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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 Mighty, Huffington 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.