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10th Anniversary

McLennan Community College congratulates Dr. Johnette McKown on 10 years as MCC President

K.P. Holt, Johnette McKown, and another college president

Dr. Johnette McKown became the third president of McLennan Community College in 2009. She began her tenure at MCC in 1989 when she provided leadership for the campus, first as Vice President of Business Services and then as Executive Vice President.

A past Fulbright Scholar, Dr. McKown serves and represents the college and community on several local, state, and national boards. She serves on the Providence Health Network Board and the Family Health Center Board, the Texas Association of Community Colleges (Past-Chair), and previously served on the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

The focus of Dr. McKown’s presidency has been:

  • Student access & success
  • Eliminating barriers
  • Volunteerism
  • People
  • Mentoring
  • Support for students in multiple activities on and off-campus
  • Making college cost-effective

“There is a legacy to continue by expanding on the innovative ideas from my predecessors, Dr. Wilbur Ball, and Dr. Dennis Michaelis.”Dr. McKown

Some highlights over the past 10 years at MCC:

  • The Completion Center: The center assists students in completing their degrees or certificates and directs them to resources they use to graduate.
  • Tutoring: MCC students may access free tutoring in all subjects from trained staffers.
  • Paulanne's Pantry: The free food pantry, which seeks to combat food insecurity on campus, is available to all students under an endowed gift.
  • The University Center: Partnerships with Tarleton State University and Texas Tech University allow students to complete their bachelor's degrees on MCC's campus.
  • Dual credit: An increasing number of local high school students take advantage of dual credit courses at MCC. Many students now earn their associate's degrees alongside their high school degrees, and those numbers are expected to increase.
  • Grand Opening of the Health Professions Simulation Lab (2012): MCC’s Simulation Lab is the centerpiece of MCC’s Health Professions Complex, a cluster of new and existing buildings created to extend in-depth, hands-on healthcare training.
  • “All-Steinway School”: McLennan Community College is a part of the Steinway and Sons piano family. Through its initiative to purchase 27 new Steinway pianos, MCC has joined an exclusive group of colleges and universities to hold the title of All-Steinway School.
  • Occupational Therapy Program added in 2014: The OTA program at McLennan joins in the endeavor to "engage and strengthen the community" by educating and training competent entry-level occupational therapy assistants who will provide top-quality therapy services to diverse populations in various types of health care settings.
  • Lecture from Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas (2017): Clarence Thomas, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, visited the campus for this free presentation open to the public.
  • National Security Agency & the Dept. of Homeland Security designated MCC as National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education (2019): The National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security designated MCC as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education.
  • Established the Stephen & Stuart McKown Emergency Fund: This fund is managed by the McLennan Foundation and provides small grants to students in need of assistance.
  • New/Upgraded Facilities: Simulation Center, Parking Garages, BT Building, Learning Commons, and Cosmetology.
  • Victor and Iris Jeffress Scholarship Fund: The single largest gift to the MCC Foundation in history.
  • Assets in the MCC Foundation: Increased from $6,780,802 in 2009 to $20,462,622 as of May 31, 20019.

“We are in a good place for the future as we continue focusing on student success as well as balancing the needs of our community and workforce.” - Dr. McKown

"When the City of Waco began reviewing how we train our Police and Fire personnel, Dr. McKown saw the opportunity for the City and MCC to work together to create a county-wide facility that has resulted in the Emergency Services Education Center. Her enthusiasm for the project fostered the expansion of first responder courses offered to include Criminal Justice, and Paramedicine, in addition to our Police and Fire academies. I greatly appreciate her willingness to partner with us and lead a project that remains an excellent shared resource for our community." - Waco City Manager Wiley Stem III

"I wholeheartedly commend Dr. McKown for her commitment to higher education and serving Central Texas. We are grateful for the work she does on behalf of McLennan Community College and its students. Her leadership was influential as I worked to develop a thoughtful position on how to approach solutions for our Dreamer population. It is an honor to represent great leaders like Dr. McKown in Congress. I congratulate her on this significant milestone and wish her continued success." - U.S. Rep. Bill Flores

"She is just the sweetest, most down-to-earth person I've ever met. She's always very helpful and willing to find any way to make you successful, so that really helped me as I went through nursing school. Nursing school is not an easy thing, and she was always there to provide me with any assistance that I needed, or direct me to where I could direct questions and concerns. … She was always trying to influence us to do good." - Crystal Perez, a former Presidential Scholar at MCC.

For more information about Dr. McKown