SARANAC LAKE — Surrounded by community, students and SUNY leaders, Dr. Steven Tyrell formally took charge of operations at North Country Community College.
The school’s sixth president was hired last summer.
But inauguration ceremonies gave pause for a moment to celebrate amid snowy skies and early spring bluster.
Master of Ceremonies Professor Emeritus Bob Brown said Tyrell is the final piece in an old-fashioned type of jigsaw puzzle, the kind you build by sorting the edge-pieces first.
“I want to promise Dr. Tyrell that we have a good base for (him) to work with,” Brown said in welcoming the new president.
His metaphor put Essex and Franklin county communities as the puzzle frame, with pieces inside composing the 25 different college programs, professors and staff.
“The last piece of that puzzle was President Tyrell,” Brown said of the years since he taught the first class at NCCC in the late 1960s.
“What do you do when you finish a puzzle? Stand back and admire it? That’s not Steve Tyrell.
“It’s now three-dimensional. Think of a puzzle that’s more like a kaleidoscope.
“Everyone in the new jigsaw puzzle sits in this room. We can do everything and anything we want,” Brown said.
Brown said completing the NCCC puzzle makes everyone in surrounding communities more prosperous.
“We can gain economic prosperity through higher education.”
Brown’s remarks captured the tone of the inauguration, the first held here in 21 years; Dr. Carol Brown, Tyrell’s predecessor, had opted not to have the installation.
The event on Friday filled much of Sparks Complex gymnasium, complete with the flourish of bagpipes, choral performances by the Adirondack Singers, and an “Inaugural Fanfare and Salutation” written by NCCC music instructor Mike Saulpaugh and Adjunct Instructor Charles Watts.
STUDENTS IN FOCUS