A New NMC is Coming

Governor Arnold I. Palacios and Lieutenant Governor David M. Apatang, along with several members of the Northern Marianas College (NMC) PROA community, legislative body members, local business representatives, and members of the public gathered at NMC for the historic Student Center Groundbreaking Ceremony. 

The ceremony opened with NMC Vice President Frankie Eliptico jumping out of a plane to signify the start of not only the start of the groundbreaking ceremony, but also to help usher in a new era for NMC. The ceremony also included messages from U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cordona (via video), FEMA Region IX Administrator Bob Fenton, Board of Regents Chairman Charles Cepeda, NMC President Galvin Deleon Guerrero, GAR Patrick Guerrero, and a blessing from Bishop Ryan Jimenez. 

The ceremony ended with John Oliver Gonzales leading a traditional Chamorro ancient blessing of sacred indigenous ancestral land (Ma Lao’ak Tanu’ i Manainata).

In 2018, Typhoon Yutu devastated the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) – most especially the NMC campus. Water damage from the flooding obliterated classrooms and offices. Strong winds ripped off tin roofing all throughout the college. Immediately, NMC began to rebuild itself – step by step – to ensure that its students would continue to attend classes and graduate. Even with a mountain of obstacles, NMC was able to break ground today – not just for its student center, but for a new NMC [campus]. 

During his remarks, NMC President Dr. Galvin Deleon Guerrero thanked Governor Palacios and Lieutenant Governor Apatang because “they moved mountains” to get NMC to where it is today. During his remarks about the role of NMC in the Commonwealth, Governor Palacios called the college “a symbol of our island’s resilience and [a] comeback story.” Praising the hard work of all involved at the college, the Governor added, “NMC lost its campus, but it did not lose its spirit…going from tragedy to triumph.” NMC has big plans for itself. The Governor remarked, “Our college is positioned to contribute to the economic development and growth of the CNMI.” The Governor ended his remarks by promising to continue to support NMC in its future endeavors, “especially [with] permits.”  At the end of his speech, Governor Palacios personally thanked Lieutenant Governor Apatang and Robert J. Fenton, Jr. of FEMA, and the current generation of leaders of NMC for their help and support for the college.

It was a morning filled with smiles, scattered rain shower blessings, a few tears of joy, and multiple rounds of applause. Soon there will be a new NMC and, from it, a new generation of leaders.  

Office of CNMI Governor and Lt. Governor
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