On March 31, 2016, Thursday night, we celebrated our eighth Sterling Silver event.
Sterling Silver is a fundraiser for the Bakersfield College Foundation, which manages funds for campus organizations, individuals and endowments. The Foundation provides over $500,000 in scholarships and student aid to over 500 students annually.
This year, we wanted to evolve our signature event to highlight for the community what it means to be a philanthropist by honoring two of Bakersfield College’s biggest supporters: Mary Trichell and Chevron.
These supporters epitomize the spirit of giving through their level of generosity, their consistency in giving, and the breadth of what they do.
Mary’s relationship with Bakersfield College goes back not just 10 years, or 20 years, or 30 years. Mary’s mother, Alice Heber Gordon, was born in Bakersfield in 1911. And Bakersfield College was born in 1913.
In the 1920s, Alice took classes at Bakersfield College when it still shared a campus with Bakersfield High School (then Kern County Union High School).
Fast forward to 1963, when Mary Gordon took classes on the hill – after Bakersfield College made the move to the current Panorama campus — the Home of the Renegades. Mary especially enjoyed her math classes with Shirley Trembley and economics classes with Wylie Jones.
It is so wonderful to see a relationship with the college that goes back decades, and that goes back generations.
Bakersfield College Athletic Director Sandi Taylor and Head Football Coach Jeff Chudy had the honor of speaking about the importance of Mary’s contributions to Bakersfield College athletics.
“With the addition of Beach Volleyball, and then Men’s Soccer in the fall, we’ll have 20 teams and approximately 500 student athletes competing for Bakersfield College across the state. We are exceptional. We aren’t your average community college athletic program. Why? Because we have incredible support from folks like Mary. That’s what allows us to be exceptional. We couldn’t do it without our friends,” Taylor said.
Liz Rozell, Dean of Instruction for Engineering and Industrial Technology (as well as our new Bachelor’s of Science in Industrial Automation) spoke about Chevron’s generous and long-standing relationship with Bakersfield College.
Chevron is a company that invests in the communities it serves. Everything they do is focused on preparing our students to succeed in school and in life. Chevron’s generosity with our STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) has helped increase the number of our engineering majors from 163 in 2008 to 718 engineering majors today.
Two of our great programs that have been recipients of Chevron’s generosity include our MESA Week Zero for incoming STEM majors, and our new Project Lead the Way Camp for middle school students. I previously blogged about MESA Week Zero here, and Project Lead the Way here.
Receiving the award on Chevron’s behalf was Carla Musser, Chevron manager of policy, government and public affairs.
Thank you Chevron!
The support BC has from this community is astounding. Here are the list of sponsors for this event:
Mary Trichell — Of course!
- Chevron (thank you for supporting our STEM program)
- Klein Denatale Goldner Cooper Rosenlieb and Kimball LLC (thank you for all you do for Bakersfield College and our students. thank you for bringing Amgen to our campus)
- Motor City Lexus (thank you for your consistent support of BC and our Auto Program. Your generosity in providing equipment, funds, and time is invaluable)
- KGET (thank you for Allisa Carlson, our emcee)
- Kern Schools Federal Credit Union (thank you for supporting several of our programs including inservice and Athletics)
Phil and Debby Rosenthal
During my remarks, I pointed out that the KCCD Board of Trustees was considering a bond for the November 8, 2016 ballot by reminding our friends in the community that it was up to us to take care of this gem, Bakersfield College, for the next 50 years — 2016 to 2066.
In 1913, Bakersfield leadership & the community were visionaries. They knew that higher education was absolutely critical for Kern County, and so they created a community college to Bakersfield.
In the 1950s, leadership & the community again showed their commitment to the college when they supported Bakersfield College’s expansion and move to the hill.
60 years later, many things have changed – but one constant piece that remains is that the community realizes that the return on investment of Bakersfield College is huge. The community remains committed to supporting the work of the college, and lifting up the students that the college serves. The community recognizes and appreciates the special relationship between Bakersfield and Bakersfield College.
Here is the 2:38-minute video that Manny De Los Santos put together giving us Bakersfield College from the Millennium Falcon.
Talking about the Millennium Falcon and De Los Santos, you have got to check out the videos that he did for our Opening Day. Here is my Jan 23, 2016 blog post.
There were many other wonderful donors and friends of Bakersfield College in attendance.
Jerry and Lauraine Cook met at Bakersfield College in a music appreciation class. They are longtime supporters of Bakersfield College. Lauraine is a retired Vice Chancellor of Educational Services for the Kern Community College District.
It goes without saying that an important part of Bakersfield College’s ties to the community is our Athletics department, and there was no shortage of BC Athletics legends on hand at the event.
It was great to see Walt Johnson, former Men’s Athletic Director and Renegade baseball and football coach. Johnson was part of the legendary “Fab Five” quintet — Duane Damron, Harvell Pollard, Carl Bowser, and Gerry Collis — who made the Renegades a national force in athletics.
A big part of Mary’s giving to Bakersfield College positively impacts the Athletic Department, and fellow athletics benefactors were on hand to honor Mary. That included longtime football supporter Wes Bradford, President and Owner of Clifford-Bradford Insurance Agency.
Ed Davis, President of the Renegade Helmet Club, shared a table with Coach Chudy. Recently, Davis donated materials and labor for a more efficient irrigation system for the practice field and playing surface in Memorial Stadium.
Julie Bowser-Sanders, daughter of Coach Bowser and employee of Clifford-Bradford Insurance, was on hand as well.
“My father won two National Championships in his time with the Renegades, and I can say this with certainty: it wouldn’t have happened without community support from folks like Mary Trichell, her husband Ray Trichell, or Wes Bradford, or generous companies like Chevron,” she said.
It was wonderful to have representation from our political leaders as well. Vince Fong, District Director for House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy came out to show his support.
McCarthy is an alum of Bakersfield College, another great example of the important relationship between Bakersfield College and the community. He has returned to his alma mater to show his support on many occasions, including when he served as honorary Chair and keynote speaker for the Kern Ag Summit hosted on the BC campus in fall 2014 – check out my blog post about that great event. And during our Centennial Celebration, Bakersfield College honored Congressman McCarthy for his service to the community with a 100 Stars award.
We were also so happy to have the support of Michael Bowers, a senior field representative for State Senator Andy Vidak. The two of them are such great supporters of education in general and of BC in particular.
Thank you also to our KCCD Board Members in attendance, Romeo Agbalog and Kyle Carter. We so enjoy seeing our Board members at college events.
The Californian did a wonderful piece on the Bakersfield Hall of Fame, the “brain child” of Carter and Mcabee. Check it out http://tinyurl.com/hq6ndw8.
Trustee Romeo Agbalog is a fierce advocate for education in Delano and rural Kern, for improving the lives of those living in rural communities, and for the less fortunate economically. He is tireless and selfless in his work for those he serves, and he and his wife Lily are regular supporters at college events.
It was a treat seeing Randy Beeman at the event. Randy and I were faculty together at BC before I went off to Oregon — Randy in History and me in Math. Randy and his wife came with their friends Martin and Lori Caratan of Columbine Vineyards.
Randy and Martin kept bragging about each other and it was clear that they had a deep longstanding friendship that is tried and true. Check out Caratan’s website at http://www.columbinevineyards.com/. Here is a neat excerpt, from the website, about generational farming in this valley
The Caratan heritage continues to thrive as the next generation provides leadership to Columbine Vineyards. Martin Caratan maintains his grandfather’s vision, Luis and Milan’s momentum and their own dedication to the propagation of new varietals, consistent quality and the superior products and customer service the industry has come to know and expect from Columbine Vineyards.
I shared a table that evening with a fun group of people: Mike and Nancy Turnipseed, JP and Ingrid Lake, Romeo Agbalog and Lily Perez, and Karen Goh. The conversations that I was able to join in on ranged from how Rain for Rent could help us secure the waters from the Willamette to address the drought in the central valley in California, to the necessity of having coffee with desert, which had a nice splash of sea salt with caramel!
Karen Goh has been a consistent and longstanding friend of Bakersfield. She has always taken the time to help out whenever help was needed. Thank you Karen! Here she is with Mary Trichell and Billie Jo Medders. I have never met Billie Jo Medders but she helped me out about 2 decades ago when I was a faculty at BC and she was working in Congressman Bill Thomas’ Office. Congressman Thomas, you have single-handedly done so much for our community.
Mike Turnipseed is a great community leader who recognizes the importance of the relationship between the Bakersfield community and Bakersfield College. “It’s wonderful to see the exceptional community support that Bakersfield College has, and how much the community supports and appreciates that value BC adds to the community,” said Mike Turnipseed, executive director of the Kern County Taxpayers Association.
Check out my August 4, 2015 blog post on the collaborative work that BC did with Turnipseed and others in the community. http://tinyurl.com/hkm2p6y.
As you can see, the relationship between Bakersfield College and Bakersfield runs deep – Bakersfield College truly is a community college!
The Force is with….BC! We are….BC!
Thank you Marlene Heise, Tom Gelder, and Mary Jo Pasek for this great event.