Linn-Benton Community College got its start in 1966 when a group of local businessmen and women petitioned the state of Oregon to hold an election to establish a community college district. Discussions had gone on for some time about a community college to serve the residents of Linn and Benton Counties, but the state of Oregon, in its legislation to establish community colleges in 1959, planned that community colleges in Salem and Eugene would meet this need. So the creation of a community college district located in Linn and Benton Counties was a grass roots effort that succeeded due to the determination of many local citizens who donated hours, and years, of their lives to make it happen. Linn-Benton Community College celebrated its fortieth anniversary in fall 2007 having served some six hundred thousand students. Considering the changes that have taken place in the local economy in the last forty years, it is difficult to imagine what the citizens of Linn and Benton Counties would have done without their community college. This is the story of how those early supporters accomplished this feat, the opposition they faced and the support they found in unusual places. It is the story of how ordinary people living ordinary lives did something truly extraordinary that changed the course of local history. And it is the story of the people equally dedicated, who carried it on.