Aims Community College: A Timeline

A picture of the front steps of AIMS College.

The following information about the history of Aims Community College was submitted by Jared Fiel, Marketing and Public Information Director for Aims Community College


We may never know who had the original idea to start a community college in Weld County. We do know this, however. Kirby Hart of Greeley suggested that a two-year college should be considered for northern Colorado. That quickly led to the establishment of a feasibility committee consisting of several school district representatives. Upon completion of the committee’s study, which showed strong support, the Colorado State Board of Education gave its blessing to the plan and encouraged the committee to proceed.


January 24: The voters in 11 of Weld County’s 12 public school districts approved creation of the Community College District by a solid 4-1 margin. The vote was 3,700 in favor, 944 against.

March: The first governing committee was elected to set up the college. The name of the college was selected based upon the committee’s desire to have a name which high and worthy goals.

July 1: Dr. Ed Beaty arrived for his first day on the job as president of Aims Community College.

July 7: The Governing Committee approved a lease of the Lincoln Elementary School building at 5th Avenue and 11th Street in Greeley for temporary classrooms.

September 27: First day of classes. 949 students were enrolled.


May: First graduating class. Three students received degrees.


May: A permanent 175-acre site for the college was purchased for $350,000, $2,000 per acre, on the western edge of Greeley.


August: The College paid $500,000 to acquire a 47,000-square-feet electronics component building, now General Services, on 10 acres adjacent to the campus.


September: The 30,160-square-feet Trades and Industry Building was completed for $1 million.

Fall: Aims Community College officially moved from its downtown Greeley site.


September: The Office Occupations Building was opened, providing 17,260 square feet of classroom space at a cost of $700,000. In 1984 the building was renamed Horizon Hall.


September: Dr. Ed Beaty died.

September: The Skills Center (now Emergency Services Academy) was completed at a cost of $150,000. The 10,600-square-feet center was constructed by Aims students.


May: Dr. Richard A. Laughlin was appointed president of Aims.

December: The 19,310-square-feet Physical Education Building was opened at a cost of $900,000.


July: The Aims Southern District Center Office in Fort Lupton was opened.


September: The Welding Technology Complex was opened. The $756,000 17,000-square feet building is touted as the finest instructional welding facility in the western United States.


July: The South Campus opened. The $1.9-million 27,000-square-feet complex is located on a 60-acre parcel west of Fort Lupton.

September: The Westview General Classroom Building opened for fall classes. The $2.1 million structure covers 38,000 square feet.


Spring: Aims taught its 100,000th student.

Fall: Aims Loveland Campus received a home in downtown Loveland, sharing it with Regis College and the City of Loveland.


May 5: Groundbreaking was held for the new West Campus in the White Building, financed by the McKee Charitable Trust.

September: West Campus opened its classrooms in the 14,400-square-feet White Building,5,500 square feet of which were remodeled at a cost of $200,000.


March-April: Aims celebrated its 25th anniversary.

March 25: Ground was broken for the College Center.


September 24: The College Center was dedicated. The 60,000-square-feet “front door” to the Greeley campus cost $5 million.


January 21: The West Campus held an open house to celebrate the remodeling of 8,000 square feet, financed by McKee Charitable Trust.


Spring: The Aims College Flight Training Center building was purchased at the Greeley/Weld County airport.

Fall: The Monfort Early Childhood Education Center opened. The 10,000-square-feet center was made possible by a $500,000 gift by the Monfort Family Foundation.


June 3: The $2.2-million Aims College Corporate Education Center was dedicated. The 30,000-square-feet facility houses the Continuing Education Division of the college.

October 1: Dr. George R. Conger retired after more than 18 years of service. Dr. Jerry Kiefer assumed position of interim president.


April 22: Dr. Paul N. Thompson was named president of Aims Community College.

June 30: Dr. Kiefer retired. The Board of Trustees named the Aims library in his honor - The Jerry A. Kiefer Library.

July 1: Dr. Thompson assumed the presidency.


January: Ten-year “seal of approval” accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Institutions of Higher Education.


May 18: Aims Foundation launched $5 million capital campaign.

September 6: Harold S. Winograd Center for Innovative Learning dedicated.

October 2: Thai House II dedicated.


March 7: Flight Simulator Center dedicated

June 14: Dr. Thompson retires. Russ DeVriendt appointed acting President

Sept 19: Brenda Beckman appointed Interim President


May 6: Mr. Phil Davis appointed as fifth president, then later declines on July 15

August 27: Dr. Paul Gianini appointed as Interim President.


January 13 : Dr. Marilynn “Marsi” Liddell appointed as fifth president of Aims

January 31: The leased Health Sciences Building, covering 6,555 square feet, dedicated.


August 11: Continuing Education dedicated its Fort Collins Center

August 17: Allied Health Department moved into BOCES building

August 31: First day of the semester system, replacing the quarter system


January 13: Emergency Services Building demolished

March: Aims named one of the top 10 Digital Community Colleges by the Center for Digital Education and the American Association of Community Colleges

September 20: Open House for Mildred S. Hansen building


August 30: Groundbreaking for Allied Health and Sciences building

September 11: Ribbon-cutting for Downtown Center

November 14: Open House for Construction and Automotive Technology building in Fort Lupton


January 24: Aims celebrates its 40th anniversary with a special scholarship for the first child born at North Colorado Medical Center that day. The special birthday boy was Ian Wood born to, ironically, Aims students Barb and Andy Wood.

March: Aims expands its cable presence outside of Greeley to Fort Lupton, Fort Collins and Loveland

May: Aims purchases a 40-acre parcel in Berthoud for future development.

September 9: Both the new Allied Health and Sciences Building and the new Aviation Building open their doors for new students.

November: Automotive program revs up in Fort Lupton.


March: The College Promise scholarship program is established with grass-roots funding from local community and business leaders, providing scholarships to District 6 graduates.

July: Air Traffic Controller program takes flight, offering an Associate of Applied Sciences degree through a two-year program.

August: Study shows Aims Community College generates $1 billion annually for the regional economy.

September: Beaty Hall renovations completed. The 64,000-square-foot building features Computer Sciences, Mathematics, Visual and Performing Arts, Graphic Arts and Communication Media.

November: Aims partners with Weld County Employment Services to develop a new program to produce graduates who are highly qualified to fill positions in electric, oil and gas, solar, wind and geo-thermal industries.


June: Greeley campus designated as an Enterprise Zone allowing for additional tax credits to donors.

August: Green/Sustainable building program is launched focusing on solar construction techniques, terminology and materials, as well as zero net building, passive thermal architecture, super insulation, and renewable energy sources for heating, cooling and electrical power.


January: Automotive & Technology Center opens in Windsor. The 45,000-square-foot facility features the latest in automotive technology.

March: Budget shortfalls force Aims to cut Childcare Center, Aviation department and Downtown campus. Third-party partners sought for Childcare and Aviation.

July: College Center renovation completed. All student services now in a one-stop-shop to better serve students.

Did You Know?
In celebration of its 40th anniversary, Aims Community College gave a scholarship to the first baby born at North Colorado Medical Center in 2007.