HCC Building Naming Celebration - Friday, October 8, 2021
Join Hibbing Community College on Friday October 8, 2021 in celebrating new names for buildings and common spaces.
HCC recently sought input from community members, students, and alumni to officially name buildings and commons spaces. Prior to this naming process, Buildings were labeled only by letter. As the campus neared the completion of a major new construction project which concluded in Spring 2019, they recognized the opportunity to rename its buildings and common spaces. Once submissions were received, a selection committee consisting of HCC faculty, staff, administration, students, alumni, and community members made the final naming recommendations.
New, memorable names will offer clarity for students and visitors while also honoring HCC’s century-long history of providing affordable higher education for the Iron Range.
The Building Naming Celebration will take place on Friday October 8th and will honor the individuals and groups that have had a lasting impact on HCC.The public is welcome to attend.
Schedule of Events:
4:00 p.m. Welcome & Presentation – Wenberg Theater
5:00 p.m. Ribbon Cutting & Social Hour – Hill of Three Waters Commons
6:30 p.m. Athletics Recognition & Hall of Fame Inductees – Varichak Gymnasium
Building/Common Space Name - In Honor Of
Goodman Ceramics Building - Bill Goodman
Hill of Three Waters Commons - Sacred Annishinaabe site
Levos Fitness - Gym Gerry Levos
Magajna Hall - Bill Magajna
Marinelli Library - Anne & Angela Marinelli
Mosley Hall - Hattie Mosley
Palcich-Ongaro Hall - Ed Palcich & Frank Ongaro
Perpich Student Center - Rudy Perpich
Ponikvar Student Leadership Suite - Veda Ponikvar
Rolfzen-Higgins Hall - B.J. Rolfzen & Al Higgins
Van Tassel Athletic Center - Anna Van Tassel
Varichak Gymnasium - Dick Varichak
Victor Power Administrative Building - Victor Power
Wenberg Theater - Vern Wenberg
Hibbing Community College is located on land that once belonged to the Anishinaabe and Dakota peoples of northern Minnesota. The college is committed to honoring the treaty rights of original people of this land and to serving all people who seek a college education or vocational training.
Hill of Three Waters Commons
Near Hibbing may be found a rare geological phenomenon and sacred Annishinaabe cultural site. A triple divide sends water in three directions: south to the Gulf of Mexico via the Mississippi River; east to the Atlantic Ocean via the St. Louis River; or north to Hudson’s Bay via the Bigfork River. The Ojibwe people call it “Top of the World.” The site is an important meeting place for Ojibwe society in northern Minnesota because it is a landmark that people in all directions can find without directions. This commons space is our place in the middle of campus where everyone meets.
Perpich Student Center
(formerly Building M)
Rudolph “Rudy” G. Perpich
The son of immigrants from the nearby mining location of Carson Lake, Rudy Perpich cited his education at Hibbing Junior College for lifting him out of poverty. He would become a dentist, state senator, and the first Iron Range governor of the State of Minnesota. He was the first president of the Hibbing Community College Foundation. His beloved wife Lola and his politically-active brothers were also alumni of HCC.
Victor L. Power Administrative Building
(formerly Building L)
Victor L. Power
A blacksmith’s assistant who laid down his hammer for the practice of law, Victor L. Power was elected President of the Village of Hibbing ten times from 1913 to 1923. This tumultuous period included significant immigration, World War I, the move of Hibbing, and the creation of Hibbing Junior College. “Fighting Vic” gained national attention for his efforts to create an independent Hibbing and to improve the lives of its citizens.
(formerly Building A)
William “Bill” E. Magajna
William Magajna was the founder of the Hibbing Area Vocational Technical College and served as its director for 24 years. A dedicated vocational educator and leader, his work lives on in today’s technical programs at this college.
(formerly Building D)
Edward “Ed” A. Palcich
Edward Palcich served 35 years as a biology instructor at Hibbing Community College. A dedicated and conscientious scientist, he was also the director of the college’s Newman Club chapter. During his service in World War II, he was part of a team that established the first blood bank in the South Pacific.
Frank V. Ongaro
Frank Ongaro would dedicate more than 30 years to HCC’s science department, with time away to serve as commissioner of the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation agency and other state posts. Ongaro’s son David would follow with his own 36-year career as a biology teacher at HCC.
(formerly Building F)
Boniface “B.J.” J. Rolfzen
Boniface Rolfzen served 30 years as an English and literature teacher at Hibbing High School and Hibbing Junior College. He taught the joys of poetry and prose to the sons and daughters of miners. Bob Dylan, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, cited Rolfzen as his most influential teacher.
Allen “Al” W. Higgins
Allen Higgins taught English and literature at Hibbing Junior College for 29 years. He was the advisor of the HCC Cardinal, the student newspaper, and the HCC annual yearbook. He was the first HCC instructor to introduce the use of computers in class activities.
Vernon “Vern” W. Wenberg, Jr.
Vernon Wenberg, Jr., was the first director of theater at HCC when it opened its current campus. He would serve for decades, directing dozens of college and community productions at HCC and providing access to the fine arts for thousands of students and citizens.
Van Tassel Athletic Center
(formerly Building PE)
Anna Van Tassel
Anna Van Tassel served 30 years as a coach, instructor and athletic director at Hibbing Community College. She was one of very few women in her generation to serve as director of both the men’s and women’s athletic teams. Van Tassel instituted an emphasis on academics in athletics at HCC that remains the college’s standard.
(formerly big gym)
Richard “Dick” W. Varichak
Richard Varichak was for 29 years a coach, teacher, and athletic director at Hibbing Community College. A successful athlete during his student days at HCC and longtime basketball coach, he was inducted as a member of the Minnesota College Athletic Conference Hall of Fame.
Levos Fitness Gym
(formerly small gym)
Geraldyn “Gerry” A. Levos
Geraldyn Levos served 28 years as a coach and physical education instructor at HCC. She coached basketball, volleyball, and tennis. In 2002, Levos was inducted into the Minnesota Community College Association Coaches Hall of Fame for volleyball.
Goodman Ceramics Building
(formerly Ceramics Building)
William “Bill” Goodman
William Goodman taught art at Hibbing Community College for 28 years. An accomplished sculptor and potter in his own right, Goodman was instrumental in the construction of this dedicated ceramics studio at the college.
Anne Marinelli served as the Hibbing State Junior College Librarian from 1960 to 1973. Before her time at HSJC, she worked in the New York City Public Library and Library of Congress, among other posts. Marinelli was an author and U.S. State Department Fulbright lecturer. She received knighthood from the Republic of Italy for her contributions to that country.
Angela Marinelli taught French, Spanish, and served as assistant librarian at Hibbing State Junior College. Advisor of the French and Spanish Club, Marinelli also founded the scholarship committee at HSJC.
Hibbing natives, the Marinelli sisters were each active in their community, accomplished writers and world travelers who fostered a tradition of knowledge and enlightenment.
(formerly Building C)
Harriette “Hattie” K. Mosley
Harriette Mosley came to Hibbing in 1905 to work as a nurse. An African-American widow from Decatur, Illinois, she dedicated her life to serving her new hometown. She ran temporary hospitals that cared for victims of flu epidemics, including the flu pandemic of 1918. In addition to her job at the Rood Hospital, she worked as a caregiver for children in the community and volunteered to care for poor patients in their own homes. Mosley’s folk remedies were credited for saving the lives of many low-income patients.
Ponikvar Student Leadership Suite
(remodeled office space for student clubs)
Veda Ponikvar was born in Chisholm in 1919, the daughter of Slovenian immigrants. She attended journalism school at Drake University in Iowa before serving with distinction in U.S. Naval Intelligence as a translator during World War II. In 1946 she founded the Chisholm Free Press newspaper and 11 years later bought out the competing paper as well. She spent more than 50 years as a small-town journalist, community volunteer and advocate for military veterans and working people. She also served for many years on the Hibbing Community College Foundation board.
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