William Patterson and Ronald Zito have been named Niagara County Community College's Distinguished Alumni for 2008. Both men will be inducted into the college's Distinguished Alumni Gallery on Oct. 25 at the NCCC Foundation's Annual Scholarship Gala on the college's main campus.
A lifelong resident of Niagara Falls, Patterson was a member of the college's inaugural graduating class in 1965. He then went on to earn a bachelor's degree from the University at Buffalo and a master's degree from Niagara University.
Patterson was an employee of the City of Tonawanda school district for 32 years, teaching English, government and history. He was nominated numerous times for the district's Teacher of the Year award. He continued his teaching career at Niagara University as a writing instructor following his retirement in 2000.
Patterson also worked part-time for the community relations division of the New York Power Authority for 33 years, retiring in 2006. A Navy veteran and member of Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 77 and American Legion Post 1142, Patterson currently serves on the boards of directors for the Niagara County Law Enforcement Foundation and Literacy Volunteers of Niagara County.
A lifelong Niagara County resident, Zito earned his associate's degree in nursing from NCCC in 1978 and has worked locally in the health care industry for more than 20 years. He is the executive director of Our Lady of Peace Nursing Care Residence of Mount St. Mary's Hospital and Health Center.
Zito holds a master's degree in rehabilitation/adult health from UB. He is a licensed nursing home administrator.
He has shown dedication to NCCC through the training programs he organized at Our Lady of Peace, which currently provides extensive real-life training, professional guidance and job prospects for 30 NCCC nursing students. He also has served as a past member of the Niagara Wheatfield School Board and past treasurer of the Mental Health Association of Niagara County.