In 1967, with one employee and two empty rooms, Niagara College opened its doors in Welland.
The college, now home to more than 10,000 students at multiple campuses, is celebrating its 50th anniversary.
When it opened in September 1967, 450 students began their education in programs that included for business and secretarial roles.
Before the campus was built on Woodlawn Road, staff worked out of a two-room office on King Street in Welland. Mary Hornak was hired as the first employee of the college working as secretary to the college president, George Bowen. She remained the only staff member for the first few weeks.
Hornak, with a laugh, recalls the rooms were small and she was tasked with filling them with office supplies.
"I just can't get over that it started with two small rooms and it's grown so big
," she says.