PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The institution now known as Northern Maine Community College was established in 1961 and first welcomed students in 1963, but it has never held a major celebration for its alumni — until now.
Among the alumni who will flock to campus this weekend are four graduates who are being recognized as “outstanding alumni” by the college during its inaugural Homecoming celebration.
The four, all Maine residents, were selected by the Northern Maine Community College Alumni and Friends organization. They will be honored Friday evening at a dinner on campus. The alumni are graduates of either NMCC or its forerunners, Northern Maine Technical College and Northern Maine Vocational Technical Institute.
The honorees — Robert Clark of Fort Fairfield, Robert Lilly of Scarborough, Nancy Putnam of New Limerick and Ammie Toby of Houlton — will be the first of 50 individuals to be honored by the college in the coming years to mark the institution’s 50th anniversary.
A committee of Alumni and Friends board members, along with some NMCC faculty, staff and current students, have worked through the spring and summer to select one graduate from each year since the college was founded in 1961. The group selected individuals who were representative of each program offered at the college over the five decades.
Scott Carlin, president of the NMCC Alumni and Friends organization, called Clark, Lilly, Putnam and Toby “outstanding examples of the exceptional citizens and accomplished professionals that have been educated through NMCC over the decades.”
“Each are widely regarded in their respective fields, and we couldn’t be more proud to call them NMCC alumni,” he said recently.
The organization, according to Carlin, is looking forward to announcing the 46 other outstanding alumni who will be honored in the coming months.
Clark is executive director of the Northern Maine Development Commission in Caribou. He graduated from NMVTI in 1975 with an associate degree in computer programming and went on to graduate from Husson College with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. After spending 10 years holding various municipal positions for the town of Fort Fairfield, he worked as director of the Economic and Community Development Office for the city of Caribou. He also served as executive director of the Caribou Development Corp. from 1988 to 1990. Clark now also serves as vice chairman of the Maine Community College System board of trustees.
During his tenure at NMDC, Clark has helped bring businesses and grant money to the region, improve the regional economy and curb the out-migration of youth from Aroostook County. He has been involved with civic and community groups, including as a chairman of a major gifts campaign for the NMCC Foundation.
Lilly, a 1974 NMVTI graduate, is owner of New England Tech Air in Scarborough, a business he founded in 1986. The company does $17 million in annual sales from its 38,000-square-foot facility, according to the company’s website. After graduating from the sheet metal technology program at NMVTI, he worked as a duct-work field installer for five years. He went on to work as a sheet metal engineer at a sheet metal construction firm in Burlington, Vt., before founding his own company.
Putnam graduated from NMTC in 1984 from the licensed practical nurse program. She continued her education as she raised her family and taught childbirth courses, eventually earning a bachelor’s degree from Husson College. She followed with a master’s degree from the University of Maine. She is now a family nurse practitioner at Houlton Family Practice at Houlton Regional Hospital.
Toby graduated from NMCC in 1993 with a degree in automotive technology and is now an auto body instructor at Region 2 School of Applied Technology in Houlton. She also serves on the NMCC Automotive Collision Repair advisory committee and is expecting to earn her certificate in educational leadership in 2011.
A complete schedule of NMCC Homecoming weekend activities can be found on the NMCC website at www.nmcc.edu. More information about the event is available by calling Shannon Cook in the NMCC college relations office at 760-1188.