Joseph Nazzaro

June 26, 2008


Interviewed by Ann Kelsey

Filmed by Michael O’Hagan

For the County College of Morris, Learning Resource Center

Randolph, New Jersey

County College of Morris 40th Anniversary

Transcribed by Jardee Transcription, Tucson, Arizona


Today is Thursday, June 26, 2008, and this is an interview with Dr. Joseph Nazzaro.  Dr. Nazzaro is being interviewed at the Media Center, County College of Morris, Randolph, New Jersey.  The interviewer is Ann Kelsey, Associate Director, Learning Resource Center, County College of Morris.  The interview is being filmed by Michael O’Hagan, Producer, Learning Resource Center.  This interview is for the County College of Morris’ 40th Anniversary Oral History Project.  Dr. Nazzaro is one of the original administrators at County College of Morris.


Kelsey:     Where and when were you born and raised?

Nazzaro:   Oh, that’s a good one.  I was born in Dover, New Jersey, in 1940.  I’ve been kind of a local product all the way around, Ann.  I grew up in the Dover area, and didn’t venture too far from the roost, as far as career goes.

Kelsey:     Where did you go to college?

Nazzaro:   I went to Rutgers University, graduated in 1962 with my undergraduate degree, taught for a while at Hanover Park High School, then went back to Rutgers in ’67-’68, I believe, got a master’s degree there, and started my career at CCM, and then ultimately went to college at Seton Hall for my doctoral degree.

Kelsey:     What subject were your degrees in?

Nazzaro:   My undergraduate degree was in history and social sciences.  Actually, it was in education, with that as an emphasis.  I had a minor in physical education.  I was very interested in coaching and had a lot to do with athletics then.  Then my master’s was in counseling psychology, and my doctorate is in higher education administration and supervision.

Kelsey:     How did you find out about County College of Morris?

Nazzaro:   That’s an interesting story.  Being from the area, of course, growing up in Dover, and having taught at the local high school at Hanover, when I went back to Rutgers and completed my master’s studies in the late sixties, community colleges were a topic of discussion in the graduate programs that we were undergoing at Rutgers at the time, because, as you know, in the mid to late sixties, it was literally like somebody planted community college seeds around the country and around the state.  That was the heyday of the growth of community colleges.  So they were a hot topic in our education courses, and lo and behold there was a college being built in Morris County.  I would follow newspaper accounts of what was going on for my course work.  And coming back to this area, having graduated with my master’s and looking for a job, I applied.  I thought community colleges were something that I really could relate to in terms of my own value system, and saw this one in Morris County, applied, and talked to a few folks at the college.  I had an interview with the president and dean of students, and the rest is history for me—got hired!  Kinda cool.

Kelsey:     What drew you to a county college, why were you interested in working in a community college?

Nazzaro:   I was interested in working at a community college because after having taught in high school for a while, and then having the college experience as a graduate student at Rutgers, I recognized the need for so many individuals, who, like myself, grew up in Morris County and places like that, and who came from families who usually had uneducated parents, and were living on moderate income, and really didn’t have many places to go to school.  And I thought the community college movement, as we referred to it at that time—it was literally a nationwide movement—had this value system where it was providing accessible education to students in an area that they could relate to.  So it all worked for me.  I believed in that kind of concept, I believed in everyone having a chance to go to college.  And for me, it was a great opportunity to kind of put into practice something that I believed very strongly in.  That’s kind of why I got interested in it.

Kelsey:     How old were you when you started working at CCM?

Nazzaro:   I believe I was twenty-seven, turning on twenty-eight at the time.

Kelsey:     Describe your job.

Nazzaro:   At that time, my job was coordinator, as it was called.  There weren’t any directors back then in the early years, we were all coordinators.  And I was coordinator of financial aid and placement.  And my job description actually was to create a financial aid program for students, using federal, state, and local funds for scholarships, work study programs, loans, and all those kinds of things, in addition to creating a job placement program and a career counseling effort.  In those days, everything we did was brand new, so we started everything.  So I had the opportunity to start these two programs.  I particularly enjoyed the career planning program with the job placement activities.  It gave me the opportunity to work with a lot of local companies, and to create jobs for students who were graduating, and working with them in resume preparation, and bringing recruiters on campus, and doing all those good kinds of things, teaching them interview skills and what have you, and working with those companies to create jobs.  It’s interesting, even last night I ran into a student from the class of 1970—Bill German, his name was—and Bill reminded me that it was through our efforts in the office, and my efforts, that placed him in his first job, and how much County College of Morris meant to him.  And so it’s really kind of interesting that I still run into students today who we placed at that time.

Kelsey:     What was the physical campus like at that time?

Nazzaro:   Well, we had one building.  What is now known as Henderson Hall was referred to as County College of Morris and the administration building back in the late sixties and early seventies.  And the rest of the campus was being developed, so there was usually large equipment moving earth and dirt, and creating the pathways, creating the next buildings, which were the student center and the academic science buildings, and the library all came on line pretty much one after the other in the seventies.  So the campus was contained, it was small, it was intimate, and we saw all the construction going on, and the kinds of activity that would soon be our campus.  It was kind of always looking forward to the future.  It was interesting.

Kelsey:     What was the cafeteria like?

Nazzaro:   The cafeteria consisted of one room that had a bank of vending machines where people could buy coffee, the usual things that vending machines had to offer.  And people would bring their lunch.  Literally, that was it.  So there wasn’t much of a cafeteria.  It was right next to the other room, which was the library.  It was kind of a one-building operation at that time.  But the campus exploded very dramatically, immediately after we opened up some of the other buildings.

I forget the number of students we had at that first go-around then.  I think it was 650, is the number that kind of sticks in my mind, went on there.

Kelsey:     What were the rules regarding smoking on campus?

Nazzaro:   Smoking in the classrooms was allowed at that time.  We had these little silver ashtrays that were prominently placed on desks.  They were actually cardboard, shiny silver, and students could smoke in class at the time.  It went from that to smoking outside the classroom only, in the hallways or outside the buildings, and the next step was only outside the buildings.  And then eventually, as you know the rule today, we are a smoke-free campus completely.  What was interesting, when community colleges first started, obviously, since not too many people were familiar with them at the time, it was met with some skepticism on the part of students and educators, and they used to refer to a community college oftentimes as a “high school with ashtrays.”  Meaning that it wasn’t much more beyond the high school level in terms of their view of the academics, which of course it was; but it allowed smoking, and they couldn’t in high school, so they called it “the high school with ashtrays.”  So it was an interesting thing about smoking then.

Kelsey:     What was the atmosphere like on campus during that first year?

Nazzaro:   It was interesting.  In the early years and the first year, the atmosphere was particularly exciting.  It was a new venture, enthusiasm on the part of faculty, staff, and administrators was very high.  Students knew that this was a great opportunity for them, and they were involved in the limited activities programs that we had, and the club programs that we had.  They took an important interest.

One of the programs that I administered actually at that time, the work study program, was very, very popular with students, and we hired many students to work with the department chairs and the facultyand other people on the small campus.  They were in every office, and doing things.  So involvement was important.  And because of the fact that we were a small campus then, with only one or two buildings, as the other ones came on line, fraternities and sororities existed, which don’t today.  A number of them rented houses in the nearby community to take care of their fraternity or sorority needs.

One in particular that I recall was Sigma Alpha Mu, which was a fraternity started by veterans who had returned from primarily the Vietnam conflict.  The fraternity was established in local Mt. Freedom.  And it was on Millbrook Avenue.  That fraternity house was typical of any fraternity house, had an advisor.  Jim Henderson was one advisor, and Mary Bilinkas was a co-advisor.  The students, some of them lived in the fraternity, but they had parties and things like any typical fraternity would do.  That doesn’t exist any longer on campus, which gave way to our expansive club and activity system that we now have.  In those days it was a little bit different.

Kelsey:     And this fraternity that the veterans started up, did that start in the first year?

Nazzaro:   No, actually it probably came in, we opened the doors in ’68-’69, and I would say that that fraternity started in about 1971, ’72, right around there.  But as far as that first year was concerned, I’d characterize it as kind of a new venture, people were feeling their way on a lot of things, it was exciting, and students were very actively involved in the campus.

Kelsey:     Of course that time period was very tumultuous.

Nazzaro:   Absolutely.

Kelsey:     And there would have been a lot of things happening in the months just preceding the opening of the college—Bobby Kennedy's assassination, Martin Luther King, Tet. Did those events affect the atmosphere on the campus?

Nazzaro:   I think they did.  It affected all of us, as you know, during the times, who were living in the age of constant change.  It was an age of coming out of the sixties, in which it was characterized as a period of time in which all of our sacred institutions were kind of up for scrutiny, and students were protesting against rules, regulations, all fueled by the background of the war, the assassinations, and the political upheaval of the Democratic convention in Chicago, and all those kinds of things.  It was a very, as you characterized it, a very emotional, active period in our country, and we were really, literally, changing as a nation.  I think it affected all of us who were working young people, as we were.  We were in our twenties, the students weren’t much younger, and it was a very exciting period of time.

What was interesting, too, to characterize that period, to move off that question just a little bit, the campus was pretty much populated about 50-50, male and female—perhaps more toward the female side—and many of the students were not typically out of high school.  They were probably a little older, in their late twenties, and many in their early thirties, who saw this as an opportunity for them to come back to campus.  So it affected their lives pretty heavily, I remember.

Kelsey:     Do you remember any demonstrations during that first year?

Nazzaro:   During the actual first year, we didn’t have much.  One thing that affected me was kind of interesting.  As the placement director, I would bring corporate recruiters on the campus to interview our students who were looking for jobs.  And during that time there were two groups who predominantly made the circuit of all colleges, including community colleges:  one was the CIA, and the other was the active military recruiters.  While all this was going on, I had some hesitancy to schedule these folks on the campus.  Well, at one point I scheduled the Marine Corps recruiters to come on campus, right at the height of a lot of activity regarding the war, and the recruiting area that I used was a table that was pretty much right outside the president’s office in the hallway of the only building that we operated out of.  And this one day that I’d scheduled the recruiters, there was also scheduled a dialogue session on the Vietnam War in the cafeteria.  So a lot of students showed up, knowing that they were going to do this, and they were then going to protest the presence of the Marine Corps recruiters on the campus.  It turned out that the Marines handled it absolutely wonderfully.  They turned it into a dialogue of their perspective on the war, and a very open discussion.  I can remember all the students were sitting on the floor in front of the Marines.  I thought this was going to blow up into something any minute.  I said, “What did I do?!  I created this situation!”  But it turned out to be an academic experience that was well worth it, and the students got an opportunity to hear another perspective about the war, so that was kind of an interesting thing that first year that happened.

Kelsey:     What was the world like for you in 1968?  What concerned you?

Nazzaro:   Certainly the war, certainly political upheaval, where we were going as a nation, was foremost on all of our minds.  And here I am, a young guy in my twenties trying to start a career.  I’d just gotten married, and wondering….  I had a high draft number, and I was expecting to be pulled out of my job and my family and be drafted into the service.  And for whatever reason, the number never came up.  That didn’t happen for me, but there was always that issue of going into the service at that time.  The world was exciting for me, I was involved in still doing some coaching on the side with my love of lacrosse, and establishing a career, and thinking about having a family, and beginning to settle down as a young professional adult.  So all that was going on for me.  Being back in my own community was exciting, having grown up in this area.  What’s interesting to me, I literally played on the property of the college as a child.  We would skate on the Dalrymple Pond.  A cousin of mine was the real estate agent who sold this property to the college.  We knew the Dalrymple family well that lived on the campus.  So it was an interesting experience to be part of this thing going on, as part of my own background.  So that’s what life was like for me at that time.

Kelsey:     What was social life like for those of you who were working at the college?  Did you go out after work, was there a local hot spot?

Nazzaro:   Yeah, I think Fridays were usually a time where folks who worked together were able to go out and enjoy a drink after work, and some good camaraderie.  We used to go to lunch together a lot with large groups.  Senatore’s was the hot spot at the time, on Route 10.  And then not too long after that, we would congregate at Senatore’s, and another place that ultimately became the Millbrook Barn, which was at that time I believe known as Joe Francello’s Bundle of Rubble, or after that it took on another name, The Crocked Wine Barrel.  But anyway, it was a restaurant-bar over on Millbrook Avenue, which was a good social spot.  But Senatore’s, I would say, was the hangout for the CCM employees that socialized.  And there was quite a good social experience at that time.  People did get together and do some things, so it was interesting, it was fun.

Kelsey:     How did you dress to go to work?

Nazzaro:   Oh, ties all the time.  You know, administration, even most of the faculty, wore ties and jackets.  Although we didn’t wear suits most of the time.  We had sport coats, sport jackets.  We were very professional at the time, and continued to be over the years.  That was the dress code in those days—you tied up when you went to work.

Kelsey:     What about the students?

Nazzaro:   When I think back about the students, hair was long, sideburns were mutton chops.  The pants were bell bottoms, and the shirts were kind of loud and flowery.  Some students wore beads and other forms of jewelry, but for the most part, they dressed as typical of the sixties and seventies attire that existed at the time.  They came casually.  Most of the women at the time wore—their skirts were shorter, and they wore skirts and dresses to school.  You didn’t see too many women in jeans at that time, which became very, very popular later.

Kelsey:     How did you get to work?

Nazzaro:   I drove.  I had a V.W. Beetle.  It got good gas mileage, and I came to work in the Beetle, and then eventually got rid of that.  I don’t remember what sequence of cars came thereafter, but I do remember drivin’ the little gray Beetle to work every day.  I lived in Convent Station, in an apartment in Morristown at the time, near Morristown.  My wife had just finished at Fairleigh Dickinson University, and so she did have a semester to go when we got married.  We ended up living there so she could go to class while I came to work here at CCM.

Kelsey:     Describe what Route 10 looked like at that time.

Nazzaro:   Wow.  Route 10.  I remember Route 10 as being pretty much a two-lane highway at that point in time, with one lane in each direction, separated only by a grass median.  Then they expanded it to two lanes in each direction.  And as I went east on Route 10, I think from the college to what would be the intersection of 202 and Route 10 was the only traffic light.  And that was the next time you hit a traffic light, so it was kind of freewheeling all the way.  And then the section down there where the Parsippany Hilton and those places exist, was a huge farm with waves of corn.  All you could see were cornstalks, as far as the eye could see, and a silo there, and that was about it.  So Route 10 was not congested at that time, and it wasn’t until the eighties that it really boomed in this area, that caused Route 10 to be such an important corridor.

Kelsey:     Describe a typical day for you that first year.

Nazzaro:   Wow, let’s see, typically it was seeing students.  I would come into work and did the normal amount of paperwork that I was required to do, of any administrator.  Particularly in the financial aid world that I operated in, I would spend a lot of time reviewing applications for assistance, and creating what’s referred to as financial aid packages to meet the needs of students, and working to get those packages out in the mail to individuals for the next coming semester.  For the students who were there, many experienced financial problems, and would come in to see me on a scheduled appointment basis, and we would talk about their issues and try to create a financial assistance program that would meet their needs.  In addition to that, I would see students about their major with careers and talk about job prospects and job situations for that.  And there was the normal run of meetings.  Although we didn’t have as many meetings in those days, I was part of the division of student services.  George Dragonetti was dean of students, and he would call us together periodically, and we would have staff meetings to deal with issues on a student-wide basis.  So my day was fairly exciting, with a solid mix of administrative work and seeing students.  As you could imagine, with a small college you took on other responsibilities without them having to be part of your job description.  Like all of a sudden if a truckload of new equipment came in, then we would be rolling up our sleeves and unloading the truck and doing things like that.  So it was kind of fun.  It was exciting.  Everybody seemed to work together, and the team pulled kind of together.

One of the characteristics that’s different from the college then and now, is in the early years, Ann, the college was populated pretty much by male administrators, most all of the jobs.  Although it was a good mix of male-female on the faculty, when you went to the administrative side, it was mostly dominated by men who, interestingly enough, most of us had been former athletes, so it was a very competitive environment.  We wanted the college to be very, very good, and everybody was working hard to make us the best that we could possibly be.  And later on, as Ed Yaw became the second president, that began to shift.  Literally the gender of the college began to shift from being kind of a—if you want to think of it as a competitive male institution, to one which was more embracing of females, and saw more female administrators being hired.  So that was a significant change.  And I think that was a direct result of one of the movements that the college….  And I maintain community colleges were the enabler of the women’s movement, as it was referred to in the seventies, because we were inexpensive, we were literally in people’s back yard, and we offered child care services for folks.  So as we got into the seventies, right after the first year, and into the second and third year, more and more females began to gravitate to community colleges because they could do it, and still do the family issue, and then begin to get back into the work force.  So that changed things, and the community college was at the right place at the right time for that to happen for thousands upon thousands of females.

I did some teaching besides.  I was an adjunct professor in the psych department, and I taught career planning and career development.  The typical class at that time for adjuncts and the part-time students would be predominantly females in their thirties.  Eighty percent of the class would be populated by that group, and we served that group very well.

Kelsey:     So you helped second-year students—once there was a second year—to find career paths.

Nazzaro:   Yes.

Kelsey:     Did you notice that the men were more interested in transferring, in order to keep their 2-C [sic] [2-5] deferments?  Or were they really looking closely at getting a job, knowing that the minute they walked out of school they would be first in line for the draft?

Nazzaro:   Well, that was certainly an issue, with men primarily.  There’s no question about it that as that war dragged on, and more and more vets returned, and people began to, as the society began to look at this war in a negative kind of way, it was always on the mind of male students, some of whom literally used the community college and then went into the service, and prepared for a better opportunity in the service.  There were others who looked at the educational system as a way to avoid being drafted, and to use it as a deferment.  Although I remember that being in college was not an automatic deferment, if your grade point average was not at a certain level.  So that was an incentive for many young men to keep their GPA up and going strong.  Graduate school was always the next step for those who had a bachelor’s degree to try and move away from military service.  Yeah, I think that was on their minds.  It was certainly always a question of what are you going to do when your number comes up, how are you going to handle that?

Kelsey:     Did you interface at all with any veterans that first year, that ’68-’69 year?

Nazzaro:   Not as many as when we got into the seventies.  I assume so, but it wasn’t an identifiable large number then.  It wasn’t until we were a little more established that we literally reached out, and other government organizations began to reach out and encourage veterans to take advantage of what I would call the G.I. Bill of that era, to come back.  There was adequate money to service veterans, so they did come back in large numbers during the subsequent few years.

Kelsey:     But you would say that in that first year they were not self-identifying?

Nazzaro:   Yeah.  We had a veterans’ coordinator who did not have that as their full-time job, but in addition to their other services would coordinate veterans’ affairs.  It wasn’t as big a deal in the first year, as it became in the subsequent years.

Kelsey:     Describe what was considered as cutting-edge technologyin your office in ’68-’69.

Nazzaro:   Yeah, wow, the typewriter.  (laughs)  An IBM Selectric was the hot typewriter, if you could get your hands on that.  Photocopying was still in its infant stages, and oftentimes was very, very difficult.  It had a special roll of paper that photocopies were made on, before it began to be plain paper copiers.  Carbon paper was still being used.  And the technology was absolutely, when you think about it today, was so inefficient and ridiculous, whereby we were all into dictating to our secretaries, memos, and memos of record, and policy.  And the secretaries were still taking shorthand at that time, and transcribing the shorthand into a memo, which you then would have to proofread and change and give back and have it retyped and ready for distribution and things of that sort.  When one thinks about the technology today in comparison….  It wasn’t until much later, of course, that computers came in, and I remember when that happened.  We all treated the first computers on campus like it was something to be idolized as some kind of a god that we needed to bow down to.  But yeah, in that first year the hot technology of course, was you had a telephone, you had an IBM Selectric typewriter, and hoped you had a secretary that could take good shorthand and could type quickly enough for you to get the work done that you needed to get done.  Photocopying was literally the old Xeroxing.  And, I don’t know if you recall ever, but there was a thing called a mimeograph machine, in which a template was made, and the template was put on the mimeograph machine, and then it was cranked by hand, and these copies would come out that were with blue ink on them, and they reeked of ether or some alcohol.  If you did it long enough, you could get high during the day, just by making mimeograph copies of these.  And people used to use those for tests primarily, and other things that faculty had.  So yeah, that’s the technology, that was it.  Oh, and tape recorders.  Yeah, tape recording, you could play tapes, and we’d take a little tape recorder to a conference or whatever and do your notes that way, and play those tapes back.  And they weren’t all 8-tracks either.  (laughs)

Kelsey:     I bet not.  Describe student interactions with you and other administrators.  And do you notice any differences between ’68 and 2008?

Nazzaro:   That’s a good question.  I’ve often said that the only real difference between students then and now is technology.The students have pretty much the same issues, the same kinds of concerns, and the same growing-up kinds of things that they were worried about then:  about their grades and courses they were taking, how to finance the education, what am I going to do afterward, and what does my future hold, and what is my relationship with my peers, and so forth and so on.  If you compare the two eras, the difference I think in the interaction was there was more personal interaction in the first year, where people really dealt with individuals on that level, because you couldn’t do it virtually, you couldn’t send each other e-mails and have electronic chats and do things via text messaging and other sorts of technology that’s available today.  So things were more intimate, they were more personal, you got to know each other on a different level, and they were dealing with the same problems, only differently in terms of the way you dealt with them.  So that was the one interesting thing.  Over the years of the close to forty years that I’ve been here, or worked here, that’s sort of remained a constant:  students’ problems were not too much different from generation to generation.  They were just texted differently, in different contexts perhaps.

Kelsey:     What about behavior?

Nazzaro:   Well, that went up and down over the era.  You had people in college who, again, in the first year and then moving into the very early years, the behavior of students was very respectful, yet collegial with us.  You’ve got to, again, because of the personal nature of the relationships that existed, students and administration and faculty had closer communication, closer relationship, and their behavioral problems were less.  When the relationships became more distant, and things changed, I think student behavior became different.  Again, looking at different periods of time, the counter-culture and the drug culture in the early years was then dealt with administratively and by authority.  And then it took on a different form as that went on into the later years where students sought different kinds of activities.

I think sports were important in the early years.  The first year we had a basketball team right off the bat and did well.  We had other sports we were involved [in], and that led to different kinds of behavior.  In a nutshell, students were more into the college in the early years in their behavior, and less into themselves, and more as that went on, later on, it changed a little bit as students became more interested in their own selves.

Kelsey:     Do you still keep in touch with students, faculty, and administrators who you knew during that time?

Nazzaro:   Yes, I do, as a matter of fact.  The first-year students were kind of very, very special as we got to know them.  I mentioned in the early part of my interview, running into a student last evening.  That happens to me quite frequently, and I remember those students well when I run into them.  Some of whom are considering retirement now, so I guess where does that put me in terms of age?  Again, many of them came back at a later age in their lives and so forth.  I don’t want to go into names, but there are people in the local community that I see that are part of that first year.  There are students who worked in offices that I see around.  Yeah, I do manage to run into quite a few of those students.

And through my second career at the college, which we’re not talking about in this interview, as the vice-president of the college’s foundation, when we went to the fundraising program, a lot of those students surfaced, particularly when I started the billboard campaign with the “I started right” personalities.  Many of those I reached back into the very, very early years of the college to highlight, and it was kind of fun, it was good.

Kelsey:     What do you remember most about that first year?

Nazzaro:   That first year, what I remember most is when I think about it, I think of the building of Henderson Hall, and how close we were to one another in proximity, and the tiny little offices that we all had, and how we managed to run a college in one building with 600 students, and all that we did—that’s what I remember most, of the excitement and the problems also that went along with that.  But on top of it all, in that first year, all of us had the vision for the future.  And that was kind of exciting, because we knew what we were going to try to become, and I think we became that.  So yeah, that first year, relationships with my colleagues, and the physical confines of that first building, and some of the students, and how we managed to do all that we did those years—very vivid in my memory.

Kelsey:     How has CCM changed since 1968?

Nazzaro:   Rutgers uses a motto, “Ever changing, yet eternally the same.”  And I sort of think that applies to CCM as well.  We started out with a very basic, fundamentally strong educational value system.  We decided that we weren’t going to be a typical community college of the stereotype that would be a cake walk academically.  We always felt that we would be easy to get into, but hard to graduate from or get out of.  That was one of the mainstays of our values.  So things changed physically.  We got bigger, more technology, a wider variety of students, diversity increased dramatically as a reflection of our society, and we just do so many more things, have so many more options for students.  But under it all, fundamentally, we’ve been changing, but eternally the same in sense of the value system of what we wanted to be, and how we wanted to do that.  And I think that’s been the mainstream of the presidents and the administrations that have conducted themselves at CCM.

Kelsey:     Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Nazzaro:   I brought a prop.  Yes, I brought a show-and-tell that I want to add if I could.  We were talking earlier about the early years.  This was in 1972 [sic] [1970].  I don’t know if you can see that well on the screen, but this photograph was a sign of the times in ’72 [sic] [1970], where this young lady—Linda Tunstead her name was—was on the patio between what we called then “A” and “B” Buildings, which had just been built, and it was during a national war moratorium day, as it was referred to, to bring the issues surrounding the Vietnam War to the table.  And it was a dialog going on, on the pros and cons of the war at that time.  This gal happened to be reflecting on what was being said, while holding the American flag, and showing the forlorn kind of attitude, or being torn with the issues of the day.  And this photograph became extremely famous.  It made Life magazine, there were people who wanted to make a national stamp out of it, it actually was presented to Congress as a stamp, and it remains with me today.  This always hangs in my office to remind me of those early years, and the things that went on, and to remind me about the college.  When this appeared in a local newspaper with a brief article on me when I retired from CCM, and the young lady in the picture happened to be visiting her parents in Whippany—this was just recently—and called me and had gotten my number, and we talked, and Linda and I had a long chat.  She talked about the many, many times that people had her on different kinds of shows and discussions and so forth about this picture, and how it did change her life dramatically.  She lives in California now.  It was kind of interesting.  That’s my show-and-tell project for the day.

And finally, the only other thing I think, Ann, that I’d like to add is that for me County College of Morris was a wonderful experience, being part of it, and growing with it over the years.  There’s not too many people that have the opportunity to join an organization that’s in the town basically where they’re from, and to grow with it and be part of helping the community connect with the college.  And I’ve always tried to do that, and that’s been part of my mainstay and reason for being.  I think a lot of us took that attitude in the early years, and really took the word “community” in community college very seriously, and wanted the folks in the community to take advantage of what we had to offer.  And I think over the years we’ve done that, and done it quite well.  And you’ve been a big part of that yourself.

That’s kind of it.

Kelsey:     Thank you very much.

Nazzaro:   You’re welcome.

O’Hagan: That was great.

Kelsey:     Great.

Nazzaro:   Thank you.  I didn’t get into the one that I wanted to tell the story about.  I don’t remember what year that was.

O’Hagan: We’re still recording.  Whenever you’re ready.  (recording paused)

Nazzaro:   Oh, by the way, Ann, before I leave, there’s one other story that I need to tell you.  And I can’t pinpoint the year.  I know it’s in the early seventies.  When the buildings were finally completed, we had a very special occasion to name the buildings.The administration put together a very special night in which a dinner was being offered, and the buildings were being then presented, if you will, to the individuals who they were named after.  And all of the buildings, except for the one we’re in now, the Sherman Masten Resource Center, were named after founding trustees.  Jim Henderson, of Henderson Hall, was the first chairman of the study committee that created the college, and the first chairman of the board of trustees.  Oliver Sheffield, of Sheffield Hall, was a prominent Ph.D. chemist at Picatinny Arsenal, and he was our first African-American member of the board of trustees.  Isedore Cohen from Cohen Hall was the treasurer for the then Epstein’s Corporation, if people remember the Epstein’s Store in Morristown.  He was treasurer of that—Ike, as he was called.  And finally the DeMare Hall, named for Patrick DeMare.

Well, the night of the dinner, when they presented these, Mr. DeMare stood up.  Pat was an Italian immigrant who spoke in somewhat broken English, who was a self-made businessman and a very generous contributor to the community, was there with his entire family that evening.  And when they presented him with the award of the building, he made the statement that, “The County College of Morris doesn’t owe me a thing—I owe it everything,” and with that, on the stage, in front of several hundred people, he just passed out and died, literally on the spot.  And that was probably the most dramatic thing that I’ve ever seen and been part of here at CCM, and maybe in my life, to see that actually happen.  And one of our faculty members rushed to the scene, Bob Hale and a couple of others, tried to administer CPR, were unable to revive him.  The ambulance came and it was a chaotic evening, but it sure put in my memory bank the night the buildings were named after people, and it will be something I’ll never forget, and I don’t think anyone who was there will ever forget it either.  I had to throw that in.  I couldn’t not remember that story.  So that ends it, thank you.

Kelsey:     Thank you.




Administration, 13, 17, 18, 20

Anti-war protests, 7, 8, 21

Bilinkas, Mary, 6

Building-naming ceremony, 22

Cafeteria, 4, 5, 9

Campus, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 16

CCM Foundation, 19

Clubs, 7

Cohen Hall, 23

Cohen, Isador "Ike", 23

Congress, 21

Construction, 4

Dalrymple family, 10

Dalrymple Pond, 10

DeMare Hall, 23

DeMare, Patrick, 23

Diversity, 8, 13

Dover, New Jersey, 1, 2

Dragonetti, George, 12

Dress, 10, 11

Early life, 1

Employment, 3, 14, 19

Epstein’s Corporation, 23

Faculty, 6, 10, 13, 17, 18, 19, 23

Financial aid, 3, 12

Fraternities and sororities, 6

German, Bill, 4

Hale, Bob, 23

Hanover Park High School, 1, 2

Henderson Hall, 4, 19, 23

Henderson, Jim, 6, 23

Job placement, 3, 12

Kennedy, Bobby, 7

King, Martin Luther, Jr., 7

Military draft, 9, 14

Photograph, girl with flag, 21

Route 10, 10, 11

Rutgers University, 1, 2, 3, 20

Seton Hall University, 1

Sheffield Hall, 23

Sheffield, Oliver, 23

Smoking, 5, 6

Social atmosphere, 10

Sports, 18

Students, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20

Technology, 16, 17

Transportation, 11

Tunstead, Linda, 21

Typical day, 12

Values, 20

Veterans, 6, 7, 15

Vietnam War, 7, 8, 9, 21

Women’s movement, 13

Work study program, 6

Yaw, Edward, 13



County College of Morris opened its doors in September of 1968. Join us in celebrating 40 years of connecting learning and life. Read about THE EVENTS that shaped the times, remember THE CULTURE, and join the founding CCM students, staff, and faculty as they share with us THE MEMORIES of those early days.