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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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Photo courtesy: Telegraph Herald

TRI-COLLEGES. On October 10, 1989, on the twentieth anniversary of the Tri-College consortium of the UNIVERSITY OF DUBUQUE, LORAS COLLEGE, and CLARKE COLLEGE, the Tri-Colleges released their first joint report of economic impact on the tri-state region. Totaling $88.42 million in 1988, the impact included goods and services purchased locally, construction costs, spending by out-of-town visitors, spending by students, and payroll turnover in the region. Through the consortium, students enrolled at one of the three schools might also register for classes at the other two. The three institutions also jointly administered the Tri-College Department of Education with one department serving all three schools, the Tri-College Department of Social Work, the Tr-College Degree Programs and the Adult Re-entry Seminar. (1)

The joint-program was signified by a logo designed by graphic designer Mary K. Sailer, a senior designer at WILLIAM C. BROWN PUBLISHERS in its college division. (2)

Visitors to the three colleges accounted for an estimated one-third of all the tourism dollars spent in Dubuque County in 1988. The three colleges together were then the third largest service employer in the region and the area's sixth largest if private sector industry were included. The social and cultural impact of the colleges in 1988 included one hundred forty-five events open to the community and seventy-two cultural events. The study found that 7,144 graduates of the Tri-Colleges continued to live in the area and work at 988 different businesses.

In 1969 the Tri-Colleges formed the Tri-College Cooperative Effort, which promoted sharing curriculum and faculty. (3)

The Iowa Small Business Development Center (SBDC) was opened in the early 1985 through the efforts of a tri-college group who worked together and in partnership with the DUBUQUE AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, to address the need for entrepreneurial training and assistance. In October 2005 the SBDC in Northeast Iowa, which remaining located in Dubuque, changed host institutions to the Northeast Iowa Community College in Calmar. The Center served entrepreneurs and existing businesses in Allamakee, Clayton, Delaware, Dubuque and Winneshiek counties. (4)



1. Stanley, Mary, "Colleges to Use Newly Designed Logo," Telegraph Herald, August 24, 1989, p. 2

2. Ibid.

3. "Loras College," Encyclopaedia Britannica. Online: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/347979/Loras-College

4. "Iowa Small Business Development Centers." Online: http://www.iowasbdc.org/services/regional-centers/dubuque