90 Years of Excellence

Marechal Schmoll
The Class of 1982 joins in the celebration of this major milestone!
Fall, for many in North America, can feel like a season for fresh starts. A new school year begins, the heat of the Summer is swept away by the cooler breeze, and many harvests come in leaving the fields bare in preparation for a new planting. In the Fall of 1932, something new was just beginning in a small Brethren in Christ church in Springvale, Ontario.

Ontario Bible School (as it was then called) made the move to Fort Erie in 1938 with the purchase of the Belmont Club (now known as Belmont Hall) and by the 1950’s the school became Niagara Christian College. It changed it’s name to Niagara Christian Collegiate in the 1980’s.

Fall can also be a time for reflecting and remembering. This past Fall, on October 1, 2022, alumni young and old, current and former staff and faculty, members of the Fort Erie community, and friends of NCC gathered on the lawn between Belmont Hall and NCC’s iconic gazebo to plant a red maple tree in
commemoration of 90 years of God’s blessing over the school and in prayerful hope of 90 more to come.

“Father, it’s easy to see you as the Great Author when we look back on what you have done in the past 90 years. It’s so clear, standing here today, that you have chosen to do great things at NCC. I pray that as we look towards the future, towards the next 90 years of your work in this place and in it’s people, that you would give us the faith, hope and love that we need from you to believe that you are still our Good Shephard, that you are still our Daily Bread, that you are still, and will ever be, our Living Water,” prayed Principal Chris Baird at the 90 Years of tree dedication ceremony.

Among those present at the 90th Anniversary Celebration was a special group of NCC alumni: fifteen graduates from the class of 1982 celebrating 40 years since their time at NCC. We connected with Karla Reesor and Heather Haddon about their reunion and about how NCC shaped their lives.

“Returning to NCC for the 90th year celebration and our class’s 40th anniversary reunion was a deep joy,” said Heather.

“How unexpectedly natural it was to pick up with the people with whom I’d spent years in highschool - surely not 40 years ago?!”

Karla echoed those sentiments: “Seeing and visiting with our classmates was a rich and rewarding time. We each experienced NCC in a unique way, and it was enlightening to learn more about that. I was reminded again about how fortunate I was to have the experience I did at NCC, and to have met my
lifelong friends.”

While the focus of Heather and Karla’s time on campus was to recollect and reconnect, part of their day included touring the campus, updated in many ways the past 40 years, and meeting some of the current NCC community. “Such a treat,” Heather said, “to tour the grounds and the new buildings and to meet current staff - all so open and stepping in to connect. We were all humbled and grateful for how the [International Study Centre] was prepared for us with beautiful fall planters and for the plentiful snacks that were provided. 40 years later we continue to feel seen and loved here!”

In reflecting on their time at NCC, Heather felt most impacted by the school’s, “multi-generational community” to which she felt she belonged. “It was a community of shared, foundational values in which I knew I was loved.” This community led to much creativity, fun, and friendship for Heather, helping to foster
the relationships she has with her past classmates: “lifelong friends with whom I keep in touch to this day - 40 years after graduating together!” For Heather and Karla, they credit a good portion of who they are today to the formative years they spent on the NCC campus. “At NCC, I learned a lot about how to be a good human. I learned to look after myself and to take responsibility for my actions. It was a valuable
 ife lesson,” said Karla. Heather believes the unique culture of NCC was of critical importance in developing her sense of self.

In addition to how NCC shaped them as individuals, Karla shared about how NCC helped to prepare her for post-secondary education and beyond:

“Balancing extracurricular activities with school work took some effort, and that skill was very useful for future studies. Perhaps more importantly, learning how to live and spend time with people all day, every day was extremely benefificial when I started my co-op work terms and eventually my future career jobs.”

Karla studied Economics in a co-op program at the University of Waterloo and also completed a Master’s degree in Economics at the University of Toronto.

Karla’s fondest memories of NCC are about her dorm experience, “Living in residence was a lot of fun. It was also somewhat chaotic and challenging at times, but the fun is what stands out for me.” One of her ‘dorm parents’, Rhoda Tyrell, had a particular impact on Karla. “[Rhoda] let us know that we were all important to her. Somehow, she always seemed to know when there was something mischievous happening too.... It was a wonderful experience to live in residence and to accumulate so many ‘sisters’.”

Karla’s use of family language is evidence of NCC’s striving towards its mission: “to educate students with excellence in a family-like environment, equipping them to grow God’s Kingdom, and empowering them to make a difference in the world” and living its core values of “showing unconditional love at all times” and “fostering family-like relationships”.

Having alumni on campus is always a life-giving and joy-filled experience. If you would like to plan your class’s special anniversary reunion on campus, or if you simply wish to visit and come for a tour, please contact our Enrollment Office and Visitor
Centre at enroll@niagaracc.com.

About Us

Niagara Christian Collegiate (NCC) is an independent, non-denominational Christian school located on the beautiful Niagara River near Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.
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