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Dedication of the David G. Gregor Building

On Monday, August 22, 2016, Jefferson Community College hosted the ribbon cutting and dedication of the recently renovated David G. Gregor building in honor of the late Watertown general surgeon. Community members, area medical professionals, and local officials joined the campus community to celebrate the building’s opening and to honor Dr. David Gregor.

In March of 2016, the College began an extensive renovation of the former Melvil Dewey Library building as part of the Facilities Master Plan. The building’s purpose has been transformed with the opening of the John W. Deans Collaborative Leaning Center. It continues to house the Liberal Arts Division and Institutional Technology department, but space previously occupied by the library is now home to state-of-the-art nursing and paramedic instructional labs, four new classrooms with enhanced technology and much needed student study areas.

Linda C. Dittrich, Associate Vice President for Math/Science, Technology, Health and Business noted that “the new nursing lab, simulation and classroom space will allow for a fuller more realistic setting for students. It includes a nursing station, new hospital beds, and high fidelity mannequins. The new paramedic space has individual bays that will allow numerous lab instructors to work with several different groups of students at one time. We are so pleased to have this renovated space, it will truly make a difference for our students.”

Addie J. Russell, New York State Assemblywoman expressed her excitement for the recent projects and added, “we are expanding and updating our STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programming here at Jefferson, we know that anyone that goes through these programs and finishes are likely to have a job right here in the North Country. I think it is a tremendous thing that we are also able to name this building after someone that dedicated himself to healthcare in the North Country, it is very fitting.”

It is fitting that this building be named for the late Watertown general surgeon and philanthropist Dr. David G. Gregor. Dr. Gregor was a Watertown native and established general surgeon who passed away in August 2013 at the age of 84. That same year, Dr. Gregor’s bequest to the College was the single largest individual gift the Jefferson Community College Foundation had ever received and it spoke to the level of commitment Dr. Gregor had for higher education in the area. In 2015, a second bequest to Jefferson from Dr. Gregor’s Trust further signified his commitment to education and Jefferson Community College.

Dr. Jan K. Turcotte, colleague, friend and executor of the Dr. David G. Gregor Trust painted the picture of Dr. Gregor’s life and why she believes he chose to support various organizations through his Trust – the College, Northern New York Community Foundation and Samaritan Medical Center among others. Dr. Turcotte explained that “Dr. Gregor was a 3rd generation surgeon and Watertown native, he grew up loving the rhythms and flows of the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario. In high school years, he worked summers on a farm, and perhaps because of this experience he had strong opinions about the importance of preserving the environment and for his 50th College reunion he wrote a thoughtful dissertation about his concerns for our natural habitats and the future of our planet. So it is first of all very fitting that the building we are dedicating today is being repurposed or recycled, instead of having been demolished and rebuilt, he would like that.”

Dr. Eugene M. Renzi, spoke to why he felt his good friend and former colleague Dr. Gregor felt passionately about Jefferson and his commitment to education locally. “The future of this area is in education, our greatest export is our children, our talented children. He (Dr. Gregor) said JCC is here, we can educate them and some of those kids will stay here and they will make this area great again.” Dr. Renzi added, “I think that’s happening, I really do. And it’s all from JCC.”

The formal program included several speakers including Carole A. McCoy, president Jefferson Community College, Linda C. Dittrich, associate vice president for math/science, technology, health and business division, local and state government officials as well Dr. Jan K. Turcotte and Dr. Eugene M. Renzi who spoke on behalf of Dr. Gregor’s dedication. NYS Senator Patty Ritchie presented Dr. McCoy with a framed historical photograph of the Lansing Street School where Jefferson held its first classes in 1963. The official ribbon cutting included the speakers, student representatives, contractors, and members of Dr. Gregor’s family. Tours of the renovated building were offered and JCC faculty and staff were on-hand to show the new classroom and lab space to guests.

Gregor DedicationGregor Dedication

Pictured: (front left to right holding scissors) Carole A. McCoy, Jefferson Community College (JCC) President, Seraphina Ange Nga Belinga, JCC Student Government President and Nathan P. Hunter, Vice Chair of Jefferson’s Board of Trustees cutting the ceremonial ribbon to officially open David G. Gregor building at Jefferson Community College.

Joining in the celebration were (left to right): Patty A. Ritchie, NYS Senator, 48th District; Theresa Quintin, President of the JCC Foundation; Jason S. Jantzi, Principal/Architect, BCA Architects & Engineers; Linda C. Dittrich, Associate Vice President for Math/Science, Technology, Health and Business, Jefferson Community College; Addie J. Russell, NYS Assemblywoman representing District 116; Mark Purcell, President, Purcell Construction; Leslie Cauldwell, niece of the late Dr. Gregor; Dr. Eugene M. Renzi, Scott A. Gray, Chair – Jefferson County Board of Legislators; Dr. Jan K. Turcotte and Robert P. Brunner, Associate/Architect, Mach Architecture.