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30 years of LCC: a look through history #3

2021-10-06

Have you ever heard of a university without faculty, curriculum or home base? A university without government sanction or fixed funding? A university without a student body? If we study the history of many successful North American universities, colleges and seminaries the foregoing is not unique. An institution begins with an idea, a vision, a concept, a dream.

LCC was a dream of Art DeFehr from Canada, Otonas Balciunas from Lithuania and Johannes Reimer from Germany. Whereas most institutions of this type are in the conceptual stage for years and even decades, this was not to be the case here. When the troika of DeFehr, Reimer and Balciunas get together concept becomes reality in a hurry; procrastination is not in their vocabulary. The initial concept, conceived a few months earlier, was quickly put into action. Faculty, students, financing, facilities and academic programs had to come together quickly.

In July 1992 the Lithuanian media heralded a four-year degree granting college in Klaipeda. This news had been fed to reporters and announced in news releases.

Ernie Reimer - the First Interim President of LCC - shares his memories on LCC's early years in Klaipėda:

"And we did have a building - on the Klaipeda University (KU) campus. The former Soviet Army barracks had been handed over to KU for a student dormitory. LCC obtained one quarter of this five-story building. The Lithuanian students and professors who had lived here had left and a work crew had upgraded the facilities. Every module had a shower, toilet and sink, an unheard of luxury in Soviet dormitories. We had hot and cold water - at least until October when the hot water was cut off. A truck load of furniture had arrived from Germany earlier in the summer and to a degree the top three floors had been furnished. Every floor had a communal kitchen with one or two gas stoves, sinks and counter space. The faculty would live on the fifth floor which had a two-cubic-foot fridge in the hallway. The college students were to live on the third and fourth floors, two students to a room, two rooms to a module."

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