Events Student News

College celebrates 100th Founders Day

President Rich Wagner delivered the following address to the  college community at a Founders Day All-College Assembly on Friday, Dec. 12. The College’s 100th Founders Day occurred on Sunday, Dec. 14.


To start, I want to read a short piece from the Last Will and Testament of William Hood Dunwoody.

“Believing that in the multiplied facilities for obtaining a liberal education by the youth of this state, enough attention has not been given to instruction in the industrial and mechanical arts, therefore, it is my purpose and desire to establish and endow a school to be called the ‘William Hood Dunwoody Industrial Institute’ wherein shall be taught industrial and mechanical arts, giving special importance to the different handicraft and useful trades.”

After William’s death, his wife Kate worked with community leaders to organize and create the structures for this new school that made their dream a reality. On December 14, 1914, Kate attended the opening ceremonies as 80 students and 7 instructors started classes in four programs…and here we are 100 years later.

It is hard to believe: one hundred years of changing lives, providing hope, and building better communities through technical education. William and Kate Dunwoody saw a need and through their visionary leadership and philanthropy wanted, in their words — “to provide for all time a place.” And what a place it has become!

To reflect on all the accomplishments of Dunwoody’s faculty and staff and of Dunwoody’s alumni and students over our first 100 years is overwhelming.

The faculty and staff of Dunwoody:

  • Created and implemented the educational model that is the gold standard for career and technical education and has resulted in Dunwoody being called the birthplace of technical education
  • Provide a unique educational experience that helps students realize their maximum potential
  • Started technical education programs across the globe
  • And today are leading the technical education renaissance

Dunwoody alumni have:

  • Changed companies through the leadership and technical expertise they bring into the world of work
  • Changed industries by creating companies and creating new technologies and processes that revolutionized things like fiberglass welding, microchip processing, and sugar free fat-free commercial baking
  • With the good jobs and great careers a Dunwoody education affords they have changed the world by building better communities as active and productive citizens — in the words of our founders they have “fit themselves for the better performance of life’s duties.”

It is incredible to think that the vision of two humble people has had such a profound impact —an impact that can be seen throughout the Twin Cities, the State of Minnesota and across the globe.

So today we reflect on the significance of Dunwoody and we attempt to understand our place in this great history:

Faculty and staff — not only are you part of the legacy, but you preserve our traditions while helping us reach for the future. Your commitment to the mission of the College keeps us focused and your dedication to our students creates a unique learning environment and distinguishes Dunwoody as the leader in hands-on student centric learning.

Students you are the next chapter in Dunwoody’s storied history. And from what you’ve shown us so far in the results of the competitions in which you participate in many of our programs; the quality of your work displayed across the campus; and what is happening every day in the classroom we can rest assured that the next chapter is going to be even better!

In this this room we see the Dunwoody’s dream, we feel the presence of the Dunwoody’s spirit, and we take great satisfaction in knowing that William and Kate Dunwoody are proud of all the people that have been positively touched by their vision.

It is so cool to look around this room and see all of us gathered together: the people that are Dunwoody. Dunwoody’s legacy isn’t about a building. It’s about a place. And that place is defined, and continues to be defined, by people — all of us and all of those who have gone before. Together we have created for all time a place!

Stay commitment, be proud because together — we are Dunwoody!