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Shawnee College's first president passes away

 Dr. Loren Klaus
Shawnee Community College
Shawnee Community College
Dr. Loren Klaus at the Shawnee Community College 50th anniversary celebration in 2017.

The first president in the history of Shawnee Community College has passed away.

The school announced Dr. Loren Klaus died Wednesday morning at the age of 93 at his daughter's home in Texas.

The Carlinville native was named the founding and first president in May of 1968. The college officially opened September 24, 1969.

Dr. Klaus oversaw the temporary campus facility design and construction, hiring administrators and instructors, course offerings, and, in his sixth year as President, the design and eventual construction of the permanent SCC facility.

One of his favorite memories was in the summer of 1968 when Dr. Delyte Morris, then Chancellor of Southern Illinois University, stopped in unannounced at the temporary SCC administration office, an old house in Karnak, Illinois, to say hello and to tell him he would help him in any way to get the brand-new college up and running. SCC soon boasted the highest ratio of Ph.D. instructors to students of any institution of higher learning in Illinois.

He served Shawnee Community College until 1987.

Upon his retirement from SCC, Dr. Klaus and his wife moved from their home in Metropolis, Illinois, to Glen Carbon, Illinois, where Norma started Temporary Team, a temporary employment agency. At the same time, he helped his daughters run grandchildren around and played a lot of golf, and he was very happy to do so! They were members of Troy First United Methodist Church in Troy, Illinois.

Dr. Klaus was born on October 16, 1928, in Carlinville, Illinois, and raised on his parent’s dairy farm in Honey Point Township along with one brother and four sisters.

He married Norma Charlesworth Witters on August 17, 1952, at First Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, Illinois, Norma’s family church. They were just shy of their 70th wedding anniversary when he passed.

As a news producer and news anchor on All Things Considered, Brad provides the listeners with a recap of the day's top local and state news as well as breaking news at any given time. Contact WSIU Radio at 618-453-6101 or email wsiunews@wsiu.org
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