East St. Louis higher education campus is renamed in Younge’s honor


The educational campus that has served East St. Louis for more than 20 years is renamed in honor of one of the area’s longest-serving defenders.

The East St. Louis Higher Education Campus (ESLHEC) will henceforth be known as the Wyvetter H. Younge Higher Education Campus in honor of the East St. Louis native and longtime representative of the state that for years has worked to improve the lives of the people of St. Clair County.

ESLHEC opened its doors in January 1999, on the former campus of Metropolitan Community College. The campus is owned by the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) and is co-managed by ICCB and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE).

On April 23, 2021, the Illinois House of Representatives passed House Resolution 50 (HR 50), sponsored by Rep. Greenwood, asking the General Assembly to change the name of the East Higher Education Campus St. Louis in Wyvetter H. Young Higher Education. Campus.

“I filed HR 50 to honor and recognize the Honorable Wyvetter Younge and the impact she had on the community of East St. Louis,” State Representative LaToya Greenwood said. “It was because of his advocacy that we have the higher education campus in East St. Louis and I felt it was too late for the campus to be named in his honor.”

“I had the privilege of working with Wyvetter for several years and met few people who cared so deeply about the residents they served,” said state Rep. Jay Hoffman. “Her passion and dedication to the people she represented was unparalleled, and I think it’s wonderful that this campus is renamed in her honor. Linking her name to an institution that creates opportunity for people in her community is a perfect way to remember her.”

“The renaming of the East St Louis Higher Education Campus to the Wyvetter H. Younge Higher Education Campus is an appropriate way to pay tribute and reverence to a woman who gave her all to uplift citizens and institutions. of his beloved town of East St. Louis,” State Sen. Christopher Belt said.

Younge was one of the longest-serving state representatives, first elected in 1975, spending most of her career working on issues for vulnerable populations, including drug abuse prevention, services for homelessness and economic development in East St. Louis until his death in 2008.

“The East St. Louis college campus was important to my mother. She considered him a great asset to the community. Our family is honored to have the campus named after him,” said Margaret Hewitt, daughter of the late Rep. Younge. “Since 1999, through partnerships with community colleges, ICCB’s East St. Louis Community College Center (ESLCC) has provided residents of the East St. Louis area with access to college course offerings, labor force training and adult education.

A variety of programs, including the Labor Equity Program, Adult Education Program, Highway Construction Careers and Trades Program, and Welding and HVAC programs , are offered at the ESLCC.

The ICCB is committed to improving the programs offered by the ESLCC and plans to expand course offerings in areas such as healthcare curricula, computer programming as well as dual credit opportunities. The services offered by the community college are essential to meet the needs of students as well as those of the local and regional workforce.

“Connecting this campus to Wyvetter Younge’s name and his legacy in Metro East and East St. Louis makes perfect sense. She has spent her life trying to improve people’s lives, which is the mission of this higher education campus: to improve people’s lives through education,” said ICCB Executive Director, Brian Durham.

Located on the Wyvetter H. Younge Higher Education Campus, SIUE’s East St. Louis Center (ESLC) offers dynamic programming for all ages, fostering personal development, increasing access to educational opportunities, and making social mobility possible for whole families. ESLC offers a variety of services that contribute to the health and vitality of the historic and resilient community through health care clinics, workforce development programs, and more.

“SIUE realizes human potential, amplifies access to education for all individuals with a focus on equity, and makes outsized contributions not only to the region, but also to the state and the nation “, said SIUE Chancellor James T. Minor, PhD. “SIUE East St. Louis Center is a critical contributor to that promise and goal.

“Our service to the historic and resilient community of East St. Louis and surrounding communities is important. We are honored to provide educational programs at the Wyvetter H. Younge Higher Education Campus. Our East St. Louis Center educational programs and community outreach initiatives align with the late Representative’s action-oriented mission to improve people’s lives, and we are proud to honor her legacy in this way.

Over the next few months, signage across campus will be officially changed to reflect the new name, and a new digital bulletin board will be added.


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