NCCC salutes and celebrates community at 50th anniversary event

Asst. Prof. Larry McFadden honored with Chancellor's Award

Date:28 Apr, 2018

NCCC salutes and celebrates community at 50th anniversary event

Sen. Betty Little, long-time faculty member recognized


Photo caption: North Country Community College faculty member Larry McFaddin, left, stands with college President Dr. Steve Tyrell after McFaddin was announced as a recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service at the college’s Community Leaders Day event on Friday, April 27, 2018 in Saranac Lake.


Saranac Lake — North Country Community College welcomed more than 70 political, business and civic leaders to the college’s Saranac Lake campus on Friday for Community Leaders Day.

Part of the college’s 50th anniversary festivities, the event in the Connector was an opportunity for the college to thank its dedicated community partners for their ongoing support of the college. It also served as a celebration of the lasting impact the college has had, and continues to have, on people across the region.

Community Leaders Day featured remarks by Josh Dann, Saranac Lake High School principal and an NCCC alumnus, Victoria Smith, a current nursing student at the college, and Larry McFaddin, a long-time NCCC employee and faculty member.

The event also included a recognition and thank you to Sen. Betty Little, who recently secured funding for the college to upgrade its Saranac Lake campus, and the presentation of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service to an unsuspecting Larry McFaddin.

Stae Se. Betty Little at 50th Celebration

Photo caption: State Sen. Betty Little addresses the crowd at North Country Community College’s Community Leaders Day at the college’s Saranac Lake campus, as NCCC President Dr. Steve Tyrell looks on, on Friday, April 27, 2018.


College President Dr. Steve Tyrell welcomed the audience and introduced the college’s many community partners in attendance.

“We have so many people here who represent those key partnerships the college has developed over the years, partners who have directly impacted on the success of the college,” he said. “Their support has contributed to the incredible impact our faculty and staff have had on lifting up thousands of students throughout the region.”

Chief among the college’s partners is Sen. Little, who recently secured $1.1 million from the state Dormitory Authority to upgrade the college’s science labs and athletic facilities – the largest single capital investment in the Saranac Lake campus in decades. In appreciation for her support, Tyrell presented Little with an award “for her hard work, commitment and contributions to NCCC’s success.”

In her remarks to the crowd, Sen. Little talked about the importance of North Country Community College to the Saranac Lake community.

“The college is so good for the community,” she said. “The people on the faculty here all participate in the community. If you ever think about not having this college, there would be a huge void in the Saranac Lake area without the faculty, the administration, the workers, the jobs and the students that are able to come here and get an education. The education program here is second to none, and we’re very pleased to have it in our county and our community.”

Josh Dan, principal of Saranac Lake High School

Photo caption: Saranac Lake High School Principal and North Country Community College alumnus Josh Dann talks about how his experience at the college helped shape his life and career at NCCC’s Community Leaders Day event on Friday, April 27, 2018 in Saranac Lake.

Community impact

Dr. Tyrell outlined several ways the college has contributed to its communities. In the last 10 years, for example, more than 2,300 NCCC graduates have joined the workforce, a number that includes students from the college’s nursing, radiologic technology, chemical dependency, criminal justice, wilderness recreation leadership and human services programs. North Country’s economic impact to the region surpasses $50 million a year.

Attendees at 50th Celebration Coummity Leaders gathering

Photo caption: The audience listens in the North Country Community College Connector on Friday, April 27 as college President Dr. Steve Tyrell delivers his remarks.

Many of the college’s new programs and initiatives are designed to respond to and support community and regional needs. Since 2009, faculty have added new degree programs in Environmental Science, Health Sciences, Child and Family Services and an online Liberal Arts program. The college’s Board of Trustees recently approved a new Advanced EMT certificate program in response to discussions with county leaders about a shortage of emergency medical personnel in the region.

“We will continue to work closely with our community partners and ensure that student success remains at the center of our mission,” said Dr. Tyrell.

Victoria Smith at 50th Celebration

Photo caption: Victoria Smith, a nursing student at North Country Community College, speaks at the college’s Community Leaders Day on Friday, April 27, 2018 in Saranac Lake.

Three generations

Community Leaders Day featured three speakers who represent three different generations at North Country Community College.

Josh Dann, a 1998 Liberal Arts program graduate, described himself as an underachiever in high school who put in the minimal amount of effort just so he could play sports. That changed when he came to North Country, he said.

“Stop coasting and work. Nobody is going to do it for you,” is what Dann said he was told by faculty members like Ken Youngblood and Larry McFaddin. “My instructors at NCCC cared about me. They knew my name and what I needed. That’s why North Country is special. There is no doubt that North Country gave me exactly what I needed and was the foundation of my future.”

Victoria Smith, who recently won the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence, talked about how she cultivated her passion for nursing after coming to Saranac Lake to attend North Country.

“Finding out that there was a program in nursing here that was so affordable was incredible,” she said. “I’ve been able to come through school without any debt so far. NCCC and Saranac Lake has been a perfect place for me to be. The college has really inspired me to be the best at what I do and to really serve the community.”

Larry McFaddin has worked at the college in a variety of capacities since 1981; soccer coach, student services coordinator, president of the NCCC Association, head of the athlete mentoring program, and the developer and chair of the Sports and Events Management program.

“Great teaching, mentoring, coaching, advising, academic help, help with personal issues, a shoulder to cry on, advice on life’s challenges and much more surround our students every day at NCCC,” McFaddin said. “Not just from the faculty, but from the administration, support staff, CSEA, the entire college community and certainly the local communities where our students live and play as they attend our three campuses.”

Special recognition

Following McFaddin’s remarks, and unbeknownst to him, Dr. Tyrell presented McFaddin with the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service, one of the highest awards to faculty in the SUNY system.

“Larry truly loves and cares for this institution,” Tyrell said, describing him as the “revered statesman” of the college. “His long-term dedication, ongoing enthusiasm, and clear understanding of student and faculty, as well as college administrative needs, make him an unequalled candidate for this Chancellor’s Award.”

True to his modest nature, McFaddin attributed his success at the college to a “team effort” of faculty, staff and administration.

“We do care truly about the students,” he said. “We’re very lucky to have this institution here. I really hope we can continue and keep rising above, and I’m sure we will. Thank you very much to everybody.”

50th Commencement

The college’s 50th anniversary festivities began with a Founder’s Day reception in the Connector in February of last year and included an inaugural Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony in September 2017. The college’s 50th commencement, the last public event in the celebration, will take place on May 12.