Month: August 2020

Trustees, President Remember Donald Means

August 31, 2020 | Campus News

Donald Means, one of the original East Central College Trustees passed away Friday, Aug. 28, at the age of 89.

Means served on the ECC Board of Trustees for 24 years, from 1968 to 1992.

“Our sympathy is with his family and many friends,” said ECC President Dr. Jon Bauer. “I am grateful for the leadership, vision, and service he provided to the college, and glad he was able to see the impact of his devotion over these past five decades.”

According to Dr. Bauer, Means was devoted to the growth and success of the college.

“He paid particular interest to the college’s finances and was instrumental in the establishment and maintenance of a college reserve,” he said. “Mr. Means had a long career in financial services, and brought his business acumen to the board. Beyond his interest in East Central, he was very active in the Washington community over many decades.”

In a note to campus Monday and during the monthly Board of Trustees meeting, Dr. Bauer addressed Means’ dedication to ECC.

He noted that Means was involved with the selection of the first president, Dr. Donald Shook, the hiring of the initial faculty and staff, securing temporary facilities for the college, acquiring the site of the main campus at Highway 50 and Prairie Dell Road, and the first four phases of construction (now George Buescher Hall, the Donald Shook Student Center, and two phases of what is now Robert E. Hansen Hall).


After retiring from the board, Means was a member of the college redistricting committee, supported various ballot initiatives, and expressed on many occasions his pride in the institution with which he was involved from day one.

“One of the last conversations I had with Mr. Means was about the 50th anniversary of the college. He was planning to attend the celebration last fall, but unexpected oral surgery prevented that from happening,” Dr. Bauer said.

“This weekend I spoke with Dr. Shook and Bob Hansen — the last surviving member of the charter board —and both recalled Don’s devotion and service as a college trustee. The term trustee fits perfectly, as Don viewed his role as holding in trust the community’s college. He took that responsibility seriously and carried it out with integrity and commitment.”

Services from Means are private. His family is being served by Oltmann Funeral Home:

Anyone who would like to make a donation in his memory, can do so here:


VIDEO: Class of 2020 Commencement

August 31, 2020 | Campus News

The East Central College Class of 2020 graduates deserve to be recognized for their achievements.

In the video below, ECC President Dr. Bauer applauds their accomplishments as photos of some graduates are featured. An entire list of 2020 graduates is included.

ECC Ranked Second in Study of Two-Year Colleges

August 25, 2020 | Campus News

East Central College is second-ranked of all the two-year and community colleges in the state of Missouri according to the financial website WalletHub. WalletHub based its findings on the costs of tuition and fees and the quality of education.

In its 2020 Best & Worst Community Colleges study, WalletHub evaluated nearly 700 two-year and community colleges nationwide, including the 13 in Missouri, on three key dimensions — cost and financing, education outcomes, and career outcomes.

The dimensions were determined through 18 in-depth metrics, such as the average amount of financial aid received, availability of employment services for students, and rates of retention, graduation, and transfers.

The findings show that ECC ranks second among “two-year” colleges, but first among traditional community colleges in Missouri.

“We are thrilled to be recognized by an outside organization for our successes,” said East Central College president Dr. Jon Bauer. “We take pride in offering a high-quality education while keeping costs low compared to four-year colleges and universities.”

“Our students always perform well when they leave East Central College — when they continue their educational journey, or join the workforce.”

According to WalletHub, cost is a major consideration when choosing a college; and community colleges offer students the ability to receive an education without the financial strain.

For example, in 2019-20, tuition and fees for full-time, in-state enrollment at a public two-year college averaged $3,730 per year versus $10,440 at a public four-year institution and $36,880 at a four-year private school, WalletHub reported.

Students who earn an Associate of Arts degree at a community college like East Central College and transfer to an in-state public four-year university can see significant savings.

“At ECC, we already know that our students keep their costs down while getting a top-tier education,” Dr. Bauer added. “It is refreshing that others have noticed this too.”

The study noted that in addition to serving as an affordable option for education, community colleges have several attractive qualities. They often provide more flexible schedules, smaller class sizes and rigorous coursework.

These qualities appeal especially to students who need to balance their studies with other commitments, such as family and work.

To read more about the findings of the study and the metric used to determine ranks, visit


Students Encouraged to Download Aviso App

August 24, 2020 | Campus News

East Central College students have help at their fingertips to keep them on track to meet their educational goals.

Aviso is a an app for mobile devices designed for students to communicate with their advisors and a success coach, part of the the team that supports them on their journey at ECC.

Within Aviso, students can see their schedule, attendance, midterm grades, advisor, success coach, instructor names and more. Through the app, it is easy to make an appointment or email any member of the student’s team without needing to search for contact information.

While instructors are a key component to success, advisors, success coaches and tutors also are invested in students’ success.

Through Aviso, students and their success team will get notifications for high and/or low midterm grades, or if attendance is not where it needs to be to be successful.

Students can set appointments with an advisor, success coach and instructors (if they have activated that feature).

In addition, advisors, financial aid, coaches or instructors may send tasks that need to be completed with links. For instance, if a student is eligible for a scholarship, an advisor might send a task with the link to complete the application.

Visit the Aviso Information Page at  on the Student Section of the website

Click below to download the app:


ECC and Campus Life & Leadership Present “Welcome Week”

August 20, 2020 | Campus News

East Central College is welcoming back students next week with snacks, games and ice cream to kick off the Fall semester.

Welcome Week begins Monday with a breakfast and concludes Thursday with a trivia event.

All of the activities and snacks are completely free for ECC students.

Listed below are the events, times and locations of Welcome Week activities:

Monday, Aug. 24

  • Grab n’ Go Breakfast — 7:30-10 a.m. The Learning Center Atrium in Buescher Hall.
  • Informational Booths — 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. One booth in each building: Hansen Hall, Health and Science building, Donald D. Shook Student Center (DSSC) and Buescher Hall.
  • Snacks — 3:30-6 p.m., Theatre Atrium in Hansen Hall.

Tuesday, Aug. 25

  • Grab n’ Go Breakfast — 7:30-10 a.m. The Learning Center Atrium in BH.
  • Informational Booths — 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. One booth in each building: Hansen Hall (HH), Health and Science building (HS), Donald D. Shook Student Center (DSSC) and Buescher Hall.

Wednesday, Aug. 26

  • Yard Games — 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the ‘Quad” outside of DSSC.
  • “We All Scream for Ice Cream” — 3:30-5 p.m., Theatre Atrium in Hansen Hall.

Thursday, Aug. 27

  • ECC Throwback Trivia — 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., ECC Campus Life & Leadership Facebook page. Follow the page to participate and win prizes.

Walk-In Weekend This Saturday

August 11, 2020 | Campus News

East Central College will host its Walk-In Weekend Saturday, Aug. 15, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

This is an opportunity for current and prospective students to get ready for the Fall 2020 semester.

At the event, students can apply to East Central College, register for classes, take a placement test, receive assistance with financial aid and meet with an advisor. The bookstore and learning center also will be open during the event.

No appointment is needed. Students can walk in at any time during the event.

Walk-In Weekend will be at Buescher Hall, 1964 Prairie Dell Road, Union.

People may call 636-584-6588 or email with questions.

Theatre in the Glen Coming this Fall

August 10, 2020 | Campus News Performing Arts

The East Central College Theatre Department is heading to the great outdoors this Fall for their first-ever productions in the “Theatre in the Glen” at the Union campus.

The performance series will kick off Friday, Sept. 11, with “Hidden in This Picture,” a play written by Aaron Sorkin. The preshow begins at 5 p.m. and the performance begins at 6:30 p.m.

A second performance will be Sunday, Sept. 13, at 3:30 p.m. for the preshow and 5 p.m. for the performance.

Theatre in the Glen was developed due to restrictions prompted by COVID-19 and keeping the theatre staff, cast and audience safe and healthy, according to Grace Austin, theatre director.

“We had an incredible 20/21 theatre season ready to announce when it became very clear that any type of indoor event with a large crowd of people was simply not safe,” she said. “Fortunately, when we first came up with this plan the administration was incredibly supportive and we have had nothing but enthusiasm from day one.”

At each of the Theatre Department shows there will be food trucks and beverages for purchase during the preshow.

The theatre department will follow up the September shows with “Epic Proportions” that will be held Oct. 2 and 4.

“We are living in unprecedented times. The world as we know it has changed forever, and the only way that the arts will survive is by changing with it,” Austin said.

“ECC has always been known for its strong commitment to the arts, and being able to pivot to an outdoor performance series will allow us to continue our commitment to our students and the community to be a corner stone of arts and culture.”

The performances will be in the grassy area at the heart of the ECC campus between Hansen Hall and the Donald Shook Student Center.

The audience can purchase tickets for a square where they can sit on a blanket within a 10-foot by 10-foot square painted on the hill. Each square can seat up to six people.  No lawn chairs are permitted in the grass areas.

There also will be four-top table seats available for purchase on the bridge overlooking the Glen.

“Lawn Squares,” that can seat up to six people cost $20 and “‘Skywalk Seats,” that will seat four people, are $40.

Patrons of the Arts can begin reserving their squares or tables soon for “Hidden in this Picture” and “Epic Proportions.” Tickets for the first performance will go on sale publicly Aug. 17.

Other Music, Theatre, Art and Film & Lecture events planned in the Glen are the ECC Band Concert on Oct. 20; Classics & Cocktails: Anatomy of a Murder (Film & Music with the ECC Jazz Band), Oct. 22; and the Theatre Department’s performance of “Tales from the Shadows,” Oct. 28-30.

Theatre Performances

During “Hidden in This Picture,” the preshow will include barbecue from Hazel’s Back Barbecue, Washington; and refreshments from Dana’s Shaved Ice, St. Clair; and Pinckney Bend Distillery, New Haven.

Austin works at the Muny every summer and is bringing the excitement and knowledge of outdoor performances to ECC.

“I see how much people love attending outdoor theater,” she said.

“Using what I’ve learned, along with the knowledge of my colleagues, we’ve been able to use some of those performance and technical techniques and apply them to the Glen.”

Austin added that performances will run about 50 minutes.

“Play selection was somewhat out of necessity — shows need to be short in order to avoid an intermission, and we wanted to make sure that we could appeal to a wide age range,” Austin said. “I have always loved both scripts that we chose, and I’m looking forward to hearing the audience laughter during performance!”


Masks will be required unless audience members are seated in their lawn squares or at their tables. Walkways will be spaced according to CDC guidelines.

Social distancing will be observed while standing in line and there will be no tickets exchanged and all programs will only be available digitally.

In addition, each seat will be assigned to a bathroom in order to maximize space and safety.

“I am so looking forward to the energy from the audience that comes during a performance evening,” Austin said. “We are so fortunate to have incredible support from our audiences, I know that the actors and technicians and I are really looking forward to seeing everyone’s faces again.”

For more information visit or call the Box Office at 636-584-6693

ECC Planning Video Commencement

August 4, 2020 | Campus News

East Central College will be recognizing 2020 graduates through a recorded Commencement video in lieu of an in-person ceremony due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

ECC President Dr. Jon Bauer said the decision to forgo a traditional graduation ceremony this year was difficult to make, and he expressed that safety and health of the ECC community was the primary factor of having a recognition video instead of an in-person commencement.

“The health and safety of our students and employees is paramount and holding a ceremony while maintaining appropriate social distances is not possible at this time,” Dr. Bauer said.

Dr. Bauer added that graduation is an important milestone for students, their family, and friends and ECC faculty and staff. He encourages students to participate in the Commencement video.

“We truly want to recognize the incredible accomplishments of our 2020 graduates,” he said. “Many of them overcame adversity during an unprecedented Spring semester and have built a great foundation for their future education or career endeavors.”

All Class of 2020 graduates are invited to the next in-person graduation ceremony where they will be recognized.

Dr. Bauer noted that ECC made every effort to hold a traditional, in-person commencement ceremony, but due to a spike in COVID-19 cases in the area — and the size of the 2020 graduating class — holding a large gathering would not be safe for students, faculty or staff.

ECC conferred 342 degrees and certificates to spring semester graduates. It was the largest spring graduation class in several years.

The college is asking that students submit photos of themselves in their caps and gowns holding their diploma covers. The photos can include the graduates with their family and friends or by themselves.

The photos will be complied into a video that will include a message from Dr. Bauer as well as acknowledging the Outstanding Alumni and Outstanding Student of the past year. The video will list the accomplishments of each graduate, including academic honors (including Phi Theta Kappa) and the degree and/or certificate they earned.

2020 graduate photos and information can be sent to The deadline to submit the photos is Friday, Aug. 14.

Pre-ordered caps and gowns are at the ECC Bookstore. There also are extra caps and gowns for those who did not order them. The Bookstore is open Mondays through Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.