TMCC College News

New Historical Archives Give History of TMCC

Posted: Jun 16, 2014

Stead Campus in 1977 Picture

Stead campus in 1977, when TMCC was still known as Western Nevada Community College, a branch of WNCC whose main campus was based in Carson City. WNCC in Carson City is now Western Nevada College.

Soup cans labeled with “Cream of Education: Soup for Success,” and a recipe with directions to “Mix well, and let stew…when education is complete, turn out and look for a bright future,” is one example of the quirky and intriguing historical items that are now stored in Truckee Meadows Community College official archives in the Elizabeth Sturm Library.

TMCC’s historical archives are located on the second floor of the library, and host various sizes of filing cabinets, rolling storage shelves and book cases. The room is kept locked, and an appointment is needed to browse these timeworn materials. Its mission is to maintain a collection of resources that document the college’s history.

Cameron Carr, Library Assistant III, has been working on the archives for about two years. Organizing the records has involved sorting, categorizing, labeling, prioritizing, condensing important collections and some recycling of duplicate copies, Carr said. About 3-5 copies of each item is kept, if possible.

“We are always looking for materials like old photos and reports that may be of interest,” said Carr. “We would like to go over all donated items to see whether they may have a place in the archives.”

What is stored in the TMCC archives?

Among the many items in the collection are publications, videos and memorabilia including:

  • Campus photos dating back to 1970s; such as the Stead campus main building in 1977
  • Construction photos of Dandini campus buildings in the 1980s, Vista complex in early 1990s
  • Photos of faculty and college events
  • Several hundred slides that will be digitized
  • Blueprints of buildings
  • Information about the inception of community colleges in Nevada; reports from the 1960s
  • Accreditation reports; self-studies from the 1970s forward
  • First college catalog from 1972 and class schedules from Fall 1971 to the present
  • Commencement programs from 1972
  • Sports photos, tickets, bumper stickers and buttons from when the college, as WNCC, had a basketball team
  • VHS film of graduations that will eventually be cataloged and digitized
  • Art galleries fliers and posters since the 1990s
  • Memorabilia such as awards and T-shirts
  • Book store items including pens, pocket folders, cups, and student planners
  • The first student newspaper in the 1970s, The Stirrup, and later in the 70s, The Wildcat
  • An almost complete set of the student newspaper, The Echo
  • Set of the student newspaper, Voices
  • Set of the literary publication, The Meadows, some hard bound copies from the 1980s
  • Set of The Truckee, a student bound journal containing essays and artwork
  • Press releases and news clippings
  • Flag flown on the Stead campus, appropriately archived
  • Aerial images of campus
  • Teacher orientation folder packets

Materials have begun to be requested from the archives for research

Western Nevada College requested 1972-1982 graduation lists to help fill in gaps existing in their own collection. Slides have been borrowed for retirement celebrations. Copies of accreditation materials from the 1980s were requested, Carr said.

During research on the history of the lizard mascot icon, the staff writer found instances of logo designs and lizard illustrations in a class schedule of Summer 1995, and an Associated Students of Truckee Meadows (ASTM) logo of lizards in the newspaper, Voices, during that same year.

Interesting trivia is available in the archives for mystery seekers

There are intriguing facts accessible to the dedicated researcher at TMCC:

  • First class schedule with the TMCC name (after branching from WNCC) is Fall 1980
  • Class schedule with the first oval TMCC logo is Fall 1981
  • There used to be parking passes for the parking lot
  • The first edition of The Echo was called The Western Echo and featured on the Oct. 1976 cover was a picture of the Red Mountain Building nearing completion
  • The first commencement program of 1972 names 29 May graduates
  • V. James Eardley was the first President of TMCC
  • Elizabeth Sturm was the first librarian, and the library was initially in Red Mountain Building 315

Some items remain a mystery

There is a set of detailed and artistic storyboards which are still a mystery. Plans for a theatrical production? Storyboards for the first college commercial?

Also, there is a scanned article called “The Lizard’s Tale” that explains some history behind the lizard being TMCC’s unofficial mascot going back to the 1970s. If anyone in the campus community has information about the storyboards or the article, please contact Carr.

TMCC now has an archive that is a valuable resource for the college

Carr stressed that many of the collections are starting to be digitized, which will make items more easily accessible.

For more information about the historical archives, email Carr at

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TMCC's Public Information Office
Telephone: 775-673-7087

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