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NCCC plans reunion events in March, June

Where were you 45 years ago?

Members of the first class of Niagara County Community College -- 343 of them -- were in the old Nabisco Shredded Wheat Plant in Niagara Falls.

Since those days, 33,000 students have attended NCCC -- and all of them are invited to reunion events that take place this weekend, as well as June 5.

The reunion plan for students will in part celebrate the first graduating class of 137 "NTrip" students in 1965. Now in Sanborn, NCCC has nine classroom buildings and two dormitories which are spread out over 272 acres. The school offers 874 degree and 164 certificate possibilities to 8,000 students.

The reunion will begin with the aptly named "Shredded Wheat Breakfast" from 8 to 9:30 a.m. Friday in Building G. The menu will include a free breakfast of cold cereal and DiCamillo's doughnuts, as well as juice and a chance to reminisce.

"Mighty oaks from little acorns grow." The old proverb perfectly describes NCCC alumni, said alumnus William Paterson, a retired City of Tonawanda English teacher who was among the school's first graduates and serves as chairman of "Revolution NTrip Reunion."

"It was a very unique experience having the opportunity to be there at the very beginning," Paterson said last week.

He remembers having to contend with manual typewriters, carbon paper, razor blades for correcting those carbons, and rotary phones stuck to walls. Paterson went on to obtain two more degrees and had a 33-year career as an educator, but said he has fond memories of NCCC.

"Community college really got me started," he said. "It prepared me for the world. The fact that I was there since the beginning makes me feel even stronger about it. 'Nabisco Tech' forever."

Jill Spira, director of the NCCC Foundation, said other events will be held throughout the weekend and also on June 5 and 6.

Also this weekend:

*Following the breakfast, from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday in Building G, will be a second free breakfast and networking for current students "Hungry for a J.O.B. [Join Our Breakfast]," featuring 30 selected alumni mentors from different careers. Students will be offered a traditional egg breakfast. Services from the college's Office of Student Development also will be available for both current students and alumni to help them find jobs.

*Karaoke Night from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday in the Marlboro Inn, a Buffalo Street hangout in Sanborn. It's been so popular with NCCC students over the years, many call it "Building M." Nonperishbles will be collected.

*The NCCC Theater Department will present and evening of theater, culinary arts and cordials, featuring the classic 1967 comedy, "Barefoot in the Park," at 5 p.m. Saturday on the main campus. Tickets are $10.

In June there are additional events:

*Wingstock at 7 p.m. June 5 in the new Rapids Theatre, 1711 Main St. in Niagara Falls, will include a chicken wing competition among local restaurants. Cost is $15 for alumni and the general public and $10 for NCCC students, which includes wings, music and a basket auction. A historic photo-sharing contest will be part of the event; photos should be sent by e-mail to alumni@niagaracc.suny.edu.

*Alumni Uncorked will be held June 6 from noon to 7 p.m.; sponsored by the alumni association, participants will travel on a bus for wine tastings at five wineries on the Niagara Wine Trail. The last stop will include a buffet dinner. Cost is $65 for alumni and $70 for the public.

Register for any these events at www.niagaracc.suny.edu/alumni/alumnieven ts.php. For more information, contact the alumni office at 614-5910.

e-mail: nfischer@buffnews.com

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