Honoring Our 2018 Alumni Faces

The 2018 Alumni Faces honorees on stage in the Recital Hall are (left to right) Jim Campagna, ’79, Nancy Pasquale, ’90, Mark Re, ’85, OCC President Dr. Casey Crabill, Jeremy Thompson, ’09 and Jerome Thompson, 2006-2009. Honoree David Bamonte, ’81 was unable to attend the event.

The 2018 Alumni Faces ceremony was filled with emotion. One by one the honorees walked on stage, received their awards and expressed heartfelt gratitude for those who helped them achieve success. They thanked their spouses, their families and faculty members at OCC who played critical roles in their development. You can watch the entire event here.

This year’s celebration was held in the Recital Hall on the night of October 3. It included six distinguished former students who were recognized for their professional achievements and contributions to the college and the community. The honorees included:

David Bamonte, ’81

  • High School: North Syracuse
  • Major at OCC: Music
  • Profession: Educator and Trumpet Player
  • David has traveled the world playing the trumpet with acclaimed conductors such as Leonard Bernstein and Zubin Mehta. Today he is a member of the Oregon Symphony and a professor at Portland State University. Unfortunately Bamonte was unable to attend the ceremony.

 

The 2018 Alumni Faces etchings are on display in the main hallway of the Academic II building.

Jim Campagna, ’79

  • High School: North Syracuse
  • Major at OCC: Radio & Television
  • Profession: Television News Director
  • Jim is News Director at WSYR TV, Newschannel 9. Throughout much of his career he shared his expertise with the next generation of professionals, serving as an adjunct professor in OCC’s Electronic Media Communications (EMC) major from 2001 to 2015. Today he continues to serve as a member of the EMC Advisory Board.

 

Nancy Pasquale, ’90

  • High School: The Convent School
  • Major at OCC: Humanities
  • Profession: Educator and Advocate
  • Nancy was a founding member of the college’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the national honor society for community colleges. She taught English at Fayetteville-Manlius and Solvay High Schools until she retired in 2015. Today she serves a co-chair of the OCC Advantage fundraising initiative.

 

Mark Re, ’85

  • High School: Bishop Ludden
  • Major at OCC: Business Administration
  • Profession: Real Estate Regional Manager
  • Mark is Vice President and Regional Manager of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services. He has been a steadfast supporter of OCC, serving on the Foundation Board since 2004. He is co-chair of the OCC Advantage Fundraising initiative.

 

Jeremy Thompson, ’09

  • High School: LaFayette
  • Major at OCC: General Studies
  • Profession: Professional Lacrosse Player
  • Jeremy was an All-American lacrosse player at Lafayette High School, OCC and Syracuse University. He was also a two-time New York State Champion and a National Champion with the Lazers. He and his brother Jerome are the face of Nike’s line of Lacrosse gear and part owners of Thompson Brothers Lacrosse.

 

Jerome Thompson, 2006-2009

  • High School: LaFayette
  • Major at OCC: General Studies
  • Profession: Professional Lacrosse Player
  • Jerome and his brother Jeremy are the face of Nike’s line of Lacrosse gear and part owners of Thompson Brothers Lacrosse. Jerome helped lead the Lazers Men’s Lacrosse team to National Championships in 2007 and 2009. Both he and his brother Jeremy continuously give back to the Native American community and are icons and role models for their work.

 

Earlier in the day several of the Alumni Faces honorees spent time on campus, speaking with students about their time at OCC and answering their questions. You can view a slideshow of them on campus below.

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2018 Alumni Faces: Jeremy Thompson ’09 and Jerome Thompson ’06-’09

Jerome (left) and Jeremy Thompson after one of their two National Championships while at OCC.

Onondaga Community College annually recognizes distinguished graduates by naming them “Alumni Faces” for their accomplishments and contributions to the community. The 2018 class will be honored during a ceremony tonight at 5:30 p.m. in the Recital Hall which is located in the Academic II building. Two of the graduates we will honor tonight are Jeremy and Jerome Thompson.

For many lacrosse enthusiasts the name Thompson resonates much like the name Manning does in the National Football League. Despite the fame and name recognition that comes with being part of the first family of lacrosse, both Jeremy and Jerome take each day in stride. They grew up in longhouses and like most Native American children were provided a lacrosse stick while still in their crib due to the significance of the sport in their culture. This instrument of play would be something both would cherish and would provide them endless opportunities and responsibilities.

Up until the 5th grade the brothers went to school on the Onondaga Reservation before joining the Lafayette School District. Both remember the early days of transition very well. “For us, it was like living in two different worlds even though we were close in proximity, our culture, language and learning style could not be further apart,” Jeremy said. As a result of this divide, both brothers had to overcome a feeling of isolation, despite Lafayette’s best efforts. “The School was very welcoming, but since we did not speak English I could only talk with Jeremy and one other teacher who we ate lunch with everyday, so the ability not to communicate was tough,” Jerome added.

After some time, the brothers were able to make the necessary advancements to overcome the language barrier and started to forge friendships. By the time they started junior high and could play lacrosse for the team, their transition into the school became much smoother as the bond with their classmates became stronger. Once area colleges caught wind of the what was happening at Lafayette it did not take long for the letters and applications to start rolling in. “We always had our eye on Syracuse University as we grew up going to their lacrosse games, but the opportunity to attend college, let alone a Division-I school didn’t really become a reality until all of that mail started to come in,” Jeremy said.

Chuck Wilbur

They would go on to win two state championships at Lafayette, but due to their academic standing needed to hone their skills in the classroom a bit more before making the jump to Division-I. Enter, Coach Chuck Wilbur of the OCC Men’s Lacrosse Program. “Coach Wilbur was all about building relationships and stayed very close to us through our years in high school, so he was somebody we could trust and put us on a path where we could further our goals,” Jerome said. The slogan of the OCC Men’s Lacrosse program is “Family” and that is what they became to the Thompson Brother’s. “Coach Wilbur taught us the value of the classroom and if we work on that everything else would take care of itself. That along with being close to the Reservation and the small classes turned out to be exactly what we needed.”

The Thompson’s would go on to lead OCC to two straight National Junior College National Championships and both earned All-American honors in the process. Following their time at OCC, Jeremy would go on to star at Syracuse University while garnering two more All-American honors while playing for the Orange. Soon after the National Lacrosse League would come calling for both where they would each bring their customary wide-open style of play to the professional level. Both would go on to star for different teams and capture a total of five championships between them. In addition, both continued to play critical roles for the Iroquois National Lacrosse Team during the World Lacrosse Championships, with the team recently earning a Bronze Medal in Israel this past summer.

In light of their success, the Thompson Brothers would go on to become the faces of Nike Lacrosse and serve as ambassadors of the companies N7 Fund Program, where resources and lacrosse supplies are allocated to impoverished areas, mainly in populations where there is a large Native American population. Being part of this program, hosting free lacrosse clinics and giving talks to Native American youth is something that is very important and allows them to give back as an appreciation to everyone who took the time to help them on their journey. “We are grateful to the creator, God, everyone at Lafayette, OCC and all of the support we received in getting to where we are today. To receive this honor is a tribute to all of the work they put into our success and we are very excited to return the favor as often as we can.”

2018 Class of Alumni Faces

The latest Alumni Faces honorees are recognized on the first floor of the Academic II building.

Six distinguished former Onondaga Community College students have been named 2018 “Alumni Faces” honorees for their professional achievements and contributions to the college and the community. They will be honored for their accomplishments during an induction ceremony Wednesday, October 3 at 5:30 p.m. in the Recital Hall. Their likenesses will be added to the Alumni Faces display in the Academic II building.

The 2018 class of Alumni Faces is:

David Bamonte, ’81
High School: North Syracuse
Major at OCC: Music
Profession: Educator and Trumpet Player

David has traveled the world playing the trumpet with acclaimed conductors such as Leonard Bernstein and Zubin Mehta. Today he is a member of the Oregon Symphony and a professor at Portland State University.

 

Jim Campagna, ’79
High School: North Syracuse
Major at OCC: Radio & Television
Profession: Television News Director

Jim is News Director at WSYR TV, Newschannel 9. Throughout much of his career he shared his expertise with the next generation of professionals, serving as an adjunct professor in OCC’s Electronic Media Communications (EMC) major from 2001 to 2015. Today he continues to serve as a member of the EMC Advisory Board.

 

Nancy Pasquale, ’90
High School: The Convent School
Major at OCC: Humanities
Profession: Educator and Advocate

Nancy was a founding member of the college’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the national honor society for community colleges. She taught English at Fayetteville-Manlius and Solvay High Schools until she retired in 2015. Today she serves a co-chair of the OCC Advantage fundraising initiative.

 

Mark Re, ’85
High School: Bishop Ludden
Major at OCC: Business Administration
Profession: Real Estate Regional Manager

Mark is Vice President and Regional Manager of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services. He has been a steadfast supporter of OCC, serving on the Foundation Board since 2004. He is co-chair of the OCC Advantage Fundraising initiative.

 

Jeremy Thompson, ’09
High School: LaFayette
Major at OCC: General Studies
Profession: Professional Lacrosse Player

Jeremy was an All-American lacrosse player at Lafayette High School, OCC and Syracuse University. He was also a two-time New York State Champion and a National Champion with the Lazers. He and his brother Jerome are the face of Nike’s line of Lacrosse gear and part owners of Thompson Brothers Lacrosse.

 

Jerome Thompson, 2006-2009
High School: LaFayette
Major at OCC: General Studies
Profession: Professional Lacrosse Player

Jerome and his brother Jeremy are the face of Nike’s line of Lacrosse gear and part owners of Thompson Brothers Lacrosse. Jerome helped lead the Lazers Men’s Lacrosse team to National Championships in 2007 and 2009. Both he and his brother Jeremy continuously give back to the Native American community and are revered as icons and role models for their work.

 

Congratulations to our Alumni Faces Class of 2018! You can see a complete list of all of our Alumni Faces honorees here.