Fullerton College: A Pictorial History

The Postwar Expansion Years: 1946-1959


On June 22, 1944, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the Servicemen Readjustment Act, popularly known as the G.I. Bill of Rights, which allowed servicemen and women the opportunity of resuming their education or technical training without paying tuition (up to $500 per school year), as well as the right to receive a monthly living allowance while pursuing their studies. The federal government also paid for all necessary school supplies, such as paper, pencils, notebooks, and student body dues. Initially there was skepticism that veterans would enroll in colleges and universities, which until then had been attended primarily by the wealthy, but at its peak year in 1947, there were 1.7 million veterans enrolled in colleges and universities, with veterans accounting for forty-nine percent of college admissions under the G.I. Bill. By the time the Bill ended in 1956, 7.8 million of 16 million World War II veterans had participated in higher education or training programs. The federal government approved schools open to veterans, with 400 of those in California, but fifty of the schools ended up taking fifty percent of the G.I. students in the State.

Fullerton Junior College administrators and officials had tried to anticipate the educational needs of veterans, but no one could have anticipated the wave of new students to hit the campus. Initially only 15 veterans enrolled in 1944-45, but by 1946-47, that figure had jumped to 843. The campus had the largest freshmen classes in its history, and men on campus soon outnumbered women by over two to one. In desperate need of federal funds, FJC administrators and boosters actively recruited ex-servicemen, but the veteran population brought new and different needs with them. Many of the servicemen were non-graduates of high school and needed to first enroll in accelerated courses at Fullerton Union High School. The veteran population was older than the typical FJC student, and many were married with small children. Others were in need of psychological, vocational, and educational counseling.

To service the counseling needs of veteran students, a Veterans Center (Room 818) was quickly set up in the Student Union. Logan Wheatley was hired by the campus to counsel ex-servicemen and women, but faculty members, many of whom were returning veterans themselves, were also called upon for assistance. Veterans unsure of their career choices were given free vocational education tests. Henry L. Meekins, an officer from the Veterans Administration in Santa Ana, was given office space on Wednesdays and Fridays to advise veterans on matters pertaining to insurance, education and vocational benefits, loans, or any phase of veteran activities that the students wished to have explained. Meekins, a veteran of both World Wars, was specially trained to assist the totally disabled, blind or amputee veterans.

It was housing, however, that remained the most severe problem on campus. The City of Fullerton had experienced severe housing shortages in the 1920s and 1930s, and there was no housing available for veterans after the war. In 1946, FJC established a Veterans Home, the only school-sponsored dormitory for G.I. students in Southern California. Located at the end of Las Palmas Drive in Sunny Hills, the former home of the Bastanchury Family was turned into a dormitory for 25 to 40 single veterans ($50 a month).

In March 1946, the Board of Trustees purchased 4.1 acres for $10,126 from city librarian Carrie Sheppard and her mother, Dixie Carolyn. Adjacent to the north boundary of the College, with a 276-foot frontage along North Harvard (now Lemon) Avenue, the newly acquired property quickly became the perfect site for housing for married veterans and their families. The campus quickly requested and received 25 temporary dwellings for veterans from the Federal Public Housing Authority. Eventually 51 units were constructed, allowing 125 married veterans and their families to live on campus. Married faculty members who had served in the war were also given campus housing. Fullerton Junior College was the first institution in California to apply for and receive veterans student housing. It was a win-win situation for the college. The federal government provided the housing for free, the state government paid for the utilities, and Fullerton Junior College donated the land. This small community, which named itself College View, remained in the northern part of the campus until around 1956. The terraced village was originally built as temporary housing for veterans of World War II, but with many veterans returning from the Korean Conflict, it remained open so those servicemen could continue their schooling by taking advantage of inexpensive housing. By 1956, 381 Korean War veterans, nearly half of them married, were enrolled at FJC, with many of them moving into College View.

By the close of World War II, the campus had expanded to 42 acres, but had only five permanent buildings, and class space was still shared with Fullerton Union High School. In November 1946, FJC announced that it had obtained sixteen buildings from Camp Lathrop and the 1,337-acre Santa Ana Army Air Base (SAAAB) that were to be used for temporary classrooms for science, math, and agriculture. Some of the buildings had been used for administrative and recreational use by the Army, and others were pre-fabricated and insulated “tropical shells” originally intended as overseas barracks. The Federal Works Agency repaired, outfitted, and relocated the war surplus buildings to the campus in 1947, with William B. Potter placed in charge of their maintenance. Eight of the temporary buildings were set up just north of the Business or Commerce Building (now the 300 building) and repainted to correspond with the color scheme used on the surrounding permanent structures, and others were scattered around the campus. With the arrival of the surplus military buildings, many of the classes taught on the Fullerton Union High School grounds were transferred to the college campus. FJC administrators hoped that the buildings would remain only temporarily on the campus until new buildings could be constructed, but they remained on the campus for decades.

Fullerton’s population exploded after the war, and there was pent-up demand for new elementary, junior high, and high schools. Residents approved tax increases and bond measures, allowing schools to be built and FJC to embark on a building expansion program that continued into the 1960s. The Pasadena architectural firm of Taylor, Warren, Nishimoto and Connor (later Taylor and Connor) were hired to create a new master plan for the campus, but the architectural design fell to William Henry Taylor (1912-1995). One project followed another as a new Science Building, Gymnasium, Library, Student Center, Technical Education Building, Art-Home Economics Building, and District Administration Center went up in quick order. New outdoor facilities included a swimming pool, a dozen tennis courts, basketball and volleyball courts, and turfed fields. With these new buildings and facilities, FJC was able to teach for the first time many courses previously offered only on the high school campus. The new, modern buildings changed the physical look of the campus, giving it more of an industrialized feel. Many of the buildings constructed during this era did not wear well, and fifty years later were demolished and replaced by newer structures more architecturally compatible to the original Spanish Colonial Revival buildings constructed in the 1930s.

By the end of the war, Fullerton Junior College’s enrollment had dipped to 525 in 1945/46, but by the end of this period in October 1959, FJC had the highest daytime student population—3,284—of the eight junior colleges that made up the Eastern Conference. It was during this period that evening students enrolled in adult education courses began to outnumber daytime students. By the end of 1959, 5,841 adults had registered for classes offered by Fullerton Evening Junior College and Evening High School for a total class enrollment of 7,234. An additional 1,900 students were enrolled in Fullerton Junior College Extended Day classes. FJC was offering 272 adult education courses, with evening students primarily interested in the industrial arts, trade extension, apprenticeship training, agriculture, business education, English, foreign languages, and speech arts. Realizing that the student population had tripled after World War II, FJC administrators hoped to continue with planned new construction, and when those projects were completed, capping enrollment at 5,000 full-time day students.


On October 2, 1946, over 6,000 people lined Spadra (now Harbor) Boulevard to celebrate Fall Festival and the end of World War II. Veterans from the Spanish American War, World War I, and World War II were asked to march in the parade. At the close of the Second World War, Fullerton’s 11,328 residents were weary of fighting, shortages, and rationing, but optimistic about the future. The city’s population would soon explode, rising to 58,000 by 1960. (Courtesy of the Fullerton Public Library.)
Initially only 15 veterans enrolled at the Fullerton Junior College campus in 1944/45, but by the following year, 308 had signed up for classes, and hundreds more were to follow. Welcome back events, including the 1946 dance shown here, were designed to bring a sense of normalcy back to the lives of returning servicemen, many of whom had been away for years.
Taken at the same 1946 dance, this photograph shows three FJC students in their naval uniforms. Several months after the war, veterans continued to wear their military uniforms at events and class sessions.
In this staged 1946 shot, residents of FJC’s Veterans Home, the only school-sponsored dormitory for G.I. students in Southern California, greet three new arrivals. Fullerton had a severe housing shortage both before and after the war, and the dormitory filled a real need for unmarried returning servicemen who had nowhere else to live. The Veterans Home was located at the end of Las Palmas Drive between Fullerton and La Habra in the old Bastanchury Family home (then Sunny Hills). When it became known that the single veterans needed household items, the Associated Women Students organized a veterans’ shower in October 1946, and then presented the ex-G.I.s with dishes, silverware, towels, pot holders, pots and pans, and other homemaking items.
This is an exterior shot of the former Veterans Home (419 East Las Palmas) in 1978. Constructed in 1926, the large, two-story dwelling was the last home built on land held by the Bastanchury Family. The Veterans Home housed 25 to 40 single G.I.s, each paying $50 a month. New paint was added to the kitchen, pantry, and back porch and improvements were made to the garage and grounds, which included a tennis court. The Board of Trustees hired a couple to oversee the unmarried veterans, but the men themselves formed a committee to deal with everyday activities. A history of World War II veteran housing in Fullerton will be found in the November 2012 issue of the Fullerton Heritage Newsletter.
In February 1946, the Federal Public Housing Authority announced that FJC was to receive 25 dwelling units for occupancy by veterans and their families. Located just back of the north field, the units were constructed by the Baruch Corporation of Los Angeles. The unofficial mayor of this small village, known as College View, was Student Body Prexy Chuck Bell. A small private road (East Hillcrest Drive) led into the community.
In this 1949 shot, the veteran housing units can be seen behind the school farm. Initially, the veterans’ quarters were to be situated near the front of the campus, but the Board of Trustees were able to purchase, in March 1946, 4.1 acres for $10,126 from city librarian Carrie Sheppard and her mother, Dixie Carolyn. Adjacent to the north boundary of FJC, with a 276-foot frontage along North Harvard (now Lemon) Avenue, the newly acquired property became the perfect site for the former military housing units. In many ways, it was the ideal housing solution for the college. The City of Fullerton also moved barrack-styled wooden housing units to 396 West Truslow Avenue to accommodate veterans who were not attending Fullerton College.
This 1946 photograph shows one of the housing units. Each unit was divided into three terraces on which were located one, two, and five room dwellings. There were eventually 51 veterans’ units on campus accommodating 125 veterans and their families (pets were also allowed). FJC was the first college in California to take advantage of the federal offer of free housing units. The low rent and proximity to the college at a time of critical housing shortages were greatly appreciated by veterans and their families.
Jerry and Jo Stack, a typical couple in the veterans’ housing units, settle down after dinner to look over Jerry’s homework.
In this 1948 photograph, veteran Norman (Jerry) Bouley shows his semester grades to daughter Leona.
Like other college and universities after the World War II, Fullerton Junior College hoped to generate much needed income by attracting veterans to the campus. The campus published this brochure in 1944, which included an application for admission, and distributed it throughout Southern California. Competition for veterans using the G.I. Bill was fierce. The Veterans Administration paid the cost of tuition, books, supplies, and student body fees. Upon application, enlisted men were also allowed up to a maximum of six units for military service. Those without a high school diploma could enroll in the college, then complete required courses at Fullerton Union High School. To attract married veterans, FJC also stressed courses (e.g., home economics, child care) that would appeal to young wives and mothers.
The Veterans Administration also provided a subsidence allowance of $50 a month for veterans without dependents and $75 for those with dependents. That money did not go far for veterans supporting a family and many took part-time jobs on campus. In this 1948 photograph, veteran students are cleaning up the student cafeteria. Veterans also cleaned windows, swept out the Hive, painted buildings, and delivered mail to various buildings. Veterans who needed additional cash could also apply to the FJC Veterans Memorial Loan Fund, established after World War II.
Single veterans were heavy users of the cafeteria, witnessed by this 1949 photograph. The average cost of a plate of food was thirty-one cents, and meals were served from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. In addition to part-time veterans, the cafeteria employed twelve full-time women workers. A nonprofit organization, the cafeteria made only enough to meet expenses of the help and to break even on the cost of the food. In 1959, a new cafeteria moved into remodeled space in the Student Union.
This shot features the first members of the 1945/46 Veterans’ Club, which quickly grew to become the largest and most influential club on campus. That year, the club sponsored two school dances, held stag parties at the Veterans’ Home, and made a trip to a Ken Murray stage variety show (“Blackouts of 1947”) at the El Capitan Theatre on Vine Street in Hollywood. Seated, left to right, in lower front are John Braun, Bob Phillips, Chris Lindley, Bob Miller, Bob Reid, and Randall Howe. Second, from left to right, are Bill Flynn, Chris Bell, Zeke Cummings, Kenny Sullivan, Norm Leander, Jim Kerwin, Wallace Mullins, and John LaRue. Third, left to right, are Bill Bryant, Chuck Hargrove, Russell Hess, Keith Annil, Bob Sturdivant, Frank Ausburn, and Jules Resegue. In back, left to right, are Walt Tamulinas, Jack Dotson, Jack Sills, Lloyd Kenagy, James Smith, and Dean Garner, adviser to the organization.
The unofficial campus hangout for Veterans’ Club members was Kenny’s Malt Shop where they relaxed with their favorite sport, all-day card sessions. Open daily from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Kenny’s was located in a converted house at Harvard (now Lemon Avenue) and College Place, which was later purchased by the campus and demolished to make way for the Theatre Arts Building (the 1300 Building).
As a fundraiser for the Veterans’ Club, members were able to convince comedian Bob Hope (1902-2003) to perform at the Fullerton Union High School (later Plummer) Auditorium on January 14, 1948. The Bob Hope Show, sponsored by Pepsodent toothpaste, starred trombonist Jerry Colonna, Vera Vogue, Les Brown, Wendell Niles, and guest star actor Herbert Marshall. All of the money raised went to needy children. That same year, the club also handled parking for football games and sponsored a wheelchair basketball game between the Birmingham General Hospital paraplegic team from Van Nuys, California, and a collection of local all-stars.
The Veterans’ Club sponsored an annual Christmas Party for underprivileged children of north Orange County. At a 1948 student assembly, the vets presented a check to 4½ year old Annette Louise Bloodstone, daughter of a Master Sergeant assigned to the El Toro Marine Base, to complete the sum needed for an operation that would restore her sight. Donations had been received for the little girl to pay for new corneas, and with only a few weeks before the operation, and still short $500, the vets heard of her plight and donated the necessary money.
Another memorable student assembly (one was held each week) that same year, the jersey numbers of Gene LaShell (left) and Frank “Keko” Munoz (right), both veterans, were retired for twenty years. LaShell, jersey number 54, who had lost both legs in service, was honored for his great halfback moves in 1941. Munoz, jersey number 14, who was 5 feet, 7 inches tall and weighed only 150 pounds, had received serious war injuries as a paratrooper, but had come back to earn the title of Southern Junior College Player of the Year for his brilliant football playing in 1947. Munoz, who also excelled at baseball and basketball, later joined the UCLA Bruins football team. Coach Ed Goddard, who coached both greats in their playing days, is on the far right.
As World War II veterans graduated from FJC, membership in the Veterans’ Club dwindled, but there was a sudden upsurge as the Korean War (1950-1953) ended. In this 1956 shot, Korean War veterans registering for classes seek assistance at the Veterans’ Adviser Station. In 1952, the federal government, worried that higher education institutions were overcharging for veterans’ education, stopped direct payment to colleges and universities, and instead provided each veteran with a $110 monthly check for which they had to pay their tuition fees, books, and living expenses. Eventually 1.2 million Korean War veterans used their benefits to enter higher education. By the fall of 1956, there were over 300 Korean War veterans taking classes at FJC.
The Korean War was not forgotten on campus, and in 1952, Christmas in Korea was depicted in a stage production, Christmas 1952. The annual Christmas Play showed the lives of American soldiers through flashbacks, memories of unusual events, emotions under gunfire, and relaxation behind the lines.
While there were still male students on campus, by the close of World War II, most of the students were female. Male students did not really begin to return to campus in full force until around 1947. In this 1946 shot, two bobby soxers talk in the patio area in front of the Student Union (now the 840 building). Bobby soxers were the teenage fans of crooner Frank Sinatra, America’s first teen idol. The name came about because the teenage girls wore white ankle-length bobby socks with saddle shoes, a fashion statement that continued into the 1950s. The term sock hop came about because high school dancers were asked to remove their shoes to protect varnished gymnasium floors.
Taken in 1948, this photo shows a group of male students also in the patio area. By this time, there were hundreds of veterans on campus taking classes. Those who had been through World War II liked to share their experiences, but also popular were card games and ping pong. Male students outnumbered female students by over two to one, a situation that single veterans complained about in the student newspaper.
This photograph, also taken in 1946, shows both male and female students posing in front of the Student Union. Clothing styles changed dramatically after the war, but most students continued to dress conservatively and formally while on campus.
By 1950, hairstyles and fashions had changed again for women.
Male FJC students pose for a photo taken in 1950.
This is a map of Fullerton Junior College and Fullerton Union High School just before the start of World War II. The 1935 campus general plan called for additional buildings, indicated by slash marks, all to be designed in a Spanish Colonial Revival style, but the war put a stop to any building plans.
This map shows a layout of both the college and high school in 1949. The college population was rising dramatically, but the campus still had only five permanent buildings. The temporary veteran housing, College View, was located on the north side of the campus.
Still intersecting FJC was “Boxcar Avenue,” the Pacific Electric Railway’s right-of-way through the campus. The train line divided the east parking lot, gymnasium, and Art-Home Economic Building from the Library, Science, Applied Arts and Technical Education buildings. Founded by Henry E. Huntington (1850-1927), the Pacific Electric made its debut in Los Angeles in 1900, and in 1918, in Fullerton. The passenger red cars, which often made their way to and from the campus via the concrete overpass or viaduct over Harbor Boulevard, ran in in Fullerton until 1948, but the train continued to make deliveries (often at night) of materials until around 1964. The conductor would often toot the horn if students or automobiles got too close to the train as it moved through the campus. After guarding the north entrance to Fullerton’s downtown area for more than 45 years, the viaduct was demolished in 1964 when its low clearance became a hazard for truck drivers. The viaduct crossed over Harbor Boulevard where Berkeley Avenue now intersects Harbor. In 1966, Berkeley Avenue was widened and extended to Harbor Boulevard, following the old Pacific Electric right-of-way on campus. The Pacific Electric Railway station still exists at 136 East Commonwealth Avenue, and over the years it has been used for a variety of purposes, including a number of restaurants. (Courtesy of the Fullerton Public Library.)
In 1946, FJC obtained temporary buildings, known as T shacks, most of which came from the Santa Ana Army Air Base, the official headquarters for the West Coast Air Corp Training Centers, which had been deactivated on March 31, 1946. The campus was desperate for classroom space and these buildings were used to teach much of the agriculture, physical science, pre-engineering, drafting, general electricity, radionics, and radio speech classes. The two wooden buildings shown here were part of eight temporary surplus structures located just north of the Commerce Building (the 300 building), which were painted to coincide with the color scheme used on surrounding permanent structures. The federal and state governments had gone into debt to finance the war, and it would be almost a decade before the campus would be able to construct new permanent buildings. Although designed only to tide over FJC until new classroom buildings could be constructed, the T shacks remained on the campus for decades.
In 1953, FJC began a second expansion phase that was to continue into the 1960s. The Pasadena architectural firm of Taylor, Warren, Nishimoto and Conner (later Taylor and Conner) was selected by the Trustees to formulate a new general plan for the campus, but the architectural design of the buildings fell to William Henry Taylor (1912-1995). Born in San Dimas, California, Taylor was a graduate of the University of Southern California (USC). In addition to the FJC buildings, he also designed the Public Bathhouse and Pool in Palmdale (1951) and educational buildings at Pasadena City College (1954), Whittier Intermediate School (1956), and Wilson Junior High (1956) in Glendale. In this 1958 photograph, Taylor (second from right) hands the keys to the new college library to Board of Trustees President E. William Wylie while head librarian Nancy Carmichael and College Director/President H. Lynn Sheller look on.
The first building designed by William Taylor was the Science Building, which marked the first permanent structure on the FJC campus devoted solely to science and mathematics. Prior to this new building, science and mathematics had been taught in buildings on the Fullerton Union High School campus or, in part, in temporary units moved from the Santa Ana Army base in 1946. The two-story structure cost $341,200 ($11.65 per square foot), and an additional $94,625 for laboratory equipment. Funds for the construction came from a tax increase voted for capital outlay on May 19, 1950. Dr. Arnold O. Beckman (1900-2004), President of Beckman Instruments, Inc. in Fullerton, was asked to speak at the building’s dedication on November 10, 1954. The Science Building, shown here in 1955, was demolished in 2010 to make room for another science building.
The next building to be constructed was the College Gymnasium (the 1200 Physical Education Building), dedicated on November 25, 1955. The new gym was the first permanent structure built on the campus for physical education purposes. Prior to construction of the gym, all physical education courses were taught on the Fullerton Union High School campus. The reinforced concrete structure contained three basketball courts, men’s and women’s locker rooms, two balcony instruction areas, and had a spectator seating capacity of 2,000. Funds for the structure, which cost $526,000, were made available to the district in a bond measure approved on May 5, 1953 for $500,000 and from taxes. Similar to many of the other William Taylor buildings, the gymnasium had a boxlike, warehouse design. To supplement the gymnasium, a new pool was constructed in 1956.
A new Health Center addition was added to the new gymnasium in November 1956. Located behind the Science Building beside the front doors of the gymnasium, the new Health Center marked the first time that FJC had a full-time Health Service for the convenience of students and staff. The new Health Center was busy from the start, providing during its first semester medical examinations for 580 men students and 257 women students, along with more specialized examinations for 27 football players and 21 vocational nurses. At the time, new students underwent a health examination as part of their registration. Annual chest x-rays were required of all students and faculty. In 1957, 85.2 percent of all cases of polio in Orange County were in the 20-24 age group, and FJC health officials encouraged students in February 1957 to sign up for free polio shots. A month later, 1,042 Hornets had had the first of two shots provided by the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis.
Prior to the construction of the new library building (the next building to be constructed on campus), the library was limited to one room (Room 631) in the Applied Arts Building (the former Technical Arts Building, now the 600 building). In addition to housing the library, the Applied Arts Building was used for classrooms for drafting, ceramics, art, music appreciation, and cosmetology. After the library moved out in 1957, arts and crafts were housed on the first floor, and cosmetology occupied half of the upper story.
This 1953 photograph shows students crammed into the one-room library in 1953. Seating was often so scarce that many students were forced to sit on the floor.
Space was so tight in the library that back issues of magazines and journals were stuffed into one small room. This 1949 shot shows library assistant Bebe Liesegang repairing an old book.
The new William T. Boyce Library, dedicated October 10, 1957, was constructed of reinforced concrete, with the first floor and partial basement devoted to the library, and the second floor to classrooms. Much of the building was used for auxiliary facilities, including three study rooms, a browsing room, a typing room, a listening room with twenty-one stations for language, literature, and music students, and a faculty lounge. The 1957 library was later demolished in 2003 and replaced with a new Library and Learning Resource Center (the 800 Building) in 2005.
The new library was named for former FJC Director William T. Boyce (right), who was honored at the building’s dedication. On the left is District Superintendent T. Stanley Warburton. The main speaker at the dedication was well-known writer Jessamyn West (1902-1984), author of the bestseller The Friendly Persuasion (1945). A graduate of Fullerton Union High School (1919), West had taken courses from Dr. Boyce, whom she found to be an inspirational teacher. West surprised everyone by donating a fairly large sum of money to establish a William T. Boyce Fund in Creative Writing. West was the second cousin of Richard M. Nixon and like the former President, was raised in then rural Yorba Linda.
Taken in 1958, this photo shows the main reading room of the new William T. Boyce Library, which accommodated 280 students.
For students learning a foreign language, one of the most popular spots on the campus was the library’s new listening room. Glass enclosed and soundproof, the listening room was an instant hit—508 students listened to records during the first twenty-two hours of operation. Language records, many of them made by Fullerton JC instructors, were popular, along with shorthand, music, and literature recordings. Here librarian Nancy Carmichael demonstrates to German and Spanish Club members how to use new record players. During World War II, Carmichael served as an Army librarian in France, Czechoslovakia, and Germany, in charge of the first official working bookmobile in the European theater.
After the William T. Boyce Library, the next building to go up was the new Student Center, dedicated September 27, 1957, followed by a Dedication Formal Dance. The 11,040-square-foot building, which cost $204,850, featured a 58- by 94-foot main room that was to be used as a lounge-reading room during the day and as a student-community facility at night. At one end of the room was a 23- by 34-foot stage. Also included in the building were offices, with waiting rooms, for the Dean of Men and the Dean of Women; an office for the student body president; a student government room; and such auxiliary features as a small kitchen, a cloak room, storage space, and rest rooms. The Student Center was later razed and replaced in 2007 with the College Center (the 200 Building), which housed the Student Center, Student Affairs, International Student Center, food services, the Cadena/Transfer Center, and other services.
This is an interior shot of the new Student Center shortly after it opened in 1957. The center’s public address system, fireplace, large central light fixture, drapes in the main lounge, and furniture, except that in the deans’ offices, were purchased with student-raised funds.
The Student Center quickly became popular with both day and evening students. In 1958, the Christmas Formal and Homecoming dances were held in the SC along with other memorable social events.
On May 19, 1958, administrators participated in groundbreaking for a new 65,000-square-foot Technical Education Building (the 700 Building), which was to be the largest facility on campus. Left to right are: Dr. H. Lynn Sheller, FJC Director/President, Dr. Gordon McComber, Board Member, Francis N. Laird, Board Member, Virgil G. Morf, Board Member, E. William Wylie, President, Board of Trustees, Joe W. Johnson, Clerk, Board of Trustees, and T. Stanley Warburton, Superintendent.
Completed in 1959, the Technical Education Building was designed to house classrooms, laboratory and shop space for electronics, drafting, welding, machine work, metal fabrication, and cosmetology classes. Construction costs included an additional $100,000 for equipment and furnishings. Because parking was a problem on campus, students, staff, and faculty were provided parking in front of the new building. When students complained about safety issues, new flood lights were added to the campus and parking lots, and street lights were added along Chapman Avenue and throughout the campus. In the 2000s, this building was dramatically re-modeled to match the architecture of new structures built during this period.
Also in 1959, the new College Bookstore, nearly doubled in size, opened for business in space originally occupied by the Publications Office. For the first time, the College Bookstore, owned by the Associated Student Body, operated on a serve-yourself basis that allowed students to circulate freely throughout the shelves and pay at a check stand when exiting. The self-service of the shiny new facility was a welcome relief after the cramped inconvenience that had characterized the temporary bookstore facilities in the Gymnasium.
By 1947, the Hive, open from 8:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., was serving more than 1,000 customers a day. The Hive closed down briefly in 1957 for remodeling, but when reopened, remained as popular as ever. At the sound of the noon bell, every available table was filled with happy students. Long lines formed for malts, Cokes, coffee, and sandwiches. “Meet me at the Hive” remained a common phrase heard on campus. Added in 1947, the ever-present jukebox accompanied all-day card games, bull sessions, and general good times. In December 1958, the Hive was closed down and temporarily replaced by portable lunch wagons, and in 1959, completely replaced by a new cafeteria and glass and chrome snack center. The modern food center was large enough to accommodate 300 diners and smaller groups within specially curtained off areas. A new staff dining room was added at the same time. Many of the women who originally worked in the old Hive returned to work in the new cafeteria, but for many students, it was never the same. The menu for opening day was Chuck Wagon and Chimosette. Initially, students felt the food and service did not meet expectations, and others were upset that the prices were too steep for the average JC student, especially when the high school was serving lunches at a lower price.
All-day card games, very popular with male students, often flowed out from the Hive into the patio area. When it was discovered in 1952 that gambling was involved, new campus regulations were issued to govern the card games, and eventually card playing was outlawed in and outside the Hive. In the late 1950s, the card games were replaced by never-ending ping pong games. On warm days, the patio area remained the center of leisure activity.
Started in 1959, but not completed until 1960, was a new District Administration Center (the 3000 Building) on the hillside on Harvard (now Lemon) Avenue just north of the college. The two-story, L-shaped structure housed a variety of administrative services serving Fullerton Junior College, Fullerton Union High School, Buena Park High, La Habra High, and the new Sunny Hills High School. The new administrative building replaced the veterans’ housing which had been situated in this area of campus. As part of a City of Fullerton two-year master plan, Berkeley Avenue, which followed the Pacific Electric Railroad line, was added as well, connecting the campus to Harbor Boulevard. Administrative services remained in this building until a new facility was purchased in Anaheim in 2002.
The new buildings on campus altered the overall look and feel of the campus. This is an aerial view of the campus in 1954 before the building expansion started. The veteran housing units are visible in the rear of the photograph.
Taken in the early 1950s, this is another aerial view of the campus.
Five years later, this is a view of the new Art-Home Economics Building from the top of the new Gymnasium. By the start of the 1960s, the campus took on a plainer, more industrialized look and feel. Landscaping was starker and more hardscape was added.
Some of the architectural changes marred the original buildings on campus. For over forty years, Fullerton Junior College students entered the campus from this lovely main entrance on Chapman Avenue. Used on countless campus brochures and the site of thousands of photo ops, the entrance was one of the most recognizable locations in Fullerton.
In 1957/58, the unfortunate decision was made to add this architecturally incompatible addition to the front of the original main entrance, turning the campus away from Chapman Avenue.
In October 1958, a similar unfortunate decision was made to bump out a portion of the Spanish Colonial Revival Student Union (now the 840 building) on the west side to create a new half-drum shaped snack bar with mismatched architecture. The glass and chrome snack bar, which replaced the lunch truck, was used by night students to purchase coffee and snacks before classes. The walls were later covered over with tan paint. When the architect of the 1930s and 1940s structures, Harry K. Vaughn, returned for a visit to the campus in the 1950s, these changes angered him. In 2011, the snack bar was remodeled and renamed The Stinger.
After World War II, it became increasingly difficult to find parking on campus. This is a photograph of the FJC parking lot in September 1948.
During World War II, the War Production Board restricted the production of consumer goods, as materials were needed for the war effort. Americans began purchasing new cars in record numbers after the war, but automobiles of every vintage could still be seen in the parking lot in the 1940s and 1950s. The student parking lot often served as a social center.
In this late1940s photo, a student poses with his new Buick in the campus parking lot.
This is a shot of the parking lot, a converted baseball diamond, in 1956. Students complained about the bumpy railroad tracks, mud in the rainy season, and dust in the spring. In late 1958, a new asphalt-paved lot, accommodating 150 cars, was added at the northwest corner of Chapman and Berkeley Avenues, and another lot was extended west from Berkeley Avenue across the northeastern part of the campus between the track and baseball field. During peak hours, about 1800 cars were parked in lots and streets surrounding the campus, but actual parking facilities on campus totaled a little more than 1100 spaces.
In 1959, sculptor Carroll Barnes (1906-1997) was selected to create a new statue for the campus. Barnes, shown here in his studio in Three Rivers, California, had been trained at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C. and the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Detroit. Prior to the FJC project, Barnes had completed statues for northern California colleges, including a redwood lumberjack for the College of the Sequoias, a fifty-foot tall Paul Bunyan for Porterville College, and a mammoth Tiger for Reedley College. Over his lifetime, Barnes received over fifty public commissions, working with a broad range of materials, including Lucite, bronze, terrazzo, onyx, steel, aluminum, wood, and concrete. Barnes was the subject of the 1972 documentary Man, the Artist and Nature.
This was the model for the Hornet Statue displayed at the May 1, 1959 Open House. The sculptor was Carroll Barnes (1906-1997).
A gift from FJC students to the campus, the half-ton, 23-foot Hornet Statue, which stood in the northwest corner of the main quadrangle of lawns, was formally unveiled and dedicated on June 11, 1959.
This photo, taken in 1950, shows a typical view of the campus before the building expansion began seven years later. At the rear is a view of one of the residences still adjacent to the campus on Harvard (now Lemon) Avenue.
Also taken in 1950, this shot of the west side of the Commerce Building (now the 300 Building) shows the lushness of the older areas of the campus. The trees, shrubbery, and other landscaping features planted in the 1920s and 1930s had matured, creating a lush, green environment. The still rural feel of the campus was enhanced by a school farm on the north side and an orange grove and pasture land on the east side of the campus.
As new buildings were constructed across the campus, new trees and landscaping were added, but the decision was made to cut back on the number of plants, shrubs, and trees around campus for a more streamlined look. Cement walkways were also added, along with other hardscape, which gradually changed the look and feel of the campus. This photograph was taken in 1957.
The Japanese Garden, shown here in 1946, remained on the campus until it was replaced by the expansion of the Administration and Social Science Building in 1958.
This is a photo of the quad area in 1959. The original colorful pavers and brick pathways were gradually replaced with concrete walkways.
During the late 1940s and 1950s, groundsmen Lester Evans (left) and Charles Polley (right) were in charge of maintaining the campus lawns, trees, and landscaping. By 1952, there were six men in charge of the grounds at FJC, Fullerton Union High School, and the veterans’ housing area (60 acres in all).
One of the biggest problems for the groundskeepers was keeping students off the lawns, especially after planting winter grass, but that did not deter this determined student in 1956.
Custodians in the late 1950s were (back row, left to right) Cecil Cannon, Ronnie Bemis, Nick Calo, and Garfield O’Neal. In the front row (left to right) are Thomas Hightower, Robert Heitzman, Fred Mason, Marion Greene, and Louis Vargas.
Much of the campus maintenance work was done between 5:00 p.m. and midnight when the campus was relatively deserted. In this 1949 photo, a night watchman punches a clock at one of the many stations on campus.
In August 1945, T. Stanley Warburton (1910-1979) succeeded A. S. Redfern as Superintendent of Fullerton Junior College and Fullerton Union High School, staying for another fourteen years. A native of San Francisco, Warburton was the first Principle and District Superintendent of Acalanes Union High School in Lafayette, California. During World War II, he served in the Army Air Force in several posts. A graduate of Pomona College, Warburton held a M.A. degree from Claremont College and received his Ph.D from Yale University in 1954. He left Fullerton Junior College to serve as Chancellor of the Los Angeles Community College District, then the world’s largest two-year college system, but was often caught in clashes with the board’s conservative majority. The split widened, and in early 1970, the board voted to hire a deputy superintendent to run the District, leaving Warburton with a largely ceremonial title. He left ten months before his term would have expired in 1971 to accept appointment to run a single college campus—Chaffey College—in Alta Loma. After Warburton resigned from Fullerton JC, he was replaced in May 1959 by Dr. Ernest G. Lake of Racine, Wisconsin. A graduate of Kalispell High in Montana, Lake had been employed as supervisor of schools at Racine since 1951.
Dr. Harry Lynn Sheller (1904-1984) served for nineteen years (1950-1969) as Director/President of Fullerton Junior College, longer than any other community college president in California history. Forced to retire under the District’s compulsory retirement policy, Sheller had served the District for 35 years as a teacher, professor, and counselor. Sheller oversaw FJC’s building expansion in the 1950s, and in 1959, launched a “Get Tough” grades policy which called for junior college students to make a C-minus grade average during the first semester or go on probation the following semester. Students who failed to raise their grades during the second semester were dismissed. The 1950s were relatively calm years for Sheller, but he frequently clashed with students and faculty during the turbulent 1960s.
One of Dr. Harry Lynn Sheller’s major contributions to Fullerton Junior College was the establishment in October 1959 of the Fullerton College Foundation, which was set up to receive and administer gifts, grants, and loan funds for the college. Sheller was the guiding light behind this organization and recruited its first Board of Directors, all local residents, which included William T. Boyce, Walter B. Chafee, Esther Hatch, Wanda McGraw, Gordon R. Melgren, Arval Morris, Joe W. Johnson, and Wallace Riutcel. Fullerton College Foundation Board members originally met on campus, but their offices are now located in a small converted bungalow at 315 North Pomona Avenue, shown here in 2010. The Foundation was among the first of its type in a junior college.
Taken in 1946, this is a photograph of post-War FJC faculty (left to right): Ralph R. Snyder, Mildred M. Falk, Myrtle V. Stuelke, Irma L. Tapp, and E. A. Straw. During World War II, many faculty members left for military service. The Board of Trustees treated the Fullerton Union High School and Fullerton Junior College as one, allowing instructors to move between each facility to teach needed courses. When FJC faculty returned after the War, FUHS instructors were allowed to return to the high school without losing tenure, although married women faculty were asked to accept a three-fifths contract.
After World War II, many FJC instructors retired and were replaced by younger instructors who had new ideas on teaching. Two of the most popular instructors, shown here in 1949, were Norman H. Scarlett, who taught history and psychology, and Dr. Phillip J. Schlessinger, also a history professor. By the end of this period in 1959, there were 164 instructors for day courses, and 90 for night classes.
In 1955, FJC faculty formed a new Faculty Club, which in addition to informal gatherings and events, sponsored general meetings, and formed a council, which met weekly. Council members also met with members of the Board of Trustees to discuss College problems. This is a 1958 meeting of the Faculty Club in Room 317.
In the late 1950s, faculty members often took mid-afternoon coffee breaks in the patio area in front of the Student Union. Sharing shade and the latest news are (left to right) Drafting instructor Ray Smith, Science Instructor Russell Floan, Business Education Instructor Charles Ruby, and the head of Cosmetology, Esther Shelton.
Student Body President Glenn Nichols (third from left) led one of the largest freshmen classes in FJC history in 1946/47. Well over a thousand of the fourteen hundred students enrolled were freshmen. Nichols was aided by Don Hiltscher, Vice President, Betty Inman, Secretary, and Bob Olson, Treasurer. During World War II, Vespidae, the student judiciary, was discontinued and not reinstated, but student government remained largely the same. Donald Hiltcher, who would later work for the R. J. Noble Company, a concrete and paving contractor, was the son of Herman A. Hiltscher (1901-1973), Fullerton’s first city administrator. A leader of Fullerton during years of phenomenal growth, Herman A. Hiltscher was the engineering force behind the design of much of the city. He was so valuable an employee that the Fullerton City Council would not let him serve as a volunteer fireman. Both a park and trail in the city are named after him.
Student Body President in 1947/48 was the very popular Bob Embrey, a football and basketball player. While a senior at Escondido High School, Embrey was selected as All-California Interscholastic Federation (C.I.F.) quarterback. Weighing 170 pounds and standing at 5 feet 11 inches, Embrey had served in the Navy and played one season with the San Diego Navy team. In 1947, Embrey was instrumental in the Hornets 26-6 victory over the Dons, a memorable game since Fullerton had not beaten Santa Ana College in a football game since 1935. Embrey would go on to play football for California State University, San Diego.
Bud Watson served as Student Body President in 1957/58.
Students enrolling in classes in the 1940s and 1950s lined up at various stations across the campus. The lines were often long, and it could take hours to register for classes each semester.
When the new Counseling Center became available in 1958, students unable to find classes during registration were directed toward tables holding lists of still open courses and the FJC catalog. Counselors were available in offices at either side to assist students individually. At the rear, students line up at a ticket station for class tickets. Until this new Counseling Center opened, counselors were housed in a small white bungalow on Harvard (now Lemon) Avenue. In addition to the ten new counseling offices, a testing office, a conference room, and new offices for Director/President H. Lynn Sheller were housed in the new administrative addition.
That same year, office staff posed next to a new IBM machine that automatically kept track of student attendance, registration, withdrawals, and grades. For faculty, it provided neatly typed, alphabetized rosters of students in their classes. At the time, the machine was the height of technology.
In this 1959 photo, IBM Supervisor Guy Petroff and his assistant Annaliese Schaeffer run punch cards through one of the college’s new IBM machines. The machine could sort through 650 cards in a minute.
Pre-requisite to registration, each student was required to take the English Clearance Test, which lasted one hour. If a student passed, he or she was eligible to take advanced English courses at the college level. Failure to pass the test meant a semester of English 60—a review of high school English and the basic forms of English composition and grammar. This photo shows Mrs. Myrtle V. Stuelke administering the test in 1948.
Students were also required to take the Iowa Silent Reading Test which determined individual reading ability. By 1958, all students who planned to attend FJC had to take English and achievement tests before admittance. The tests, which took three hours, were administered in the library.
The American economy was expanding rapidly in the 1950s, and college graduates were assured of immediate employment in the career of their choice. In this 1959 photograph, four FJC graduates in caps and gowns (left to right)—Margie Heet, Ali Khanjanouri, Sharon Walker, and Vic McCoy—stand around a group of FJC students who symbolically portray the diversity of goals sought by graduates: Accountant Lois Arbogast, Vocational Nurses Leeana Fuller and Esther Ocampo, Printer Larry Rosengreen, Secretary Sandy Hewitt, Draftsman Tom Vestal, Fashion Buyer Marilyn Greenlee, Auto Mechanic John Jackson, Painter Linda Frew, Chemist Tom Evans, Cosmetologist Belinda Perrson, Businessman Bob Kisner, Photographer Bob Boettcher, Electronics Technician Wayne Cooper, and Marine Bob Dahlin.
Jobs were so plentiful for college graduates that local companies would advertise in the FJC yearbook, The Torch. This is a 1956 advertisement posted by General Telephone Company, at the time the largest independent telephone company in the United States.
The Torch would also announce FJC graduates who had obtained jobs immediately after graduation. In 1950, Don Smith, editor of the Weekly Torch, became editor of the Fullerton News Tribune upon graduation. Smith would go on to work as a reporter and editor for the Los Angeles Times for three decades. In 1973, Smith and his wife Vi, also a reporter, were honored by the Orange County Press Club with the Sky Dunlop Award, presented to journalists who have “best exemplified professionalism and service.”
Graduate Anne Klindt quickly took a position as secretary to the Manager of the Fullerton Branch of the Security First National Bank (101 North Harbor). Klindt obtained her position through the Business Division’s Placement Office.
Two more Fullerton graduates who made good were Chick Hunt (left) and Kenneth Humbolt (right), employee and manager respectively of McMahans Furniture Store (225 North Harbor) upon graduation.
One significant graduate of FJC in 1951 was Cruz Reynoso, who would go on to become the first Hispanic appointed to the California Court of Appeal as an associate justice. As a student at Fullerton Junior College, Reynoso was elected freshman class president. In his second year, he became the college’s first Hispanic student body president. In 1981, he was appointed, also as the first Hispanic, to the California Supreme Court by outgoing Governor Jerry Brown, a position he would hold from 1982 to 1987, when he was ousted by California voters for his anti-death penalty stance. He later served as vice-chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights from 1993 to 2004. For his lifelong dedication to public service, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, by President Clinton.
Known as Flossie to her friends, Florence Millner Arnold (1900-1994) was one of the most important artists to ever emerge from Fullerton. In the 1950s, she began to intermittently take classes at Fullerton Junior College. Arnold had started as an educator, teaching music at Fullerton Union High School, but at the age of 50, she took up painting. Her first works were traditional landscapes and still lifes, but she increasingly found herself drawn to what was known as “abstract classic” painting, and eventually she became a leading exponent of the Hard-Edge School. Mrs. Arnold gave a number of her artworks to Fullerton College, including a set of serigraphs published by Cirros Editions of Los Angeles in 1973. Her paintings will also be found in museums and the Fullerton Public Library. A strong advocate for the arts, Arnold served as president of the Orange County Art Association and the CSUF Art Alliance, and was co-founder and chairman of the annual “Night in Fullerton” celebration of art.
Bobby Hatfield (1940-2003) attended FJC in the late 1950s and early 1960s, before transferring to California State University, Long Beach. Hatfield (right) joined forces with Bill Medley to form The Righteous Brothers, and the duo recorded a number of classic records from 1963 through 1975, including” Little Latin Lupe Lu,” “Unchained Melody,” You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’”, “Your My Soul and Inspiration,” and “Ebb Tide.” The two men continued to perform until Hatfield’s untimely death, attributed to a cocaine-induced heart attack, in 2003. The Righteous Brothers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003.
Initially, FJC students held graduation ceremonies in nearby churches, Plummer Auditorium, and the lawn area in front of the High School, but by 1948, the graduating classes were so large that commencements were held at Fullerton Stadium on the high school campus. Graduation ceremonies initially started at 4:00 p.m., but when people complained that it was difficult to attend in the afternoon, the start time was shifted to 7:30 p.m. This is the cover of the 1957 graduation program. (Courtesy of the Fullerton Public Library)
Starting in 1920, Californians began celebrating Public Schools Week in April. Following World War I, teachers in California were scarce and classrooms were over-crowded, and to drum up support for schools, the Grand Lodge of Masons of California launched the annual observation. Out of that celebration grew Parents’ Day (later Exhibit Day) at the college and high school. The event was suspended during World War II. This small brochure was distributed to parents on Thursday, April 15, 1948, the 31st annual event, as they wandered through various exhibits in the late afternoon and evening. Over 1,500 parents and interested townspeople attended the event, along with seniors from ten surrounding high schools. Guided tours enabled visitors to see each campus department.
By 1950, Parents’ Day/Exhibits Day had been changed to an Open House that included the Fullerton Evening Junior College. FJC was in desperate need for tax dollars, and the campus went all out to impress local voters with the education work being accomplished on both campuses.
This is a shot of John C. Hall, son of FJC Journalism instructor, Howard C. Hall, during a 1956 Easter egg hunt on the campus. Children were sent to the Little Theater at the Fullerton Union High School while parents hid eggs around the quad area. Many young faculty members at the time had small children and they attended this annual event. (Photo courtesy of John C. Hall.)
The program for the 1950 Open House included this flyer encouraging voters to vote for a tax increase at the May 19, 1950 general election. The tax increase passed easily, with voters agreeing to an increased tax rate that ranged from $15.00 to $75.00 per year for a five-year period. Over $1.5 million was raised to rehabilitate buildings damaged by the 1933 earthquake and to build new ones. This brochure was distributed to voters throughout the City of Fullerton.
In 1953, FJC broke with the High School and began sponsoring its own separate biennial Open House, known as the FJCee-orama, limiting visiting hours to the evening. Residents had passed a tax increase on May 19, 1950, but a $500,000 bond issue was up before the voters on May 15, 1953, and the campus was again eager to put its best foot forward to obtain needed votes. In addition to the usual exhibits, the Open House featured a fashion show, square and modern dancing, and vocal performances. FJC celebrated its fortieth anniversary in 1953, and the campus used that opportunity to showcase its history in many of the displays.
In this 1953 photo, an FJC nursing student checks a woman’s blood pressure at an Open House event.
This photo shows a student display on crime at an FJC Open House in the 1950s.
This is an exhibit of student art at an FJC Open House in 1959.
Also at the 1959 Open House, Instructor David Willis shows visitors teaching models of a skull, heart, and eye.
Fullerton was growing rapidly in the 1950s and 1960s, and one of the reasons for the Open Houses was to gain support for tax increases at a time when there was growing pressure to build elementary, junior high school, and high school campuses. FJC supporters found themselves vying for education funds as school after school was built in Fullerton during this era, including Golden Hills Elementary School (732 Barris Drive) in 1950, Fern Drive Elementary School (1400 Fern Drive) in 1954, and Nicholas Junior High School (1101 West Olive) in 1956. The addition of new high schools, such as La Habra High School (801 W. Highland Avenue) in 1954, Buena Park High School (8833 Academy Drive) in 1956, and Sunny Hills High School (1801 Warburton Way), shown here shortly after it opened in 1959, placed enrollment pressures on Fullerton Junior College as more students sought higher education degrees.
On July 5, 1957, Governor Goodwin Knight signed a law (Chapter 1681) authorizing two new four-year state colleges in Alameda and Orange Counties. City of Fullerton officials, who decades before had tried to attract what would become the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to the city, pushed for the state college, and the California State Public Works Board on March 13, 1959 selected an area of orange groves on the eastern edge of town for the new campus. Originally Native American land, the 238-acre site selected was covered by orange trees. (Courtesy of the CSU Fullerton Library)
This is a 1959 rendering of the new Orange County State College, later California State University, Fullerton, by the California Division of Architecture. Many of the structures in this rendering were not built, but the configuration of multi-story buildings around a central quad remains to this day. (Courtesy of the CSU Fullerton Library)
When the state college was proposed back in 1950, there was some concern, expressed in the March 17, 1950 issue of the Weekly Torch, that the new institution would impair the development of FJC, but both Superintendent Stanley T. Warburton and Director/President H. Lynn Sheller provided active support for the new state college. Administrators and faculty of the new state college were allowed to lease offices at Fullerton Union High School, the new Sunny Hills High School, and the old College Building still on the Fullerton Union High School campus. Severely earthquake-damaged, the old College Building would be demolished in 1962. This photo shows President William B. Langsford, the first President of Orange County State College, standing in front of the old College Building, the first administrative building for Fullerton College, on his first day, March 2, 1959. (Courtesy of CSU Fullerton Library)
After World War II, FJC offered over 150 two-year organized programs available in two broad fields: the technical vocation field and the pre-professional college transfer field. Emphasis at the time was on completing high school and then two years at a junior college, with only eight percent of students expected to transfer to a four-year college or university. A page from a brochure distributed to high school students shows the expected breakdown of student studies.
Increased enrollment heightened the demand for classes and space was limited. This is a 1948 music appreciation class in progress.
In this 1946 shot, FJC students are practicing on a harp and flute. Music instruction courses were offered on a wide variety of instruments at both the high school and college.
Two female students practice manicuring in a 1948 Cosmetology class. At the time, FJC students were giving permanents, shampoos, finger waves, manicures, and haircuts to thirty men and women a day. Approximately thirty-two students graduated from the department each year.
In another Cosmetology course, students learn the latest in hair-styling techniques.
During this period, the Division of Business Education offered five programs of study—Bookkeeping and Accounting, Secretarial Training, General Office Training, Merchandising and Selling, and General Business—all designed to prepare young men and women for immediate entry into the business field. The division had its own Placement Office to assist in the employment of qualified students. This photo features students enrolled in a 1948 Accounting course.
In this 1949 photo, students are learning to use a wooden slide rule to do calculations. A slide rule was a manual calculator consisting of a ruler-type device and a movable middle piece which had graduated logarithmic scales. The classroom was fitted with a large slide rule seen at the top of the photo.
This is a closer shot of two students compiling accounting records.
Students enrolled in the Bookkeeping and Accounting Program were trained in the operation of adding machines, along with other bookkeeping machines, bank posting machines, and rotary calculators. Besides learning the basic operations of addition, subtraction, and multiplication, students in machine calculation learned figure discounts, net amounts, chain discounts, decimal equivalents, payrolls, percentages, interest, sales analyses, and prorating.
Female students enrolled in the Secretarial Training Program received training in the use of Dictaphone and Ediphone machines. Students transcribed directly from these machines.
One of the most popular courses on campus for all majors was typing, part of the Secretarial Training Program. Ninety typewriters (Smith, Underwood, Royal, and Remington) were available for students. Students used the touch system and did not watch the keyboard. Novices could usually master the keyboard in one semester, but expert typists were developed in four semesters. At the time, applicants for office positions were often asked to take a typing test, which measured both speed and accuracy, before employment.
Enrolled in the General Office Training Program, female students compare a 1931 switchboard with a newer 1956 model. Telephone switchboards connected telephones to one another or an outside connection. Switchboard operators remained in demand until the 1970s when telephone companies started phasing in direct dialing.
Also part of the General Office Training Program was training in the use of a mimeograph machine, the precursor to the photocopy machine. Office practice also included instruction in the operation of the varitype, electromatic typewriter, addressograph, checkwriter, and Multilith Duplicator.
Students enrolled in Advertising Business and Display discuss an advertising campaign with their instructor, Miss Carras (far right) in 1951.
Starting in 1948, business students enrolled in Salesmanship, Retail Selling, Advertising, and Retail Cooperative Training classes competed for prizes for the most attractive display windows in downtown Fullerton during the December holiday season. Jacob H. Martin, adviser for the classes, developed the project together with the Fullerton Merchants Division of the Fullerton Chamber of Commerce. Groups of three to six students decorated windows in each of the twenty stores participating in the project. In this December 1949 shot, Larry Richards (right) is shown setting up his Sweepstakes winning window at the Famous Department Store (222 North Harbor) in downtown Fullerton. His display window was judged best by members of the Advertising Club of Los Angeles and a special Window Display Committee.
An FJC student learns the art of salesmanship in the Men’s Section at the Famous Department Store, which also sold Hornet merchandise. Many FJC students worked part-time at the downtown store where they received their first business experience selling sportswear, dinnerware, bedding, and many other items.
On Business Day, May 11, 1955, Instructor Don W. Brunskill (left) presents letters of recognition to the outstanding students of the Division of Business Education to (left to right): Gilbert Sutton, Nancy Brumley, Sharon Wood, and Beverly Old.
One of the most popular courses on campus after World War II was Dr. C. H. McClure’s Marriage and the Family (Family Relations 15). The course covered fourteen weeks on the psychology of marriage, two weeks on its biology, and two weeks on the economics of marriage. The class was particularly popular with the wives of veterans. The campus tried to attract veterans’ wives, encouraging them to take day and evening courses in art, ceramics, music, photography, home economics, child care, psychology, philosophy, sociology, creative writing, the contemporary novel, typing, and stenography. Dr. McClure, shown here with an infant of one of his students, was a popular instructor, and he would often hold personal conferences and sessions with veterans and their families.
The technical trade courses remained very popular during this period. The Technical Trade Department offered up-to-date training in the fields of machine shop, mill and cabinet building, construction, welding, ornamental iron work, sheet metal, drafting, surveying, electricity, radio, and printing. In this 1950s photo, an FJC student is shown rebuilding an automobile transmission. Automotive Technology started instruction in 1956 with one instructor and four students using part of the Machine Tool Building. Since the first graduating class of 1958, former students are working all over the world, with many working as managers, shop owners, or automotive corporation employees.
An FJC student demonstrates arc welding.
An FJC student demonstrates the operation of printing machinery.
This 1948 photo shows two women working hard in a woodworking class.
FJC students construct cabinets in this 1950s shop class.
Under the direction of building trades Instructors E. A. Ames and C. Robert McCormick, FJC began overseeing the construction of a new house on campus each year. The first project was a pre-fabricated house built in 1946, which was followed by Ranch, California bungalow, Contemporary, and California provincial-styled dwellings. Houses were designed by students in Architectural Drawing 75A, and then each project became a lab for building trades, mill and cabinet shop, and electricity classes. The completed homes were then snapped up readily on a you-buy-it-at-cost-and-move-it basis. In this photo, two students look over the blueprints during construction of a new house. The home building program would continue until 1986. A history of the FJC home building program can be found in the May 2012 issue of the Fullerton Heritage Newsletter.
This was the completed “dry built” house for 1949. The dwelling was constructed on pillars to make it easier to move from the campus. Each new home took about two to three semesters to finish. When the houses were completed, they were opened up for public inspection, with thousands of potential buyers previewing each newly constructed dwelling on the north part of the campus.
This Storybook Ranch home was constructed in 1959 and sold for $3,750. House designers were Bob and Rick Simmons. Initially only a dozen students worked on a new home, but by the 1980s, over two hundred students from eight FJC classes were participating. The homes were relocated to many cities, including Anaheim, Chino, Cypress, Elsinore, Orange, Placentia, Santa Ana, and Yorba Linda.
After World War II, photography classes became increasingly popular. This is a group of students enrolled in a 1948 photography class. Darkroom techniques were recognized as an essential part of training, and fifty percent of class time was spent on perfecting laboratory routines, with instruction in the development of negatives, contact and enlargement printing, and print drying methods.
In 1952, the Orange County School of Nursing opened on the grounds of the Orange County General Hospital in Santa Ana, the only facility of its kind in the County. Designed by architects H. D. Wildman and William Faulkner, the $800,000 building combined classrooms, libraries, offices, and dormitory rooms, as a well as an auditorium, along a series of connected walkways. A critical shortage of nurses, in addition to 1951 legislation that required nurses to have a formal course of training, led to a cooperative plan between community colleges and hospitals. Courses offered at the new school included the History of Nursing, Diet Therapy, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Nursing of Children, Ward Administration, and Principles of Communicable Disease. The first graduating class of six FJC vocational nurses took place the same year.
In October 1958, two FJC nursing students pose with two of their small patients outside the pediatrics wing of the Orange County School of Nursing.
In 1953/54, Fullerton Junior College started a one-year Dental Assistant Program designed to furnish training in dental office work as well as the use of dental equipment. This photo shows some of the students in the new program.
In 1958/59, twenty-nine women enrolled in the new Medical Assistants Program, designed to prepare students for work in a doctor’s office, either as a receptionist-secretary or as a doctor’s assistant. Students attended classes four hours a day and spent five hours a week for one semester in the offices of local doctors for firsthand experience. In this shot, Mrs. Dorothy Buckley (left), head of the program, demonstrates laboratory analysis. The Nursing, Dental and Medical Assistant programs remained on the FJC campus until they were transferred to Cypress College in the 1960s.
Also new in 1958/59 was a Police Science Program which offered sixteen courses, including the Vehicle Code, Criminal Procedure, Police Patrol, Interrogation and Lie Detection, and Narcotics and Vice. Of the two hundred students enrolled, thirteen were women. Instructors were experienced police officers, all Sergeants and Lieutenants, the majority of whom came from the Los Angeles Police Department. In this 1959 photo, Sgt. Ralph Krueger and Officer Don Hobson, both with the Orange County Police Department, search “suspects” in the Police Patrol class.
George Lavacat takes a declaration from a “dying” witness in an afternoon Criminal Evidence class.
Before being replaced by television, radio broadcasting was the most popular media in America. The Speech Arts program offered a course in radio broadcasting for those interested in announcing, newscasting, and radio drama, while technical shop courses were offered on radio, electricity, and audio systems. In this 1949 photo, two students test a radio chassis for a short circuit.
Basic electronic and radio courses were supplemented by the Radio Workshop, where students devoted time to every phase of radio broadcasting, including scriptwriting (both comedy and serious drama), speech improvements with the use of a special recording machine, radio advertising, and general microphone and studio techniques. In this 1949 photo, Leroy Spoor, Walt Beyenberg, and Toni Eldred stage a terrifying drama in the Radio Workshop. As part of Mrs. Marthella Randall’s Applied Radio course, FJC students acted as writers, directors, and producers of a bi-weekly radio show presented over station KVOE.
Engineer Kenny Hines was in charge of fade-ins and fade-outs, cues, sound effects, and the technical end of the radio production. Engineers were a vital part of the radio programs and students received invaluable experience in correlating the length of the program with the action onstage.
In 1959, students started their own campus radio station, Radio KFJC, which broadcasted from a temporary building into the Student Union area during noon hours. In the KFJC studio (Temporary building 10), engineer Stan Huttleston (right) runs a broadcast countdown for announcers Jack Seabern (left) and Bob Dahlin (center).
Almost from the start, FJC offered evening classes. The Adult Division was established as a department on the high school in September 1914, with twelve classes, and in the fall of 1938, it was made part of the college, and with that change, began an expansion in programs and evening enrollment. In the fall of 1946, the Adult Division was made a separate Evening Junior College, offering over 100 courses. By 1958, the number of students taking night classes at the college and high school were exceeding those offered during the day by over 1,000 students. To deal with the increased enrollment in night classes, FJC established an Extended Day Division within the Adult Division headed by Eldon Rodieck, named Coordinator of Extended Day Program. This new sign hanging in the Administration Building announced the opening of the new Extended Day Division on campus.
The Adult Education classes became so popular that a separate schedule of classes was published. This is the cover of the 1956-57 schedule of classes. Adult education courses (272 by 1959) were organized in response to requests from residents of the community. Many of the new course offerings during this period reflected the times: Microphone and Platform Speaking for Executives, Business Ownership: Starting Your Own Business, Industrial Film Production, Restaurant Management, Politics and History of the Soviet Union.
These students are studying the fine points of drafting in an evening class. Evening courses generally met Monday through Friday from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
One of the most popular courses offered by the new Extended Day Division was typing. College- age students attended night classes, but increasingly older adults enrolled in course offerings. Also very popular with evening students were the driver education and driver training classes offered for $10.00, which included twelve lessons of behind the wheel training.
After World War II, FJC began to offer courses geared toward the interests of older and retired adults in the community, and the Adult Division hoped to capitalize on that age group by expanding course offerings. This is a 1950s hat-making class.
These two adults are enrolled an upholstery course during the same period. The campus also offered courses in rug-making, textile painting, ceramics, leathercraft, and sewing.
The opening of the new Art-Home Economics Building saw the expansion of the Home Economics program, very popular with women in the 1940s and 1950s. Courses offered included Home Management, Foods and Nutrition, Dress Design, Child Study, Interior Decoration, and Family Living. In this 1949 photo, cooking Instructor Esther Long shows her students how to prepare oxtail. As part of cooking courses, students also learned table arrangement, table manners and serving, as well as the composition, selection, buying, and preparation of food.
In this 1950 photo, Home Economics students work on a loom for a weaving class.
Instructor S. Frances Schroeder explains the fine points of interior decoration to FJC students in 1951.
In 1952, Instructor Henrietta Helm demonstrates sewing and dress design. The course in Clothing offered women practical experience in choice of fabrics, adaptation and use of patterns, and construction, fitting, and finishing of articles of clothing.
With the additional purchase of land in 1941 and 1946, the Agriculture Program was able to create a working farm on the north side of campus just below the bus barns. In 1949, FJC broadened the Agricultural Program, offering classes in Citriculture, Avocado Culture, Ornamental Horticulture, Poultry, Animal Husbandry, and General Farming. By owning its own farm and orchards, FJC was able to train future farmers in a practical, hands-on way. In addition to learning about the raising of crops, the culture of orchards, the destruction of pests, and the rearing and breeding of animals, students were also offered a course in packing, shipping, selling, and warehouse management by a specialist trained by the California Fruit Exchange. This is an aerial shot of the farming/agricultural area on campus in 1951. The agricultural facilities were shared with Fullerton Union High School.
In this 1949 photo, an FJC student uses a standard wheel barrow while working on the farm. Built by FJC students, the agriculture area included a chicken house, calf and bull barns, a greenhouse, a farm shop, a sheep barn, a propagation house to shield young plant cuttings, a lath house for older plants, feed lots, and pasture land.
Citrus culture was important to Orange County history, and FJC students were given lectures along with field work, combining theory and practice in order to deal with climate, soil, and other requirements of citrus groves. Orchard management, harvesting, and preparation were also taught.
As part of the Vegetable and Truck Crop class, agriculture students were expected to plant and then harvest crops. Students planted corn, onions, tomatoes, green beans, and Swiss chard while also experimenting with alfalfa and pasture grasses. In this 1959 photo, instructor Dr. Lloyd Meuli and Sal Corvo examine big turnips grown in the college fields.
Students judge livestock in this 1950s photo.
During World War II, many clubs became inactive for lack of membership and lack of interest as social life gave way to wartime service. After the war, older clubs were reinstituted and many new clubs were formed. It was estimated that forty percent of the student body joined organizations on campus. Organized in 1947, these are the founding members of the new Ski Club.
The Ski Club took one-day trips to the local mountains and Lake Tahoe. Skiing novices were provided with an instructor and special rates were obtained on skiing equipment by the club.
Organized in 1946, the Sales Club’s main objective was “to sell Fullerton Junior College and its students to the community.” In 1948, the Sales Club was accepted as the first California Chapter of the national association of Future Business Leaders of America. Very active, the Sales Club that year sponsored an Infantile Paralysis drive, entered a float in the Anaheim Fall Festival, held a dinner dance at the Hollywood Palladium, and sponsored a hay ride at Orange County Park.
One of the most popular events sponsored by the Sales Club was an annual Spring Fashion Show presented to the student body and general public. The latest styles in men’s and women’s clothing, modeled by FJC talent, represented apparel that was for sale in local stores. The Fashion Show did much to foster good will between businessmen and women in the community and Business Education students.
Formed on September 19, 1951, under the sponsorship of the Social Science Department, the International Relations Club was organized “for the purpose of getting students together to discuss the problems of the world.” A new subject was discussed each week, with a different student in charge. The club was affiliated with the American Association of International Relations Clubs, a national organization of over 800 member chapters.
In this photo, members of the Flying Club, organized on March 14, 1949, conduct a pre-flight check of a chartered plane motor.
Members of the Flying Club met at the Fullerton Airport to discuss the problems and plans of fledgling student pilots and took trips to aircraft manufacturing plants. Members of the club often wore matching flight jackets.
Formed mainly from members of the Foreign Affairs 44 classes taught by Phillip Le Ross, the World Affairs Club held debates on all international problems. The Club maintained close contact with similar organizations on the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), the University of Southern California (USC), and other college campuses. In this March 1949 photo, members of the World Affairs Club debate the formation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on radio KVOE.
Formed along the same lines as the International Relations Club and the World Affairs Club, the World Student Service Fund sought to aid foreign students. In 1950, the Fund raised enough money to bring these six foreign students to the FJC campus to study: Margonis Abrams, Valentin Vitols, Janis Germmanis, Duck Hi Lee, Margaret McClelland, and Alice Teaque (left to right).
Organized in 1951, the Allied Arts Club was formed to “afford more opportunities for the enjoyment and understanding of all arts, applied and fine.” The Club started with 53 active and ten sponsoring members, but was open to anyone and included former Hornets and members of the community. In this photo, noted designer Ralph Modjeska explains the influence of the Ming Dynasty on world art.
Founded in 1952, the Life Science Club brought together students interested in the life sciences. Members took field trips to the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla and the San Diego Zoo. Back row, left to right are: Kenny Mackay, Ray Williams, Hugo Hunzinger, and Fletcher Palmer, adviser. In the front row, left to right, are: Ron Little and Keith Radford
The expansion of the Agricultural Program led to the formation of the California Young Farmers Association, posing here in 1953. Its purpose was “to help young men get established in farming and to acquaint the members with all phases of farming.” The CYFA bridged the gap between 4-H and Future Farmers of American (FFA). In the front row are: Jack Nelson, Gordon Chan, Gordon Steward, and Jim Robinson. In the top row are: Bob Peterson, Ray Copeland, Camille Allec, Leon Coffman, Ansel Schoonover (President), Bill Frost, and Hugh Simpson.
After World War II, there was an increase in the number of international students enrolled at FJC, but the total remained small. By 1959, there were fifty-six international students representing twenty-nine countries, including Canada, Iran, Germany, Lebanon, Mexico, and Japan. Showing off their native costumes are Margarita de los Rios of Mexico, Mohammed “Dean” Seirafi of Jordan, and Javad Fekri of Iran. On the left are Secretary Irma Garner and Dean of Women Marguerite Waters.
Most of the international students wore American garb while on campus. Foreign students formed the International Student Club, shown here in 1959, to exchange information about adjusting to the College and America. The advisor for the Club was Social Science Instructor Kim Naffa, a native of Jordan (standing at right).
It took a few years for the enmity caused by World War II to decline, but by the 1950s, Japanese and German students were welcomed back on campus. A good example of that was George Ohtani, a Japanese business studies student who graduated from FJC in 1958. Ohtani’s father, Tatsuzo Ohtani, Mayor of Osaka, Japan, had attended FJC earlier and wanted his son to have the same American educational experience he had back in 1931-32. George Ohtani brought from Japan as gifts two native ceremonial dolls, which he presented to Dr. Lynn Sheller in September 1956. The welcoming gift presentation was featured in the September 9, 1956 issue of the Los Angeles Times (section I, page 10).
During this period, sororities and fraternities were at an all-time high in popularity, with new ones still being formed. In 1949, FJC nursing students formed a new sorority, Di Gamma Nu Alpha, under the direction of Physiology Instructor Floyd Younger (standing in center).
As part of their sorority initiation, Di Gamma Nu Alpha pledges (known as “probies”) were required to check the temperature of unwilling student patients.
Members of Di Gamma Nu Alpha would also show up at various events, including the 1949 Homecoming Game shown here, in their nursing uniforms for some light fun.
September of each year was known as Hell Week, a time when fraternity and sorority pledges were put through a series of initiations, which if passed, would gain them membership into the organization of their choice. Pledges were often required to wear odd clothing while on campus, which included everything from long underwear to bathing caps to ham bones. In this 1948 shot, female sorority pledges are wearing cardboard boxes as part of their initiation.
This 1946 Kappa Lambda Sigma pledge wears long underwear and a lampshade.
In 1957, Phi Alpha Omega pledges minded their superiors during Pledge Week.
Part of the 1952 initiation for new Hornet Knights members, held in nearby Hillcrest Park, included covering pledges with molasses and feathers.
Pledge Week also had more staid events, including rush teas held annually in October, designed to introduce pledges to a sorority. Open to enrolled women students, the rush teas were often held in the Women’s Lounge. This is the 1954 rush tea for Theta Nu Theta.
In this 1946 photo, FJC students read the copies of the student newspaper, the Weekly Torch, in the patio area outside the Student Union. Copies of the newspaper were distributed at noon on Friday. Students were most interested in campus gossip, sports, and biographies of each other.
By 1959, the number of students attending evening classes had exceeded the number of daytime students, and the decision was made to publish a separate edition of the student newspaper geared just to the 1,940 evening students. Called Nite Times, the semi-monthly newspaper ran from 1959 to 1961. The idea for an Evening School publication originated with the birth of a twilight Journalism course. According to statistics, the average night student was thirty years old, married, a veteran, had a full-time day job and a family, and averaged about two, three-hour classes each week. Pictured are the Nite Times editors.
The heart of the Journalism Department was the Torch office, shown here in 1949. The Torch students produced the weekly newspaper along with an annual yearbook. The atmosphere was always informal, with the emphasis on clear, concise accounts of campus events. While Torch staff concentrated on campus events, reporters did go off campus in the mid-1950s to interview famous celebrities, such as Duke Ellington, Kirk Douglas, and Tennessee Ernie Ford.
In addition to bestselling author Jessamyn West, who made an appearance at the new library dedication, notable visitors to the campus during this period included famed cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead (1901-1978), author of Coming of Age in Samoa (1928). Mead gave a thought-provoking talk at a Marriage Conference sponsored by Associated Women Students in March1959. Because of the many married students who returned to the campus, as well as the wartime trend toward youthful marriage, the Associated Women Students instituted an annual Marriage Conference that was well received. Mead later spoke at Plummer Auditorium on “The Emerging American Character” at a Fullerton Public Forum. Other notable figures to make appearances on campus during this period included jazz great Dave Brubeck, bandleader Les Brown, Nobel prize-winning physicist Robert A. Millikan, and Olympic gold medal winner Robert E. (Bob) Richards, the first athlete to appear on the front of a Wheaties cereal box,
Starting in the mid-1950s, the Fullerton Evening Junior College sponsored a series of talks by experts and notable individuals on a wide variety of topics. Held in Plummer Auditorium in the evenings and open to the general public, tickets were only $1.00. (Courtesy of the Fullerton Public Library)
One of the highlights of the December 10, 1949 student assembly was a performance by baritone John Raitt (1917-2005), who is shown relaxing at a party given in his honor. A star athlete and budding singer while a student at Fullerton Union High School, Raitt had achieved Broadway stardom in original productions of Oklahoma!, Carousel, and The Pajama Game. Raitt returned on June 1, 1951 for a sold-out performance at Plummer Auditorium. Raitt was the father of blues singer Bonnie Raitt.
In the midst of the 1952 presidential election, Richard M. Nixon and his wife Pat Nixon drove down Chapman Avenue in front of FJC after a speech in Yorba Linda. Nixon, then a vice-presidential candidate, had attended Fullerton Union High School, and Pat Nixon was a former Fullerton Junior College student. This photo was taken by FJC student Roland Hiltscher.
Informal afternoon dances remained extremely popular during this era, and many evening dances were held following sports events, pep rallies, and football and basketball games. Until the new Student Union was constructed, most of the dances were held in the Girls Gymnasium on the Fullerton Union High School campus. Music for these dances was provided either by an orchestra or records, and refreshments were usually cookies and Cokes. This is the first afternoon dance of 1946.
There were also a large number of formal dances held each year. This is a photo of the 1949 Christmas Formal held in the Girls Gymnasium.
Each informal or formal dance held on campus was chaperoned, often by campus administrators or faculty members. This couple, sitting in front of a radiator to keep warm, served as chaperones for the 1949 Christmas Formal.
Couples would often leave dances, looking for more fun elsewhere.
Fullerton’s Hornet Knights sponsored the 1953 Spring Informal dance at the Chuck Wagon restaurant in Sunny Hills. The western-style atmosphere was enhanced with wagons and wagon wheels decorating the edge of the dance floor.
This charming couple is dancing together at the 1954 Spring Formal.
At the 1956 Get Acquainted Dance, students enjoyed the “Marriage Booth,” with Justice-of-the-Peace Jack Hayes marrying Ken Van Sicle and Joan Marineaux.
One of the most popular spots at the 1958 Christmas Formal was the mistletoe arch. In this shot, Maurice Rau and date Val Arrous linger awhile under the sprig.
In the 1950s, the bunny hop was a dance craze in America, and FJC students joined the bandwagon at this Associated Women Students (AWS) Turnabout Dance. Created at Balboa High School in San Francisco in 1952, the novelty dance had participants dance in a line, holding on to the hips of the person in front of them. Bunny hoppers would then tap the floor two times with their right foot, then with their left, then hop forward, backwards, and finally three hops forward to complete the steps. FJC held its first Turnabout Dance in 1954, and these dances soon became popular with men, as it was women who invited men, paid for the tickets, and purchased any incidentals required.
Also enjoying a resurgence was square dancing. Taken in 1951, this photo features students enrolled in Mrs. Murray’s eleven o’clock square dance class.
Mrs. Murray also taught a recreational modern dance class.
Also popular was the annual Sadie Hawkins Dance, an informal dance in which female students invited male students. The Sadie Hawkins Dance was named after the Li’l Abner comic strip character named Sadie Hawkins, created by cartoonist Al Capp. Here lazy Hornet Knights (left to right) Al Smalkin, Paul Stooshnoff, and Ross Vezerian are tracked down by Sadie (Melanie Bley) in advance of the March1959 Knights-sponsored Dogpatch Daze Dance held from 9:00 p.m. to midnight in the new Student Center.
Southern California experienced a craze for “Tiki Culture” or “Polynesian Pop” in the 1950s and 1960s. During World War II, American soldiers had been exposed to Pacific Island culture and Hawaii had entered the Union in 1959, sparking an interest in all-things Polynesian. Restaurants, hotels, and theme parks sprang up in homage to island culture. In tribute to this craze, FJC students (starting in 1948) enjoyed an annual Beachcombers Ball, the finale of Blue and Gold Week activities. The Beachcombers Ball was held in the Girls Gymnasium, which was decked out in palm trees, fish nets, and bamboo. In this 1955 shot, male students wear grass hats, palm leaves, and chopped levis while a band plays Hawaiian steel guitar music.
Every Friday noon saw the College lounge darkened and jammed with students dancing to popular recorded music. The noon dances provided a welcome diversion from the day’s study hours.
The 1950s and 1960s saw a renewed interest in folk music and it was not unusual for a group to gather on campus to listen to a folksinger.
While all the formal and informal annual events planned on campus seemed to go off each year without a hitch, nearly all major social events were planned by a Social Chairman and her committee members. Members of the Social Committee for 1949/50 were Carol Williams, Joan Pratt, and Sue Lane (left to right), who were responsible for invitations, decorations, refreshments, and other arrangements needed for dances, picnics, homecomings, etc. Sports events were planned and supported by a separate Rally Committee.
During World War II, there was a decline in sports teams due to a lack of male participants. After the war, there was renewed interest in a variety of sports and Fullerton residents started attending FJC games in record numbers. This 1949 photo shows a group of enthusiastic FJC supporters at a football game. Game tickets were sold at various locations around Fullerton.
On October 11, 1947, fourteen junior colleges and universities entered the Fullerton-sponsored racing regatta at Newport Beach. PC class boats were entered in the dashes with crews of three, and FJC entries were Bill Lawhorn, Dick Grable, and Jack McKibben.
In 1948, all seven men on the Fullerton water polo team were named to the all-Southern California teams (left to right): Bob Brown, Ed Illsey, Bud Householder, Captain Don Bradford, Marvin D. Burns, Hank Imm, and Frank Poucher. The team defeated every junior college in the area. Poucher led the scoring with 62 points during the season. Burns would later become a member of the United States Olympic Water Polo team 1952-1960, and become a member of the Water Polo Hall of Fame.
One of the most significant water polo players during the late 1940s was Kenneth Monfore (Monte) Nitzkowski. After transferring from FJC, he swam and played water polo for the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Bruins in 1950-51. He represented the United States in the 200-meter butterfly at the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki, Finland. He became one of the world’s foremost authorities on water polo by coaching Long Beach City College to 32 conference water polo championships and 12 conference swim titles from 1954 to 1989. He was appointed head coach for the United States water polo teams during the 1972, 1980, and 1984 Olympic games.
In 1949, Coach Harm Forte lines up his newly formed boxing team (left to right): Ed Hartnell (lightweight), Hank Ayala (145 pounds), Joe Yon (155 pounds), David Deetz (165 pounds), Jack Ritter (165 pounds), and Ray Stuard (heavyweight).
This is the 1952 FJC golf team: John Birmingham, John Paxton, Marley Poe, Dick Brunmier, and Dick Kaylor (left to right).
In 1952, the Men’s Athletic Department added a new attraction to their program by purchasing a trampoline which quickly became popular with gymnasts and divers. Taking a turn is Don Harper, then the third top trampolinist in the United States. At the time, Harper was considered the best diver on the Pacific Coast.
Don Johnson, who attended Fullerton Junior College from 1948 to 1950, was on the first Hornet basketball team that went undefeated in the Eastern Conference. He was named the Team MVP, League MVP, and was voted 1st Team All-State. After graduation, he played basketball at UCLA under legendary Coach John Wooden where his exemplary play earned him additional awards. In 1966, he became head basketball coach at Cypress College, then a new school, where the Chargers won two state championships and a number of conference championships. When Johnson retired in 1994, he left the coaching ranks as the winningest basketball coach in California history.
In 1950/51, Roy Brown broke just about every junior college freestyle record, holding the national record in the 100 yard freestyle, 60 yard freestyle, 440 freestyle, and 1500 freestyle. Starting in 1947/48, the Hornet swimmers set national swimming records, and in March 1948 alone, FJC swimmers lowered seven national junior college swimming records in the four-man relay team, breaststroke, and freestyle.