Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

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The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

Fullerton Museum Center Exhibits the First 100 Years of Fullerton College

The Fullerton Museum Center is bringing to life the tremendous history of Fullerton College. This collaborative event is hosted by Fullerton College and the Fullerton Museum Center.

The key people in charge of this event are Christina Hasenberg, exhibition curator, Carlota Haider, curator, Kaitlyn StrugisJensen, registrar, and Robert Jensen, the Dean of the Fine Arts division at Fullerton College.

Fullerton College began with an idea by Delbert Brunton, the president of Fullerton High School at the time. She “proposed that the board of trustees authorize two years of postgraduate study at the high school,” according to Fullerton College’s Public Information Office.

According to Fullerton College’s Public Information Office website, Fullerton first opened its doors in 1913; the enrollment number was 28 students. Eventually, all those student graduated and the enrollment figure went up to 44 students from 1915 to 1916.

Another key player in the conception of Fullerton College was Louis Plummer. Without Plummer, the campus that FC currently has would not be possible. Plummer outlined a plan for “36 classrooms to accommodate an anticipated enrollment figure of more than 1,600 students by the year 1950,” as mentioned in FC’s Public Information Office website.

A few years after Fullerton College began its classes; US declared war on Germany and entered World War I in 1917, according to the FC Centennial website. This war changed many students’ lives. Many young men went to serve in the war, and the majority of the students going to college were male at that time. Therefore many community colleges closed down due to lack of students, with the exception of Fullerton College. This led to Fullerton College’s reputation as the oldest community college in California.

Student’s involvement in the military led to the military drills being conducted on campus in 1917, according to the Fullerton College library website. In addition, “high school seniors and college sophomores who enlisted in the army were given credit toward graduation for their services.”

The Roaring 1920s known for its innovation of arts and culture in America brought many new establishments to FC. The current college newspaper of Fullerton College, The Hornet, started out as The Weekly Torch. The Fullerton College library website says, “The Weekly Torch was introduced in 1923 as well as the Torch Magazine… it has been in continuous publication for 76 years.” In addition, the Fox Theatre opened its doors in 1925 which to this day still holds many of FC’s visual and performing art’s events.

A popular figure attended FC in the 1930s, Pat Nixon, future First Lady and wife of Richard Nixon, as mentioned in the FC Centennial website.

The 1930s brought about a tremendous change, when the land for Fullerton Junior College was finally bought in 1934. Before that, “Fullerton Junior College was utilizing about 60 percent of the high school’s resources,” according to Fullerton College’s Public Information Office.

“Students of Fullerton College started out attending classes in Fullerton High School, and the 100 and 300 buildings were the first that were built,” said the exhibition curator Christina Hasenberg.

In addition, 1938 brought about the Great Flood and an original kayak which belonged to Fullerton College’s Kayak Club from the 1930s will be featured in the exhibit. During the flood, students were able to ride their kayaks around campus, some even rode them from college all the way to the beach, and some even conducted races with their kayaks, recalls Hasenberg.

1939 brought about a major increase in population when Fullerton College’s attendance rose to 1,341, according to the FC Centennial.

From 1941 to 1942, the US declared war on Japan and the Axis Powers after the Pearl Harbor Bombings. This led to many of our own FC Japanese students being sent to Internment Camps, as mentioned in the FC Centennial.

The 1950s began with the opening of Disneyland in 1955, in which FC choir performed at its first Christmas event. 1959 marked the founding of the Fullerton College Foundation by Dr. H. Lynn Sheller, who was the president of FC at the time.

The first artist in residence program occurred in 1972 with Wayne Thiebaud as the artist. The artist in residence programs bring professional artist to Fullerton College to conduct workshops and clinics. 1972 also brought about a major change when Fullerton Junior College was officially retitled as Fullerton College.

The 1980s was especially successfully for the journalism department at FC, with their winning of the Golden Crown by Columbia University. “The Golden Crown is a top award presented by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association for scholastic and collegiate publications”, as stated in the Columbia Scholastic Press website.

The journalism department has played a key role in the history of FC. Therefore, the journalism department at Fullerton College will also receive their own section in the exhibit. This section will showcase the past archives of The Hornet and The Torch. The old headlines and cover stories that have been controversial and groundbreaking will attract your eye the minute you walk in, and many of them will be displayed as well as many past yearbooks. This will allow audiences to go on a visual journey through the key events and stories that took place within the 100 years.

The 2000s began with a tremendous tragedy for both FC students and the rest of America, with the attacks on the World Trade Center and The Pentagon, in 2001.

Fortunately, for FC the 2000s continued on a happier note. For example, in 2010 Japanese-Americans Stella Asawa Yano and Mitsuko Funakoshi were awarded honorary diplomas, according to the FC Centennial. According to a California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office Press Release, these Americans were unable to continue their education when they were forcibly sent to internment camps during World War II. Under the California Nisei College Diploma Project, these individuals are located and honored with the long awaited degrees they deserve.

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