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William T. Boyce, who played an important role in the early development of Fullerton College and the junior college movement at-large, grew up in a rural farming community in eastern North Carolina. After receiving his M.A. from Harvard University, Boyce went on to become the Principal of Sherwood High School in Maryland. He then moved to California to accept a head teaching position at Whittier College in the Department of Political Science and Economics.
Boyce taught at Whittier College for two years before leaving for another teaching position at Fullerton College where he eventually became acting Dean. Believing that junior colleges, which were a new concept in education at the time, would address the educational gap in specialized training, Boyce sought to contribute to the movement through his position as Dean. During his time as the head administrator, Fullerton College became one of the first junior colleges to offer advanced vocational training in such areas as banking, cosmetology, dental and doctor assisting, nursing, and construction, in addition to the liberal arts and sciences education it already provided for students interested in academic work and attending university.
Aside from expanding and promoting upon the concept of a career-based education, Boyce also worked to enrich and encourage scholarly and high-achieving students in the community college system. In 1925, he helped to create the California statewide community college Honor Society, known today as Alpha Gamma Sigma.
“I saw the new type of college [as exemplified by Fullerton College] as the dawning of new opportunity for high school graduates, to broaden and deepen the meaning of life. It offered a richer heritage for the youth of America. I decided to I would look for an opportunity to get connected with the movement, which I felt had a great potential for growth and usefulness.”
— Boyce, “My Years in the Fullerton Junior College, 1915-1950”
“The thing that attracted me to junior college connections was the two-fold obligation of a junior college: to offer academic work for students who wanted two more years beyond high school and for students who wanted to prepare to continue their work at a state college or in any four-year college or university, and to offer vocational courses for students who were not particularly interested in academic work.”
— Boyce, Simon interview