NCC building now Bernie Streeter Hall

NASHUA – Bernie Streeter has been present for the groundbreaking ceremony for every building on the Nashua Community College campus.

One of the main advocates for establishing the college 50 years ago, Streeter, the former New Hampshire Executive Council member and Nashua Mayor, has pursued many avenues for continued campus improvement and scholarship support. He also helped secure state funding for the Judd Gregg Hall on campus, which recognizes Gregg for his service as both a former Granite State governor and U.S. senator.

Because of these and many other contributes during the 50 years he has dedicated to the school, NCC officials renamed the main campus building “Bernie Streeter Hall” during a Monday ceremony.

“He has committed himself to public service his entire life,” former Gov. John Lynch said of Streeter during the dedication. “He reflects all that is good about public service in Nashua, in New Hampshire and this country.” Because of Streeter, he said, the entire community and state are better.

College President Lucille Jordan called the renaming a “long time coming,” and said that Streeter’s focus “was on Nashua, as it always has been” when he pushed for the foundation of the college. The institution opened in 1970 as the New Hampshire Vocational-Technical College.

Streeter, she said, only ever asked, “How are we going to best serve the underserved in the Greater Nashua region?”

The answer to his question, which is now known as NCC, has grown from a class of 97 to a school of more than 2,000, offering more than 50 associate degree and certification programs. He is often considered the “founder” of the college, NCC officials wrote in the program.

U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., said in a letter read at the dedication that Streeter helped show the community that a “quality education is in reach” for all who seek it.

Streeter said talking about renaming the building brought back a lot of memories from the 50 years he spent helping build the college, including several on the Advisory Board, a group which Chairman Tom Jenkins credited Streeter as having grown from just four members to 20.

He has seen “the evolution of a small vocational college” to a “fantastic” community college through the years, largely under Jordan’s leadership, Streeter said.

To have his name on the building, side-by-side on the campus with names such as Gregg’s and that of former Gov. Walter Peterson Jr., is a “pleasure and an honor,” Streeter said.

“I am humbled beyond words,” he said.

Staff writer Hannah LaClaire can be reached at 594-1243.