Fullerton College Centennial


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Remembering Fullerton College

This year Fullerton College is celebrating its 100th Anniversary. My memories of the college go back 72 years to the fall of 1941 when I enrolled as a freshman.

In those days the college was called Fullerton Jr. College or FJC. I enrolled as a secretarial major but also played my saxophone in the Hornet Band and my clarinet in the College Symphony Orchestra.

I grew up in Olinda where my father pumped 12 wells for the Fullerton Oil Company. I was able to ride the 8 miles to FJC with a friend who worked at the High School. My father retired in 1943 and my family moved to my Grandmother’s old house on East Amerige where I could walk to the college.

December 7, 1941 made a big change at FJC. My dear friend Mieko Endow was Japanese and her family was sent to a relocation camp. Mieko gave me some of her books and said goodbye with tears in her eyes. Mieko didn’t have to remain in the relocation camp. She chose to move to Minnesota where she worked in a department store during the war.

Our Hornet Band had been selected to march in the Rose Parade but because of the war the parade was cancelled. I still regret that I never got to march down Colorado Blvd. playing my saxophone.

Mrs. Stuelke was the Dean of Women and by 1943 Fullerton Jr. College was called Mrs. Stuelke’s school for girls as so many of the men students had gone off to war.

I graduated with the class of 1943 and was honored with permanent membership in Alpha Gamma Sigma, the scholarship society.

In 1948 my husband, Howard Lusk, enrolled at FJC under the G.I. Bill. He was President of the Veteran’s Club and we had many friends who lived in Veteran’s Housing. He also had a job working part time as a janitor at the college.

In the same year I was hired by Dr. Boyce to work in the Administration Office. The office staff consisted of four secretaries. My job consisted of being Attendance Secretary where I had to count dots to record when students were absent from class. I was also Secretary to Dr. Shellar who was the College Registrar. I was in charge of typing the student’s transcripts and also copying them on a machine in the basement when the students requested copies.

We secretaries had to work a 44 hour week and were only allowed to wear slacks to work on Saturday mornings.

In 1948 it snowed in Fullerton! My husband, who was from Pennsylvania, didn’t appreciate the California students who excitedly threw snow balls which were half mud!

My husband graduated from FJC in 1950 and was awarded a certificate for being one of five outstanding business students. He got a job at the local Edison Company having been recommended by the college Business office. He had a very successful career working for Edison and I am very lucky to have his spouse’s health benefits, etc.

For several years, while working for Edison, my husband also taught a class in Income Tax preparation for the college night program. Mr. Straw, my husband’s accounting teacher, asked him if he would like to teach this class.

In 1961 I enrolled again at FJC to take additional classes required to transfer to Cal State Fullerton. While taking classes at the University, I also enrolled in a new Real Estate Program at Fullerton Jr. College where I was in the first class to complete the 21 unit program. My real estate classes proved very helpful in my 40 years of property management.

Last week I went to the Fullerton College Administration Office to order my transcript. I was curious as to how many units I had accumulated over the years. After finally finding a place to park I located the office. It was across the street from where I had worked. It was a very busy place and students were wearing short shorts, torn jeans, etc.!

Well, 65 years did make a lot of changes from the little administration office where I had worked!

I added up my total units at Fullerton College. The total came to 130. I’m wondering if anyone has beaten that record.

I feel very fortunate to have had a chance to attend so many classes at Fullerton College and to have had so many wonderful teachers.