History of Aims
1965 | 1967 | 1968 | 1970 | 1973 | 1975 | 1976 | 1979 | 1981 | 1983 | 1984
1987 | 1990 | 1992 | 1993 | 1994 | 1995 | 1997 | 1998 | 1999 | 2000 | 2001
2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011| 2012
2013 | 2014| 2015 | 2016 | 2017
- 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
- The first class at Aims Community College selects the aardvark as the mascot. The
Saint Bernard replaces the aardvark two years later. In the early 1980s the aardvark makes its triumphant return in the form of Arty
- January 24: The voters in 11 of Weld County's 12 public school districts approve creation of
the Community College District by a solid 4-1 margin. The vote was 3,700 in favor,
- March: The first governing committee is elected to set up the college. The name of the college
is based upon the committee's desire to have a name which would...AIM...at high and
- July 1: Dr. Ed Beaty arrives for his first day on the job as president of Aims Community
- July 7: The Governing Committee approves 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 are enrolled.
- May: First graduating class. Three students receive degrees.
- May: A permanent 175-acre site for the college is purchased for $350,000, $2,000 per acre,
on the western edge of Greeley.
- August: The college pays $500,000 to acquire a 47,000-square-feet electronics component building,
now Cornerstone, on 10 acres adjacent to the campus.
- September: The 30,160-square-feet Trades and Industry Building is completed for $1 million.
- Fall: Aims Community College officially moves from its downtown Greeley site.
- September: The Office Occupations Building opens, providing 17,260 square feet of classroom
space at a cost of $700,000. In 1984, the building is renamed Horizon Hall.
- September: Dr. Ed Beaty dies, and Dr. Richard A. Laughlin is appointed acting president of Aims.
- September: The Skills Center (now Emergency Services Academy) is completed at a cost of $150,000.
The 10,600-square-feet center was constructed by Aims students.
- May: Dr. Richard A. Laughlin is appointed president of Aims.
- December: The 19,310-square-feet Physical Education Building opens at a cost of $900,000.
- February: Dr. Jerry A. Kiefer is appointed acting president of Aims.
- August: Dr. George R. Conger is appointed president of Aims.
- July: The Aims Southern District Center Office in Fort Lupton opens.
- September: The Welding Technology Complex opens. 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 opens. 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 opens for fall classes. The $2.1-million structure
covers 38,000 square feet.
- Spring: Aims teaches its 100,000th student.
- Fall: Aims Loveland Campus receives a home in downtown Loveland, sharing it with Regis
College and the City of Loveland.
- May 5: Groundbreaking is held for the new West Campus in the White Building, financed by
the McKee Charitable Trust.
- September: West Campus opens 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 celebrates its 25th anniversary.
- March 25: Ground is broken for the College Center.
- September 24: The College Center is dedicated. The 60,000-square-feet "front door" to the Greeley
campus cost $5 million.
- January 21: The West Campus holds 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 is purchased at the Greeley/Weld
- Fall: The Monfort Early Childhood Education Center opens. The 10,000-square-feet center
is made possible by a $500,000 gift by the Monfort Family Foundation.
- June 3: The $2.2-million Aims College Corporate Education Center is dedicated. The 30,000-square-feet
facility houses the Continuing Education Division of the college.
- October 1: Dr. George R. Conger retires after more than 18 years of service. Dr. Jerry Kiefer
assumes position of interim president.
- April 22: Dr. Paul N. Thompson is named president of Aims Community College.
- June 30: Dr. Kiefer retires. The Board of Trustees named the Aims library in his honor, the
Jerry A. Kiefer Library.
- July 1: Dr. Thompson assumes 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 launches $5 million capital campaign.
- September 6: Harold S. Winograd Center for Innovative Learning is dedicated.
- October 2: Thai House II is dedicated.
- March 7: Flight Simulator Center is dedicated.
- June 14: Dr. Thompson retires. Russ DeVriendt is appointed acting President.
- Sept 19: Brenda Beckman is appointed Interim President
- May 6: Phil Davis is appointed as fifth president, then later declines on July 15
- August 27: Dr. Paul Gianini is appointed as Interim President.
- January 13: Dr. Marilynn "Marsi" Liddell is appointed as fifth president of Aims
- January 31: The leased Health Sciences Building, covering 6,555 square feet, is dedicated.
- August 11: Continuing Education dedicates its Fort Collins Center
- August 17: Allied Health Department moves into BOCES building
- August 31: First day of the semester system, replacing the quarter system
- January 13: Emergency Services Building is demolished
- March: Aims is 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
- September: TRiO Student Support Services grant is established for five years to annually serve
160 low-income, first generation students with intensive academic support.
- August 30: Groundbreaking for Allied Health and Sciences.
- September 11: Ribbon-cutting for Downtown Center
- November 14: Open House for Construction and Automotive Technology building in Fort Lupton.
- January: iFocus Academic Success Workshop Series is launched to address student needs in
academics, leadership, career development and technology.
- 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
- May: Aims purchases a 40-acre parcel in Berthoud for future development.
- August: Emerging Scholars program is launched to support students in developmental education
who demonstrate the potential for academic success.
- August: Advancing Academic Achievement (AAA) courses begin and become a required class for
students in developmental education to support a successful transition into the college
- 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.
- December: Weld County Sheriff’s Department partners with Aims to provide security to all campuses.
- 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
- September: Beaty Hall renovations are completed. The 64,000-square-foot building features Computer
Sciences, Mathematics, Visual and Performing Arts, Graphic Arts and Communication
- 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 is designated as an Enterprise Zone allowing for additional tax credits
- 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
- 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 are sought for Childcare and Aviation.
- July: College Center renovation is completed. All student services are now in a one-stop-shop
to better serve students.
- September: TRiO Student Support Services grant is renewed for another five-year term to annually
serve 160 low-income, first generation students with intensive academic support.
- September: TRiO Student Support Services STEM grant is awarded for five-year term to serve 120
low-income, first generation students in science, technology, engineering and math
programs with intensive academic support.
- April 15: Aims successfully hosts its first Community College Day.
- April 26: Aims receives reaffirmation of accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission.
- May 4: Horizon Hall remodel is completed, classes resume for the summer session
- September: Synergy Resources completes oil wells on the Greeley campus.
- June: Center for the First-Year Experience (FYE) opens to sustain an environment that supports
a successful social and academic transition of students into the Aims community.
- September 5: Greeley Campus Promenade is completed.
- December: State performance contracts are submitted and approved.
- May 15: The College is declared debt free, all Certificates of Participation paid off.
- August 14: Fort Lupton ribbon-cutting ceremony dedicates the new Platte Building and renovated
- September: Center for Opportunity and Resilience in Education (CORE) opens and expands the TRiO
model to serve historically underrepresented students with intensive academic support.
- January: Catalyst launches as a selective leadership and college success program for second
semester and second year students.
- April 11: Aims hosts its second Community College Day.
- June: Aims’ Strategic Master Plan is modified to follow a four-phase approach: formulation,
development, implementation and evaluation.
- October: Aims wins the Colorado Completes statewide competition with the AAA and Catalyst programs. Lt. Governor Joe Garcia
visits Aims to recognize these two distinctive programs that help students succeed
- October 20: Fort Lupton location celebrates its 30th anniversary.
- February 6: Renovation and new name of Cornerstone are completed.
- June 30: Dr. Marilynn “Marsi” Liddell retires after 12 years of service to the College
- July 1: Donna Norwood is appointed as Acting President.
- August 1: Dr. Leah L. Bornstein is appointed as sixth president of Aims
- August: Early College High School begins with students from Greeley/Evans District 6 and
Windsor Charter Academy.
- September 21: Newly renovated Physical Education and Recreation Center is completed.
- January 19: The new Public Safety Institute Building at the Windsor location is completed and
opens for the first day of spring semester.
- January 29: Dr. Leah L. Bornstein inaugurated as Aims Community College's sixth president.
- March 4: Aims Board of Trustees votes to freeze tuition rates for the sixth straight year.
- April 4: Deborah Kish becomes Aims' new Vice President of Academic Affairs.
- April 8: Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI) study finds Aims Community College's
economic impact was $541.6 million in 2013-2014 and supports 9,756 jobs.
- June 27: Aims breaks ground on a new Technology Education Center and Welding Building renovation
on the north side of the Greeley campus.
- August 22: Judy Knapp named interim Aims Foundation Executive Director.
- December 14: Aims celebrates construction milestone for the Applied Technology and Trades Center
with a Tree Topping Out Ceremony.
- January 6: Kelly Jackson named Aims Foundation Executive Director.
- January 24: Aims kicked off its 50th Anniversary with a Launch Party on the Greeley campus.
- February 1: Aims Board of Trustees votes to freeze tuition rates for the seventh straight year.
- February 2: Aims hosted GroundVark Day, playing off of Groundhog Day, in conjunction with Aims'
50th Anniversary celebration.
- February 14: Aims Loveland campus celebrated its 30th anniversary by showcasing a fire sculpture
and art show at the Loveland Fire and Ice Festival.
- February 15: Aims joins the Open Textbook Network to use free textbooks when possible.
- February 28: Aims celebrated Arty Gras on all campuses.
- March 6: 50th anniversary art display open for public viewing at Aims and the Greeley History
- March 22: Aims celebrated National Agriculture Day at its Fort Lupton campus.
- April 3: Aims receives $30,000 Daniels Fund Grant for Emergency Medical Services scholarships.
- April 8: Aims hosted Public Safety Day at its Windsor campus.
- April 11: Aims ranked #1 in community colleges in Colorado for 2016-17 by LearnHowToBecome.org.
- April 24: Aims hosted a Kite Flight at all four of its campuses.
- April 26: Aims receives grant to provide training to employees of Weld County companies.
- April 27: Aims celebrates Arbor Day by planting 50 new trees.
- April 29: Aims hosted 3rd annual Aardvark Fun Run.
- May 12: Aims hosted its 50th Commencement Ceremony.
- May 31: Aims hosted successful Learn to Fly Day with Experimental Aircraft Association.
- June 3: Alumni connected at the Forever Aims Reunion on the Greeley campus.
- June 12: Aims President Dr. Leah L. Bornstein appointed to the Continuous Quality Improvement
Network Executive Committee (CQIN).
- June 19: Aims hosted College For Kids program on Greeley and Loveland campuses.
- June 20: Aims Foundation receive ambulance from Banner Health for EMS training.
- July 15: Aims hosted seventh annual Car Show at its Windsor campus.
- July 18: Aims hosted inaugural Young Women's Xplore Academy at the Windsor campus.
- August 7: Senator Michael Bennet toured Aims' new Applied Technology and Trades Center in Greeley.
- August 16: Aims opened new Applied Technology and Trades Center and Welding renovation in Greeley.
- August 21: Aims hosted a solar eclipse viewing on all of its campuses.
- August 29: Economic impact study conducted by Emsi finds the Northern Colorado Public Colleges
and Universities (NoCoPCU) made up of the four public colleges and universities in
northern Colorado, including Aims, added $2.4 billion in income to the economy of
Larimer and Weld Counties for the 2015-16 fiscal year.
- August 30: Aims focuses on building a stronger community in its new 2018-2023 strategic plan.
- September 9: Aims hosted the "Great Aardvark Embark" hot air balloon launch, with approximately
400 members of the community in attendance.
- October 6: Aims presented a free concert for the community, "Aardvarks in the Dark Present a
Concert Under the Stars" featuring Sean Curtis & the Divide and opening act, Emma
- October 11: Aims Board of Trustees extends President Dr. Leah L. Bornstein's contract through
June 30, 2020.
- October 25: Aims buried a new time capsule to be opened in 50 years at "Arty Underground: The
Legacy Continues" at the new Applied Technology and Trades Center on the Greeley campus.