Community College Campus a reality

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Community College Campus a reality


Western Nevada Community College


Newspaper article detailing the opening of Western Nevada Community College's Fallon Campus


Pat Stevensen


Fallon Eagle-Standard


November 22, 1981


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Community College Campus a reality

By Pat Stevenson

It represented the culmination of years of hard work and dedicated effort by many residents of the community. Heavy skies and a sharp breeze could not keep over 100 dignitaries, educators, officials and concerned citizens from attending the official opening ceremonies for the Fallon Campus of the Western Nevada Community College Thursday.

The Churchill County High School Band played, Reverend William Birdsey gave the invocation, and Past Exalted Ruler of the Fallon Elks Roy Bell led the Elks and Boy Scouts in a presentation of the flag ceremony. A United States flag and a Nevada State flag were presented to the college and raised by the scouts.

WNCC President Jack Davis introduced assemblymen Joe Dini and Ira Rackley, and other dignitaries. Dean of the Fallon Campus Michelle Dondero made a short speech expressing her appreciation for the accomplishments which resulted in the campus becoming a reality.

State Senator Virgil Getto reviewed briefly the history of the college, beginning back when now U.S. Senator Paul Laxalt was governor of Nevada. In 1971 Northern Nevada Community College brought classes into Fallon which were held in various rented facilities throughout the community. WNCC took over in 1975. A request for a Fallon campus was turned down by the 1977 Legislature, so Margaret Perazzo and other concerned citizens collected signatures on petitions to present to the 1979 legislature.

A basic building was approved but residents were told they would have to raise funds to complete the facility, hook up utilities, and so forth. Several sites selected proved to be wrong for one reason or another. Finally, the county commissioners donated part of the old fairgrounds property and the college project was underway. Various fund raising events, including a telethon and basketball games, were held to raise the needed money.

Churchill County Commission Chairman Skip Cann made brief remarks. Davis presented plaques of appreciation to architect and planner Maurice Nespor, Elliott Lima, Ron Martin, Ben Bartlett, and Perazzo. Nespor's plaque was an honor award from the Nevada State Architects Association for designing the best building in the state. Nespor then presented it to Dondero to place on display in the college.

"Oh God," began Reverend Birdsey's benediction, "we're cold on the outside and warm on the inside. It's been a good day. Bless us all."

Dondero cut a huge red ribbon and the crowd surged inside to examine the classrooms, have refreshments, and warm up.

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Pat Stevensen, “Community College Campus a reality,” Churchill County Museum Digital Archive: Fallon, Nevada, accessed May 23, 2024,