Name the building already after McPhetres


I want to thank Rep. Edwin Aldan. If anyone deserves to be immortalized at the Northern Marianas College, it is Mrs. Agnes McPhetres and her husband! One can’t discuss the founding and history of NMC without including both of the McPhetres. It is also a baldfaced lie that the naming of a building will affect NMC’s accreditation. Thanks to Rep. Lorenzo Deleon Guerrero who pointed out that a building within the NMC campus was previously named after someone as well. Rep. John Paul Sablan (R-Saipan), who was acting chair in the absence of Rep. Ivan A. Blanco (R-Saipan), did table the bill while their legal counsel reviews NMC’s claim.

It is really the responsibility of the board and not the president, which raises the question: Why didn’t the board and its president take on this issue? There is nothing wrong with Ms. Fernandez supporting the board’s efforts but the board needs to be leading on this issue and she needs to stop taking on the board’s responsibilities when it comes to legislation. Stop the NMC politics.

More importantly, this is about Mrs. McPhetres who is literally the founding mother of NMC and too often we wait until people are dead to truly recognize them and give them the credit they are due. Mrs. McPhetres more than deserves a building being named after her as there should be a statue too! The practice or paradigm of recognizing people after they are dead needs to change, to begin recognizing these great people while they live when possible so they can see for themselves the appreciation for their efforts. Those people who were complaining about the Earhart monument and the need for locals to be immortalized in a monument now have a chance to speak up and support the effort to immortalize Mrs. Agnes McPhetres, the founding mother of NMC who is a great local educator and social leader of the CNMI.

The board may have very well opened a can of worms by complaining about the law can’t make them do something, just like the CWs did when they asked for federal intervention and look what happened to the CWs—their days are now numbered. I told the CWs so and not to seek federal intervention and now I’m telling NMC they need to volunteer to name the building or it could lead to more legislation dictating NMC to do things. I know there are many people and leaders who are sick and tired of NMC and its accreditation failures because NMC is not progressing like it should to become a full four-year college, which is the real challenge to their accreditation work—the ability to grow and improve and nothing to do with the name of a building.

Ambrose M. Bennett
Kagman, Saipan

Ambrose M. Bennett

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