Dr. James M. Collier is remembered with respect, admiration and affection as the founding father of Elizabethtown Community and Technical College. In the mid-1950s he led a group of civic-minded community leaders in their quest for an institution of higher learning in Elizabethtown. He had the vision to know the importance of education and the impact it would have on the quality of life in north central Kentucky. Under Dr. Collier’s leadership, North Central Kentucky Education Foundation was established as a non-profit organization in 1960, and began securing funds for purchase of land for the college. The foundation purchased 227 acres and deeded over 55 acres to the University of Kentucky for development of Elizabethtown Community College. ECC opened its doors in 1964 to its first class of 355 students.
Dr. Collier stayed involved with the college over the years as an instructor of government classes, and through his unwavering support of faculty, students and campus activities. The campus James M. Collier Learning Resource Center was appropriately named for him as our founding father.