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RANGELY I That Colorado Northwestern Community College’s 50-year anniversary celebration culminated in blizzard conditions didn’t faze the approximately 30 people gathered under the Hefley Gym eaves for a time capsule dedication ceremony and unveiling of a new Spartan statue Tuesday afternoon.
CNCC President Russell George, who spoke at the event, called the weather fitting for the occasion.
“Isn’t that a typical Rangely spring message?” George said. “We’re all tough enough to be here.”
George said that looking to the past, considering the contributions of those who came before, and moving forward for the benefit of those yet to come were key themes in the year-long celebration. Tuesday’s ceremony was intended to “close that connection” or bring full-circle the events that began with Rangely College’s opening on Oct. 13, 1962, and will finish with the time capsule’s placement later this week.
The ceremony opened with CNCC Student Government member Hayden Ballard formally naming the 50-year dedication space outside of Hefley Gym “Sparta’s Walls” and Rangely sculptor Kyle Stewart’s Spartan “Agesilaus.” The reference to the Spartan king’s response that his soldiers were the “walls” of Sparta connected the school’s students as the “walls” of CNCC.
George also thanked Stewart for conceptualizing and creating the Spartan as a symbol for the school’s next half-century.
“We sat together and talked about what our dream was for looking forward,” George said. “We wanted a Spartan looking over us, to help us and protect us. Everyone who sees this for the next 50 years will think of you and how we came to do this. Thank you so very much for your work.
The snow delayed the time capsule’s placement and sealing, which was to have occurred during the ceremony. George said that each of the items in the capsule, gathered from past and present college employees, students and friends of the school, has something unique to say about this moment in the school’s history.
He then made a request of those who could return to CNCC in 2062.
“Promise me that over this next 50 years, you will not forget this school, what we were doing and thinking about and saying,” George said. “Promise us that you will come on Oct. 13, 2062, and open this thing …This time capsule is the promise we make to those in the future: that this college will endure, carry on and be even better 50 years from today.”
George concluded the ceremony by thanking the student government, the CNCC Foundation and specific individuals who planned and supported the 50-year anniversary events.