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Sep14
DAWSON CREEK – Northern Lights College is celebrating its 35th anniversary in 2010-11.
35th Anniversary LogoDAWSON CREEK – Northern Lights College is celebrating its 35th anniversary in 2010-11.

NLC opened officially as a post-secondary institution in September 1975. The first president of the College was Dr. Barry Moore, from 1975-1979, who had been a senior administrator at Grande Prairie Regional College.

As part of the 35th anniversary celebrations, NLC will be developing a time capsule, to be located in the Centre for Clean Energy Technologies building (Energy House), being constructed on the Dawson Creek Campus.

The time capsule will be opened as part of 50th anniversary celebrations in 2025. Municipalities and Aboriginal groups within the College area have been approached to provide an item for the time capsule. The public will also be invited to participate in the project, dependent upon available space.

Other activities during the 35th anniversary year include:

      • The grand opening ceremony for the Health Sciences Building, located on the Dawson Creek    
         Campus.Renovations to an existing Science Building were completed during the summer, and
         the facility will be home to the College’s Health Care Assistant and Practical Nursing programs.
         The project was funded through the Knowledge Infrastructure Program. The ceremony will be held
         Oct. 22.

      • Completion of the construction of Energy House, another project funded through the Knowledge
         Infrastructure Program. Energy House will become the new entrance to the main Campus Centre
         building, and will provide a focal point for programming, training and education in clean energy
         technologies. Work is to be completed in March 2011.

      • Community Science Celebration, in conjunction with Telus Science World, at the Fort Nelson
         Campus. The event will be held Nov. 20, from 10:30 am to 4 pm.

As well, a 35th anniversary logo is being included on College publications during the year.

“We are very proud to recognize the first 35 years of training and education at Northern Lights College. The College has played an important role for residents across northern British Columbia and beyond, and we will continue to be a key member of our communities in the future,” said NLC President Jean Valgardson. “We have several events and activities planned, with students, staff and the College’s role in its communities as the focus. I invite everyone to stop by your local campus during this 35th anniversary year and see what NLC has to offer you.”

The work towards the creation of NLC began in 1974. The provincial government formed a Regional Advisory Committee to create a community college in the north that would serve the areas of Dawson Creek, Fort St. John, Fort Nelson, Chetwynd, and the Stikine/Cassiar.

In May 1975, a new “Northeastern Community College” was created through an Order-in-Council. The legislation authorized School Districts 59, 81, and 87 to participate in establishing a college that would be based in Dawson Creek and would serve the northern third of the province. School District 60 joined the College in September 1977.

The name “Northern Lights College” was selected from entries in a name-the-college contest, and was announced on June 3, 1975.

Dawson Creek was the College’s main centre, due to the existing facilities from the BC Vocational School, which had operated since 1966. The Dawson Creek centre offered academic, vocational, career and continuing education courses.

Fort Nelson was the first location outside of Dawson Creek to offer courses. The Fort Nelson centre (which also administered the Stikine region) started in the SD 81 board office, and there were 115 people enrolled in the first year of programs. Over the ensuing three years, enrollment climbed to 800.

In Fort St. John, the College originally rented space in the basement of city hall, and then eventually moved to other temporary facilities.

In Cassiar, the first term started in November 1975, with 94 people enrolled in continuing education courses.

Programs started at the Chetwynd centre in 1976, which also served Hudson’s Hope. Office space was rented in the Chetwynd Motor Hotel, and programs were conducted in the Native Friendship Centre and the high school.

The Tumbler Ridge centre opened in 1988 in the Rescan Building.

For more information on programming available and upcoming events at Northern Lights College, check the website at nlc.bc.ca.

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