The College was established by referendum in 1965 and opened September 1967. It is named for Dr. William Rainey Harper, a pioneer in the junior college movement in the United States and the first president of the University of Chicago. Harper College is now one of the nation’s premier community colleges and one of the largest, serving more than 40,000 students annually in Chicago’s northwest suburbs. The College’s academic programs prepare students for rewarding careers and for transfer to four-year universities. Harper offers associate degree and certification programs, advanced career programs, workforce training, professional development, continuing education classes, accelerated degree options for adults and developmental education programs.