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My family came to California in 1961 less than a year after I was born. We arrived in Compton and stayed there until we moved to Fullerton in 1972.
Before attending Fullerton College I was a student at Fullerton Union High School. I graduated in 1979 and began classes at Fullerton College that Fall.
I started Fullerton College in the fall of 1979. My principal concerns were not knowing many students. Those concerns though were quickly squashed as I came across former High School buddies and acquaintances. I made many new friends and to this day they remain lifelong.
I started out as a Fine Art Major and the art department became my second home. From life drawing to watercolor and oil painting my instructors were a big influence on me and were quite memorable. Among the giants in the Art and Graphic Design Department, Don Hendricks stood tallest. Don taught me how to draw. He taught me how to watercolor paint (one of the most demanding of fine art mediums) and at that point in his career he was THE best watercolor artist in the nation. Fullerton College was full of the best professors and instructors in the State and I knew I was attending at a special time in the schools history. I wanted to be Don—not just because of his artistic abilities but also because he touched so many people’s lives, in numerous ways. I am who I am as an artist because of him. I will forever be in his debt and I will always be grateful to my community college for introducing him to me and countless others. Don passed away February 8th, 1989.
Art Department Chair and Graphic Design instructor Graham Booth was also quite memorable. I signed up for a Graphic Design class of his not knowing a thing about commercial art. Graham introduced me to a world of typography and logo design and as of this writing I will be a practicing Graphic Designer for over 25 years. I am a designer 24 hours a day-seven days a week. I never clock out. Graham provided me with insight, knowledge and the esthetic passion that I still hold true today. He had a biting dry wit and a twinkle in his eye. He retired in 1997 and passed away in 1998.
Last but not least—Robert Russell Jensen, or Bob to those in the know. Bob was new to the college in my years there and his youthful energy and enthusiasm for the Theatre Department was contagious. My “Intro to Theatre” class was just that. A primary for acting and stage production. I become aware of the best playwrights of the period and of the past and I know what a “Greek Chorus” is thanks to Bob. He has become a confidante and mentor over the years and I wish I could spend more time with him.
These were/are good men and great husbands, fathers, friends and community leaders. I am a better person knowing and learning from them.
After my years at Fullerton College I went on to Cal State Long Beach. My background at Fullerton College provided me with the skills and confidence to succeed there. I left my senior year to pursue a 25 year career in Graphic Design. I’ve worked for bike companies, toy companies, signage companies, ad agencies, design studios and movie studios.
I am actively involved in my community serving and volunteering on several boards and I mentor Fullerton College students from time-to-time. I have college age children now and I often pass on my experiences at Fullerton College to them.
The best advice I can give to current students is to know the rules—then break them. Show respect and reference to the past but create your own future. Don’t wait for someone else to do it for you.
The college vision for the future should be to get back to the idea of learning for learning’s sake. Your college experience should not always center on a career. Knowledge is power. If students are seeking job placement after college then remember that the jobs of the future have not been invented yet. How can the college prepare their students for those challenges? They can prepare them by encouraging multi-discipline course choices and opening up new ideas for Majors.
"Show respect and reference to the past but create your own future."