William Rainey Harper College or WRHC is a public, 2-year community college located in Palatine, IL. It was established in March 1965 by a referendum and opened in September 1967. It was named after Dr. William Rainey Harper, who was a pioneer in the junior college movement in the United States and the first president of University of Chicago. When it opened, WRHC's colors were gold and red. As of September 2009, Dr. Kenneth Ender is WRHC's current president. WRHC's mascot is the hawk, and its current colors are blue and silver.
The campus sprawls over 200 acres and was designed to have an informal layout. The buildings are named after the letters of the alphabet and are surrounded by the parking lots and campus drive and entrances/exits. Not all classes are on the main campus. Some classes are taught at the Northeast Centre (NEC) in Prospect Heights, IL, the Harper Professional Centre (HPC) in Schaumburg, IL, the Illinois Small Business Development Centre (ISBDE) in the same building as the HPC, and the Illinois workNet Centre in Arlington Heights, IL, which WRHC partners with. WRHC serves the following communities: Arlington Heights, Barrington, Barrington Hills, Elk Grove Village, Hoffman Estates, Inverness, Lake Barrington, Mount Prospect, North Barrington, Palatine, Prospect Heights, Rolling Meadows, Schaumburg, South Barrington, Tower Lakes, Wheeling and portions of Buffalo Grove, Carpentersville, Deer Park, Des Plaines, Fox River Grove, Hanover Park and Roselle. All courses, educational programs, counseling services and distance learning programs are fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of College and Secondary Schools. WRHC is trying to get some 4-year bachelor's programs and things like dorms onto the campus, but that won't happen any time soon or too quickly. WRHC has several clubs and sports, which can be found on WRHC's website, www.harpercollege.edu.
Some notable WRHC alumni and faculty are: - Coach John Eliasik, NJCAA Region IV Hall of Fame started the football program in 1971 and was Harper's head coach until retiring in 2005. During his tenure, he coached 249 victories and influenced 400 players who transferred to four-year schools. He retired after 35 seasons as the head coach with the most wins in NJCAA history. - Quincy Black, linebacker for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2007–present). In 2003, Black attended Harper College and played for the Hawks making 88 tackles, 28 TFL, and 16.5 sacks. - Coach Dan Loprieno, inducted in 2008 to the NJCAA Region IV Hall of Fame for wrestling. - Julie Jestus, inducted in 2006 to the NJCAA Region IV Hall of Fame for women's basketball - E.E. Knight, class of 1985, science fiction and fantasy author - John Loprieno, class of 1980, actor/writer/director - Marlee Matlin, actress. In 1986, she won both the Academy Award for Best Actress and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Drama, for her role in Children of a Lesser God.