Gala helps FM celebrate 50 years of education

JOHNSTOWN – Fulton-Montgomery Community College alumni, officials and local residents turned out in force Friday to celebrate 50 years of higher learning through the institution.

The FMCC 50th Anniversary Gala brought more than 300 guests to celebrate the half-century old college. Dustin Swanger, FMCC president, said Friday’s event was the culmination of a yearlong celebration of the anniversary.

“It is probably the grandest event we will have for the anniversary,” Swanger said.

In 1963, the college was first formed, using the old Johnstown High School, before moving into its current location several years later.

Food and drinks flowed readily as members of the New York Players prepared to play the night away.

Swanger said he felt people were proud of the college and were there to support it.

Lesley Lanzi, FMCC Foundation director, said the college means a lot to many of the guests.

“I think it is a gem for this region, really,” Lanzi said.

Alumni from the college returned, remembering their days at the campus and the effect it had on them.

Gloversville Mayor Dayton King, who attended the college, said it was great to see the college constantly improving.

“Dr. Swanger and his team just do a great job,” King said.

Deb Callery, who attended classes 20 years ago, said she felt everyone was proud of what the college has done over its half-century of existence.

“We really believe in what the college does and why they are here,” Callery said.

Callery said her and her husband had a great time at the event.

Swanger said he already has plans for the college over the next 50 years.

“Certainly the college town that we talked about, we have capital improvements to make on campus – we are always looking to the future,” Swanger said. “It is going to be an exciting 50 years.”