The Alumni Association was formed during the summer of 2000 by four NCS Londonderry alumni: Dennis Kolodziej, Ted Nevels, John Reigle, and Jim Sullivan. How these four men from Michigan, Louisiana, Virginia, and North Carolina came together to found the Alumni Association is an interesting story.
Dennis Kolodziej, Ted Nevels, and John Reigle had all served together at NCS Londonderry from 1974 to 1977, but they had not been in contact with each other for over 20 years. One day in 1999 Dennis Kolodziej (Michigan) received a phone call from a Derry girl. She was looking for one of Dennis' old NCS Londonderry shipmates. Dennis searched the internet, found the fellow, and contacted him. This shipmate had kept in contact with another shipmate named Ted Nevels (Louisiana), and passed along Dennis' number to Ted. Ted called Dennis and they discussed getting the "old gang" from the 1974-1977 era together for a weekend reunion. In support of this, Ted posted a number of messages on the various Navy Veteran web sites and put notices in various military magazines. John Reigle (Virginia) spotted one of these notices and contacted his old buddy Ted. Shortly after reuniting, Dennis, Ted, and John began plans to hold a much larger reunion, in Derry, in the year 2003. In support of this, John began creating a mailing-list database of former alumni.
Around this same time period Jim 'Sully' Sullivan (North Carolina), who had served a tour at the base in 1964-1965, had been searching the Internet looking for Londonderry web sites. He was hoping to find some old shipmates from Derry, but was not having much luck. So, Jim decided to create his own web site dedicated to NCS Londonderry in hopes that other alumni with fond memories of Derry might find him! While surfing the Internet in May 2000, Jim found one of Ted Nevels' notes on a message board and contacted him. After exchanging a number of e-mail messages between them, John, Ted, Dennis, and Jim became confident there were many alumni with fond memories of Derry who would support the idea of a Derry reunion, as well as an Alumni Association.
As a result, these four men decided during the summer of 2000 to form the Alumni Association and to join together their two major efforts: Jim's Internet web site, and John, Ted, and Dennis' 2003 Derry Reunion. Jim completed the web site in August of 2000, and the rest is a real success story. From a one-page web site listing only their four names, the Alumni Association has experienced a sustained growth in members, with new memberships continuing with each week. The confidence of these four men that many NCS Londonderry alumni shared their fondness for the Old Base and for Derry has been proven correct.
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