Skip to Main Content
SUNY Jefferson

Local History and Archives: JCC College History

Provides information on the services and holdings of the Local History and Archives area of the library.

JCC Through the Years


  • JCC is founded on November 7 by referendum vote.


  • Founding board selects James E. McVean as the first president of the College.


  • JCC opens a temporary campus at the former Lansing Street School with 119 full-time and 221 part-time students.


  • Groundbreaking ceremony for phase one construction of a permanent campus located on Coffeen Street.


  • Governor Nelson Rockefeller attends the dedication ceremony for the Coffeen Street campus.


  • The first Commencement ceremony is held for 34 graduates.


  • Congressman Robert McEwen presents a 300 pound cannonball to the newly nicknamed Cannoneers.


  • College library opens.


  • Dedication of phase two of construction of Coffeen Street campus.


  • JCC is fully accredited by the Middle States Association of the Commission on Higher Education.


  • The National League for Nursing approves accreditation for JCC’s nursing program.


  • Leopold Stokowski conducts a performance of the Syracuse Symphony at JCC.


  • Faculty senate is formed to deliberate academic matters & curriculum development.


  • Campus enacts a policy on energy reduction.
    Harry Chapin performs at JCC.


  • The first student is elected to serve on JCC’s board of trustees, Vern Lavine.


  • A Jefferson Day Celebration includes the unveiling of an iron Jefferson sculpture, crafted by artist Klaus Ebeling, on the south wall of the Student Center.


  • JCC is closed for one week due to a blizzard.


  • John T. Henderson is inaugurated as the second president of the College.


  • Jefferson County issues serial bonds to fund the local share of JCC’s athletic field project.


  • JCC full-time faculty grows to 46.


  • JCC celebrates its 20th anniversary.


  • Full-time enrollment exceeds 1,000 students.


  • Watertown begins regular bus service to the JCC campus.


  • The first annual Mayor’s Ball is hosted by Watertown Mayor T. Urling Walker and raises $6,535 for the JCC Foundation.


  • JCC joins five other SUNY colleges to form the SUNY/North Country/Fort Drum Consortium, which offers 2– and 4-year degree programs to North Country residents.


  • A NYS Small Business Development Center opens on the JCC campus to assist entrepreneurs and small business owners.


  • Dr. John Roueche leads a 2-day workshop on “access and excellence” for college staff.


  • JCC develops the first campus-wide master plan.


  • JCC offers first contract coursework to soldiers at Fort Drum.


  • The campus childcare center opens to serve youngsters aged 3–5 years.


  • JCC Board of Trustees selects John W. Deans as the third president of the college.


  • Klaus Ebeling, JCC professor of art, wins the bronze medal in ice sculpting at the 1992 Winter Olympics.


  • The Lady Cannoneers are ranked #1 in the nation within Division III Women’s basketball and are Mid-State Athletic Conference champs.


  • JCC celebrates 30th Commencement with trio of speakers including first president, James McVean, member of the first graduating class, Marcia Walton, and member of the first faculty, Jane Bonney.


  • JCC hosts a grand opening gala for a new 58,000 square foot instructional resource building.


  • The college launches a concurrent enrollment program that allows local students to take JCC classes at their high schools.


  • JCC awards its 10,000th degree at Commencement.


  • With funding from NNY Community Foundation and a member item from NYS Senator James W. Wright, JCC builds and equips its first interactive video television (ITV) classroom for distance learning.


  • Calculus and psychology are offered as the first interactive video distance learning courses from the JCC campus to Copenhagen and Sackets Harbor high schools.


  • The JCC Foundation attains $2 million goal in first-ever capital campaign for Jefferson.


  • JCC establishes the the Center for Community Studies.


  • JCC offers online classes for the first time, with 44 enrollments in 3 courses.


  • A partnership with SUNY Potsdam allows local students to earn bachelor’s degrees in business administration on JCC’s campus.


  • Mark Garrard pitches the first perfect game in the 30-year history of JCC baseball.


  • The National Science Foundation awards JCC a $400,000 grant to increase the number of educated workers in high-tech career fields.


  • Joseph B. Olsen becomes JCC’s fourth president.


  • The 15,000th graduate of JCC receives a degree during the College’s 40th Commencement.


  • The Center for Community Studies conducts the 5th annual Jefferson County Survey of the Community.


  • JCC earns 10-year reaccreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.


  • A $3 million Banner computer system implementation begins on campus.


  • JCC implements 5-week courses designed specifically for soldiers stationed at Fort Drum.


  • Carole A. McCoy is inaugurated as JCC’s fifth president.


  • New Jefferson-Can Scholars Program provides full first-year JCC tuition to Jefferson and Lewis county students who graduate in the top 15 percent of their class.


  • Center for Community Studies conducts the first Lewis County Survey of the Community.


  • Holocaust survivor Nesse Godin speaks to a full house in the Sturtz Theater.


  • The College launches the Entrepreneurship Center.


  • The Alumni Association inducts the first five members into the Cannoneer Hall of Fame.


  • A record number of students registers for the fall semester, including the highest number of online enrollments yet, with 1,605 in 73 online courses.


  • The JCC Higher Education Center opens, providing the opportunity to earn bachelor’s and master’s degrees from partner institutions on the JCC campus. Partners include SUNY Potsdam, Upstate Medical University, Keuka College, Empire State College, Paul Smith’s College, and the SUNY Consortium.


  • The first class of Weekend Nursing Scholars Program students begins studies with funding assistance provided by a $1.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.


  • Jefferson’s concurrent enrollment program (EDGE) is offered in 15 area high schools and has a record-breaking 681 enrollments in the fall semester.


  • JCC launches Jefferson Express, a mobile computer lab, to deliver professional training to the under-employed, small business owners, and senior citizens in rural communities.


  • Degrees will have been awarded to nearly 19,000 people after the College’s 47th Commencement is held in May.


  • JCC celebrates 50 years of learning and changing lives.


  • East Hall, JCC's first residence hall opens.


  • The John W. Deans Collaborative Learning Center opens.


  • JCC Board of Trustees selects Ty A. Stone as the sixth president of the college.



  • Bobbi Brabant Memorial Nursing Laboratory dedicated.
  • Adjunct instructor Laurinda L. Petersen wins first place in the Keats-Shelley Poetry Prize.


  • Lewis County Jefferson Community College Education Center opens.
  • Representatives from JCC attend briefing on Capital Hill relating to Dialogues on Experience of War grant and program.


  • JCC's 56th Commencement Ceremony is held virtually.


  • DiplomaPalooza! - a drive-by graduation event, is held on May 22nd.


  • Dr. Daniel J. Dupee II is appointed as the Seventh President of Jefferson Community College.



The Jeffersonian - JCC Yearbooks Free online access to JCC yearbooks, from the first one published in 1965 to the last edition in 2001. Digitization of "The Jeffersonian" was made possible by a grant from the Northern New York Library Network.


JCC Student Newspapers The students of Jefferson Community College have published a student newspaper since shortly after the college was founded. Over the years the name has changed several times, the names include: Jefferson Community College News, The Cannoneer, The Word, Jefferson Chronicle, and The Cannon. The contents of many of these student papers are now available online thanks to a grant by the Northern New York Library Network .

Use the links below to browse the papers.

The Cannoneer 1965-1966

The Word 1966-1989

Jefferson Chronicle 1991-1992

The Cannon 1992-2014


Articles from the February 11, 2011 Watertown Daily Times supplement commemorating JCC's 50th Anniversary provide significant information relating to JCC's history. Print copies of the supplement may be viewed in Local History. 

Our Watertown Daily Times database (JCC faculty/staff/student login required) provides the text of several articles from the supplement. Once you open the database search for (include the quotation marks):

"A community college could not be denied"

"Coffeen Street hill site chosen over Sackets, other proposals"

"School colors, nickname selected early, endure through time"

"Local college spurs life of achievement"

"Five presidents give JCC five decades of leadership"

"Missionary impulse drove 'democracy's college' "

"College graced by top-flight athletic competition"

"Early teaching staff learned roles while guiding students"

Black River Review  Faculty, staff, student creative writing, artwork, etc. Location:  Local History Room - Documents. 1984 - .


JCC Board of Trustees Minutes   Location:  Local History Room - Documents. 1962 - 2003.

JCC Campus Master Plans  Complete plans and some related documents and reports.  Location:  Local History Room - Documents.  1976 - 2008.

JCC Catalog (JCC College Catalog; Academic Programs & Course Descriptions)  Location:  Local History Room - Documents. 1964 -.

JCC Commencement Programs  Location:  Local History Room - Documents. 1966 -.

JCC Newspaper Clipping Scrapbooks  Location: Local History Room - Documents.  Jan. 4, 1967 - Aug. 2002.

JCC Senate Minutes  Minutes from the faculty Senate meetings.  Location:  Local History Room - Documents.  Aug. 1980 - 2005.

JCC Student Handbook  Location:  Local History Room - Documents.  1964 -.

Jefferson Community College Report to the Community  Location:  Local History Room - Documents. 1999; 2001; 2002.

Jefferson Insider Campus newsletter published by the JCC Marketing and Public Information Office. Location:  Local History Room - Jefferson News box. 2009 - 2017.

Middle States Reports  Location:  Local History Room - Documents. 1968; 1974; 1985; 1990; 1995; 1999; 2005; 2015.

Retirement and Recognition Celebration Programs  Location:  Local History Room - Documents. 1997; 2003 -.

Our Buildings

Many of our buildings are named in honor of prominent individuals with ties to the local area. 

Building 1:  Robert E. Lansing Building
Robert Lansing was born in Watertown in 1864 and eventually served as Secretary of State under President Woodrow Wilson from 1915 - 1920. Read  the entry on Lansing from American National Biography Online (JCC login required).

Building 2:  Samuel Guthrie Building
Dr. Samuel Guthrie moved to Sackets Harbor in 1817 after having served there during the War of 1812. Among many scientific endeavors, he is credited with the invention of chloroform and he also developed/refined percussion priming caps for firearms. Read the entry on Guthrie from American National Biography Online (JCC login required) and access the full-text of Memoirs of Dr. Samuel Guthrie, and the history of the discovery of chloroform.

Building 3:  John Foster Dulles Building
John Foster Dulles, was a nephew of Robert Lansing and his father was a paster of a church in Watertown.  Dulles served as Secretary of State under President Dwight D. Eisenhower and as such, was a central figure in the Cold War during the mid to late 1950s. Read the entry on Dulles from the American National Biography Online (JCC login required).

Building 4:  James McVean Student Center
From 1962 to 1977, James E. McVean served as the first president of Jefferson Community College. Read Five presidents give JCC five decades of leadership, published by the Watertown Daily Times.

Building 5:  Gregor Building
The Gregor Building is named after the late Dr. David G. Gregor, a Watertown general surgeon who practiced for nearly 40 years.

Building 6:  The Jules Center
The Jules Center is named after Julius "Jules" Samann, founder of the local company Car-Freshner, famous for producing tree-shaped air fresheners. Read JCC Instructional Resource Center Dedicated to Car-Freshner Founder, an article from the Watertown Daily Times database (JCC login required).

Building E:  Extended Learning Center 

Building 8:  John T. Henderson Childcare Center
John T. Henderson was the second president of JCC, serving from 1977 to 1991. Read Five presidents give JCC five decades of leadership, published by the Watertown Daily Times.

Building 14: East Hall Residence Hall

Building 15:  John W. Deans Collaborative Learning Center
John W. Deans was the third president of JCC, serving from 1992 to 2003, and also served as interim president in 2006. The Collaborative Learning Center houses Jefferson's library, tutoring services, accommodative services, retention, career planning and job placement services, STAR program, and veteran services.

Jefferson Athletics

Athletic competition has been a part of JCC since the college opened in 1963 and that fall the Arsenal Street Armory became the “home” court of the Cannoneers. Originally nicknamed the Chargers, the name change and school colors, Cranberry and White, were established after voting by the student body.
In 1966, a 300 pound cannonball was presented to the College by Rep. Robert McEwen. In 1967 an 1812 era cannon was transported and erected on a carriage on the Coffeen Street campus, a gift from Michael DeVito of Alexandria Bay.

In the early years Jefferson played in the Border League represented by teams from surrounding towns including teams from Camp Drum (now Fort Drum) and the 655th Radar Squadron based at the former Air Force Station at Dry Hill (now the Watertown Correctional Facility).

In Jefferson’s 1st home game at the Armory, they defeated Mohawk Valley Community College. The team was coached by history professor Jim Jerome and consisted of 11 team members who secured a record of 8-15. Jefferson’s other athletic team in that first year was a young hockey team. Just starting out with no coach, no practices and no home ice, they finished the initial campaign with a record of 0-4.

As the 1960’s progressed, so did athletics at Jefferson. Leaving the Border League, JCC joined the NJCAA & Region III and started playing teams from other Community Colleges as well as freshmen and JV teams from area 4 year colleges.  D. Rene Valentine, Jefferson’s 1st Athletic Director, became the basketball coach in 1964, with the second season team earning a record of 10-10. Rene would continue in that capacity until the fall of 1968.

1965-66: Jefferson would see their first winning season with a 14-9 record including a 5 game opening win streak. Another first happened in the 1965-66 season as Baseball and Golf were added to the athletic program. Al Finnegan, Jefferson’s Director of Admissions was named the coach of the baseball team. They finished their inaugural season with a record of 6-6. Joe Butler, Science Professor was named golf advisor. JCC began to move to its new campus on Outer Coffeen Street on June 7, 1965.

1967: Charlotte Wilson from Watertown High School joined Jefferson as Women’s Physical Education Instructor and cheerleading advisor.  Also welcomed to Jefferson’s athletic department was Ken Puffer from Broome CC. Jefferson became a member of Region III and the Empire Conference and saw their basketball team (17-12) rise to #8 in the regional rankings as well as #5 in the conference rankings. Don “Gooser” Delosh became the baseball coach with the team finishing their second season with a 5-8 record.

1968: Jefferson opened its long awaited on campus physical education facility. Traveling to the Y and other venues in and around Watertown for P.E. classes  and games was in the past. Cross-country, coached by Ken Puffer, debuted and lost its initial meet to Alfred University and they finished with a record of 2-5. Ken Puffer was coach of the baseball team (5-5) in the spring of 1968. Malcolm Biedekapp, Bob Williams and Marcia Walton joined the athletic department in the fall semester. Mal would coach baseball & soccer, Bob would coach men’s basketball (18-9) and Marcia would coach women’s basketball and bowling. Ken Puffer also coached cross country in fall 1968 and initial discussion took place on forming a lacrosse team.

1969: Ken Puffer becomes Athletic Director as Rene Valentine is appointed Dean for Continuing Education. Lacrosse debuts on the athletic schedule coached by Biology instructor Peter Gaskin. Men’s soccer debuts with a 6-3 win over Fulton-Montgomery CC. Women’s bowling debuts on the athletic schedule with coach Marcia Walton and 5 team members. Ken Puffer coaches golf and the cross country team finishes their second season with a record of 7-7 and 9th place in Region III. Lawrence “Hank “ Darden becomes Jefferson’s 1st All-American winning the honors for Basketball.

1970: The JUCO REVIEW (monthly publication of Junior Colleges), honors Jefferson Community College as College of the Month (September). Men’s soccer and tennis as well as women’s basketball have their inaugural seasons.

1971: Jefferson lost a thrilling basketball game to the Czechoslovakian National Team 68-67. (1/12/71). Judith Stockin joins the athletic department as instructor and coach of women’s basketball. Keith Rose placed second in the Region III wrestling tournament as an individual competitor representing JCC, despite JCC not having a wrestling program.

1972: Men’s basketball defeats Onondaga CC 123-60 to set a school scoring record. Women’s volleyball was added, coached by Judith Stockin. The golf team completes season in 4th place in Region III. Men’s wrestling, coached by instructor Dick Young, debuts on athletic schedule, however, due to extenuating circumstances the team does not compete.

1973: Mary Scahill became women’s volleyball coach as well as women’s basketball coach. Jefferson after 11 seasons, had their FIRST victory over arch rival Broome Tech in men’s basketball. JCC wins first soccer game in 2 yrs. defeating Broome CC.

1974: Dan Woodward and Willie Stroman are selected to the Region III All-Star Team for Basketball. Dan Woodward is named an Honorable Mention All-American for Basketball.

1975: John Day, Sportswriter for the Watertown Daily Times, includes in his Collegiate Roundtable wish list:  "A designated foul shooter for JCC’s charity strippers who can shoot better than 50%." Athletic Director Ken Puffer adds volleyball coach to his duties.

1976: Cannoneers beat Potsdam JV’s 81-63 to give Coach Bob Williams, Sr. his 99th coaching victory.

1977: Talks continue on the prospect of adding athletic fields at the Coffee Street campus. Cannoneers beat Broome Tech for the 2nd straight year at home.

1978: Diane Duffy McCargar scores 42 points in a victory over host Cayuga CC, setting an individual scoring record for the Lady Cannoneers. (1/14/78)

1979: “It’s got to be our best win in over two years”, said a jubiliant Coach Bob Williams, as the Cannoneers escaped with a 68-66 victory over Hudson Valley CC. The winning points came from former WHS player Brian Remus with 5 seconds to play. (1/26/79)

1980: Cannoneers open the 2nd semester with a hard fought 81-67 victory over Paul Smiths. Scott Baker led JCC with 20 points and 17 rebounds & Leo Wilson chipped in with 19 points. (1/19/80)

1981: Women’s softball competes in its inaugural season.

1982: Bob Williams Sr. honored as Coach of the Year in Region III after the Cannoneer basketball team finishes 22-4. Wes Vaughn scores his 1000th point vs. Cobleskill (2/7/82).

1983: Cheryl Clark is honored as an All-Region selection for Softball. Women’s soccer competes in its inaugural season.

1984: Scott Wilson is named an Honorable Mention All-American for Basketball.

1985: Cannoneer golfers Greg Hudson & Brian Sisco qualify for the Region III Tournament.

1986: 25th Anniversary of Jefferson Community College. Bob Williams Sr. becomes Athletic Director.

1987: Women’s basketball coach John Penrose is honored as Region III Coach of the Year.

1988: Men’s soccer earns a record of 12-4-1 and is ranked #4 in Region III. Women’s basketball finishes season as runner-up in Region III.

1989: Andy Hallett is honored as All-Regional player for Baseball. Vicky Exford-Kolb is honored as an All-Region selection for Basketball.

1990: Bob Williams Sr. is honored as Region III Coach of the Year.

1991: Mid-State Conference has its inaugural season and the Lady Cannoneer Basketball team is ranked #1 in the nation within Division III.  They finish with a 30-3 record and are champions of the Mid-State Athletic Conference. Larry McClements joins physical education department as men’s soccer coach and instructor. Lou Kibling, former WHS basketball and baseball coach joins Jefferson as men’s baseball coach.

1992: Lady Cannoneers have another successful season becoming the first Jefferson team to win a regional title, winning the NJCAA Region III, Division III basketball championship.  They also finish third in the national tournament for Division III. Amy Jo Leonard & Joy Williams are honored as 2nd Team All-Americans for Basketball and Kim Hicks becomes women’s soccer coach.

1993: Jennifer Podvin is honored as 1st Team All-American for Basketball. Deb Felice joins physical education department full-time as instructor and softball coach. The golf team is crowned Mid-State Conference champions and the Lady Cannoneers participate in the NJCAA National Basketball Tournament.

1994: Lady Cannoneers are Mid-State Conference runner-up and go on to complete season with a 3rd place finish in the NJCAA National Basketball Tournament.

1995: Floyd Burgher is honored as 1st Team All-American for Basketball. Women’s softball’s and Women’s soccer win Mid-State Conference championships.

1996: Men’s basketball completes season as runner-up in Region III and Floyd Burgher is honored as 1st Team All-American for Basketball. Nikki Seller is honored as 3rd Team All-American for Basketball. John Penrose becomes Athletic Director, Jerome St. Croix is the new coach of men’s lacrosse, Pam Nelson is added as coach of volleyball and Criminal Justice instructor Paul Alteri becomes men’s baseball coach. Charles Pratt honored as NSCAA/UMBRO All-American for Soccer.

1997: The soccer and basketball teams (men's and women's) have a combined record of 68-23-1 to complete one of the most successful seasons in Jefferson athletics. The soccer teams go undefeated in Mid-State Conference play. The men’s basketball team has a 16 game home winning streak and is ranked #1 in Region III.  They win the Region III tournament and are also runner-up in the NJCAA national tournament game, losing by 4 points to Eastfield College. Women’s softball, coached by Mike Lennox, has a most successful season (14-5) and they earn number five seed at the Regional Tournament. Jennifer Zehr and Charity Carroll are honored as 1st Team All-Americans for Soccer.

1998: The Lady Cannoneer soccer team compiles a 16-3-1 record with 7 shutouts. Women’s basketball wins the Region III championship and finishes 7th in the NJCAA tournament at Corning Community College. Jennifer Knox (Williams) was honored as 1st Team All-American for Basketball.

1999: The men's and women's basketball teams have their most successful seasons ever. The Cannoneers, coached by Pat Clary, complete the season 27-4, with Player of the Year in Region III Steve Howard leading the way. Howard also was named 1st Team All-American for NJCAA within Division III. Steve completed his career at Jefferson with the single game scoring record (51), as well as the career scoring record. The Lady Cannoneers, coached by Jeff Wiley, completed the season 31-3. During the season they had a 21 game win streak, and finished as Region III Division III Champions, Mid-State Champions, and NJCAA Runner-up. Jeff was named Region III Coach of the Year and Jen Knox (Williams) was  Region III Player of the Year. Heather Bush is honored as Honorable Mention All-American for Women’s Soccer, Adam Brown is honored as 2nd Team All-American for Golf. Thomas Baker becomes Jefferson's Athletic Director.

2000: Kim Hicks records her 100th victory in women’s soccer at Jefferson. New coaches in the Athletic Department include: Mark Streiff (men’s soccer, Terry O’Brien (men’s lacrosse, and Jim Rhodes (women’s volleyball). Angie Brouty is honored as 3rd Team All-American for Basketball. Jeff Wiley is hired as Athletic Director.

2001: Mark Gerrard pitches the 1st perfect game in the 35 yr. history of Jefferson baseball. Women’s tennis, coached by Monica Papagni debuts on the athletic schedule.

2002: Former JCC Men’s Basketball Coach Bob Williams, Jr. was named Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Division II West Va. Institute of Technology.

2003: Malynda Rumble is honored as a 2nd Team All-American for Soccer and Christopher Hunter is honored as 2nd Team All-American for Baseball. Rob Peluso is honored as Honorable Mention All-American for Golf and men’s golf is runner-up in the Mid-State Conference.

2004: Sonya Comins, former standout JCC athlete, was appointed Director of Cortland States Athletic Training Department.

2005: Frank Keruskie pitches the second perfect game in JCC baseball history winning the 2nd game of a  doubleheader vs. Onondaga CC. Lady Cannoneers are crowned Mid-State Conference Tournament Champions for basketball.

2006: Women’s Volleyball wins the Mid-State Conference. Charlie Bridge III becomes Head Basketball Coach of the Cannoneers.

2007: Women’s volleyball finishes as runner-up in the Mid-State Conference. Luis Castillo and Jonathan Smith combined on a 7 inning No Hitter in the 2nd game of a double header vs. SUNY Canton. The Cannoneers swept the games 5-0 and 14-2.

2008: The Lady Cannoneers soccer team wins the Region IIIB Championship. Chris Noel is honored as Preseason All-American for Basketball and the Cannoneers win the Mid-State Conference in basketball.

2009: Kadeem Nicholas is honored as 2nd Team All-American in Basketball. Elysa Doldo is honored as 1st Team All-American for Soccer and Casey Dickinson is honored as an Academic All-American for Lacrosse. Theresa Staab and Maria Martusewicz are honored as 1st Team All-Americans for Lacrosse.

2010: Women’s lacrosse finishes the season as runner-up in the Mid-State Conference. Tyler Woodward is honored as Honorable Mention All-American for Golf.

2011: JCC standout freshman guard Jabriel Blue earned  NJCAA National Player of the Week honors, the first in school history, for his play against TC3, Finger Lakes CC & Cayuga CC. He was also named Mid-State Conference and Region III Player of the Week and he is also honored as 3rd Team All-American for Basketball.


40+ Years of Jefferson Athletics by Tom Myers, JCC Class of '68

Your Librarian

John Thomas


Research Assistance - Spring 2023Email is the best method to use to contact me, I check my email several times a day during my normal work hours (9:00 am - 5:00 pm EST Monday through Friday). I check email less frequently (sometimes, not at all) during the weekends and on vacation days; if you need immediate help during these times, use the email and/or chat resources listed on our Ask for Help web page.

I look forward to working with you.