Abandoned John F. Kennedy College

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John F. Kennedy College was founded in 1965 in Wahoo, Nebraska. The college was named after President John F. Kennedy. Due to financial issues following the end of  the military draft in 1973 (the year I was born), the college was forced to close its doors forever in 1975.


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Jagged broken glass of the windows jutting out like teeth, splintered boards leaning against the trees, and large chunks of concrete litter the porch. Numerous signs warn against trespassing.


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The photograph above is of a boarded window in the old gym.  JFK College athletic teams became known for pioneering early intercollegiate women’s athletics. The softball team won the first three Woman’s College World Series championships in 1969-1971.


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The college’s 1973 women’s basketball team won the AAU Women’s Basketball Championship and was one of the first teams from the United States to play in the People’s Republic of China, and it was even an article in Sport’s Illustrated.



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Now the halls sit crumbling and rotting. Houses surround the old campus, and I wonder how long it will take the neighborhood to tire of the decaying buildings.

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In 2013, the city of Wahoo was considering what to do with the campus again, but obviously they still have not sold the property. One of the more less desirable options on their list was to clean up the buildings before tearing them down. I hope someone decides to purchase the buildings to turn them into apartments, shelters or something equally useful. I read the structures are sound.



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Ladies from one of the surrounding homes, watched me closely as they gossiped from their porches. They changed positions as I moved about the campus, and seemed fine with me being there until I stepped onto the porch of the girls dorm building (pictured above). I stepped carefully around the rubble, noticing the women scowling.




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My husband and I drove away from the college campus, and police car crept by. My husband and I thought they were probably making sure we were leaving. If you do go check out this property, make sure you stay off the porch and keep your visit quick!


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Trish Eklund is the owner and creator of Abandoned, Forgotten, & Decayed, and Family Fusion Community, an online resource for blended families of all types. Trish’s photography has been featured on Only in Nebraska, ListVerse, Nature Takes Over and Pocket Abandoned. Check out the new Bonanza Store for AFD merchandise! Follow on Instagram and Facebook. Trish is regularly featured on The MightyHuffington Post Divorce, and Her View From Home.  She has also been featured on Making Midlife Matter, and The Five Moms, and has an essay in the anthology, Hey, Who’s In My House? Stepkids Speak Out by Erin Mantz.

Trish at Beetison2

Categories: Abandoned School, John F. Kennedy College, NE, Trish EklundTags: , , , , ,


  1. anthony mathews

    I was enrolled at JFK college in 1973. Wonderful school. I loved it. Always will. Steven Mathews, New Jersey.

  2. Kent Johnson

    This is sad to see. My older brother Walt was a student there from 1966 to 1970. It was there he met the wonderful woman who later became his wife.

    • trishwriter

      Wow, that’s awesome he met his wife there! I hate seeing it sitting there decay! It’s such a pretty campus too! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Anna

    Who currently owns the grounds? Have they never been open to other business opportunities there? What is the backstory as to why it has remained vacant? I grew up in Nebraska and have never even heard of this place until today. I just moved nearby and would be interested to hear the backstory and if there are any options to rebuilding there or if the owner would entertain any business opportunities there.

  4. Craig Alderman

    Hate to see it like this. Fond memories. First class in 1965
    Until I got a personal invite from the Army. I believe they wanted me to see SE Asia.
    So I did the patriotic thing. Said “F… That” and joined the Air Force in Nov 66.

    • trishwriter

      Thanks for sharing! I love hearing from former students! It is sad to see it just rotting. Take care!

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