program.

Graduate of fluid power

May 4: Cabinetmaking 50th Anniversary Reunion

Faculty and the Advisory Board for Cabinetmaking organized a reunion that attracted several hundred alumni and supporters. During several speeches, alumni described the impact the program has had on individual people and the region’s economy. They described the program as being truly unique and valuable thanks to the dedication of the faculty over the past decades. Alumni contributed funds for scholarships for future students.

The Cabinetmaking workshop was transformed into an impressive event space. Culinary students created gourmet appetizers, deserts and beverages. Video Production students interviewed alumni and created several videos to document the event.

Cabinetmaking reunion

May 11, 12, 13: Annual Plant Sale with 50th Anniversary Theme

The Plant Sale is an annual event that the campus and the entire community enjoys. This year, the 50th anniversary was recognized during the event. Each year for the Plant Sale, alumni and students create a special T-shirt for the Plant Sale. Because the college was founded in the 1970’s, they created tie-dye t-shirts for everyone to wear when they worked at the event. An alumnus created profiles of past alumni and shared them on an alumni Facebook account. On campus, a digital television screen displayed vintage photos of the Plant Sale over the years.


Last updated by kiavali : 2023-06-23 10:40:50