March 1988: Legislation passes leading to new formula funding
The Wyoming Legislature, which had previously granted state appropriations separately to each community college, voted to fund all seven colleges in block grants that would be distributed by the Wyoming Community College Commission. This legislation led to the WCCC adoption in August 1988 of a complicated funding formula driven primarily by enrollment and instructional square footage. Northwest operated under its first formula-based budget in 1990-91.
March 1988: Alumni association formed
The Northwest Community College Alumni Association held its first meeting March 26, 1988. George Ribble, a 1960 NWCC alum, was elected president of the 20-member board. The NWCAA currently claims more than 16,000 alumni (defined as anyone who attended the college full time, successfully completing at least one semester).
January 1989: Phillip Kendall becomes president
Phillip Kendall, previously of Mankato State University, assumed the presidency of Northwest Community College in January 1989. Under his two years as chief executive, the college entered into an era of increased competition among Wyoming community colleges trying to boost enrollments in order to secure their portion of the state appropriation through the new funding formula.
June 1989: College's name shortened
After polling students and alumni, the board of trustees voted in May 1989 to drop the "community" from the college's name, a change prompted by image and marketing considerations. The purpose and nature of the institution was unchanged; the college remained a community-oriented entity. Northwest College is the working name; the legal name of the college is still Northwest Community College District, Park County, State of Wyoming.
September 1989: Full-time enrollment tops the 1,000 mark
Northwest, for the first time, enrolled more than 1,000 full-time students in 1989. The institution's steady enrollment growth reached the milestone mark when 1,032 students signed up for fall semester classes. In fall 1995, full-time enrollment was 1,288, with nearly 600 students enrolled part time.