Our History at a Glance


Calhoun’s first president, Dr. Carlton Kelley, serves as head of the Decatur Trade school.


The institution moved to its present location near Pryor Field and served as a war surplus project for training WWII vets.


The College was created as the result of the consolidation of the Tennessee Valley State Technical School and John C. Calhoun State Junior College.


The school became a comprehensive institution and was renamed John C. Calhoun State Technical Junior College and Technical School.


The College’s present designation as a community college was formalized by a resolution from the Alabama State Board of Education.


Construction on the Student Center (Decatur campus) was completed; the building would later be named the Chasteen Student Center in honor of the College’s second president, Dr. James Chasteen.


After serving the institution for 34 years as its first president, Dr. Carlton Kelley retires. Student enrollment at the time of Dr. Kelley’s retirement was 5,500. (The College’s gymnasium was named in honor of Dr. Kelley.)


Dr. James Chasteen becomes the College’s second president, serving the institution for 14 years. The Fine Arts Building opens.


Calhoun student Todd Fentress is named the first American Association of Community and Junior College/Phi Theta Kappa National Student Scholar. (At the time of Fentress’ honor, only one student in the entire nation was recognized. Since 1989, six other Calhoun students have been honored among the country’s top two-year college students, giving Calhoun the distinction of having the first and most students to receive this prestigious honor.)


Dr. Richard Carpenter is named Calhoun’s third president, serving for close to 10 years.


The Huntsville/Cummings Research Park campus officially opens. Calhoun’s first website goes “live”.


The College begins offering courses on-line via the Internet.


Calhoun moves from the quarter to the semester system.


The Aerospace Training Center officially opens. Calhoun’s ACT Center opens, making it the first center of its kind in the Southeast and the fifth in the nation.


The College’s television station, 4CTV, goes live.


Dr. Marilyn C. Beck becomes the College’s fourth president and makes history as the institution’s first woman president. Calhoun student enrollment tops 9,000.


The College holds groundbreaking for the new Health Sciences Center.


One-stop Center for admissions, registration, financial aid services and student activities completed in Chasteen Student Center.


As a result of the end of the State of Alabama’s higher education desegregation case, Calhoun was allowed to begin offering day classes in Huntsville.

First classes held in the new Health Sciences Center.


Math/Science/Administration Building opens.

Calhoun begins the first associate degree program in Biotechnology in the state of Alabama.

Calhoun Foundation announces largest monetary gift ($1.8 million) in college’s history


Calhoun Chosen for State Robotics Center


Groundbreaking event held for Phase I of the Alabama Center for the Arts

Calhoun’s credit enrollment tops 12,000


Grand opening/ribbon cutting held for the College’s new Alabama Center for Excellence in Clean Energy Technology (ACECET) building


Groundbreaking held for new Math, Science and Computer Science building at the Huntsville campus

Groundbreaking conducted for Phase II of the Alabama Center for the Arts

Calhoun President Dr. Marilyn Beck announces her retirement

College selected to join Achieving the Dream national higher education consortium


Calhoun welcomes Dr. James Klauber, Sr. as its 5th president


Ribbon cutting/grand opening held for new Math, Science and Computer Science building at Huntsville campus

Grand opening held for Alabama Center for the Arts, Phase II

U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King visits Calhoun’s program at Limestone Correctional Facility to highlight the College’s outstanding programs targeting incarcerated students and its selection as a Second Chance Pell site.


Groundbreaking held for new Automotive Technology building


Alabama Governor Kay Ivey presents $1M check to Calhoun and Huntsville Hospital to support creation of a new Nursing simulation lab at the Huntsville campus

College receives $1.5M grant from the U.S. Secretary of Commerce’s Department of Economic Development Administration (EDA) to support construction of the Automotive Technology facility