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CARE Member Contributions to The Next Thirty Years


A Valley Campus Success Story
Submitted by Mary Straight
Las Positas College


In March, 1975 I ventured out to what was then know as Chabot College-Valley Campus. I was an older student at the time, but the term "Re-entry Student" had not yet been coined. I was just the "older lady" at the ripe old age of 25! I was a bit apprehensive to say the least! Would I fit in and could I do it? Fortunately, Spring Quarter did not have a lot of new students and some were even older than I. My first three classes were: Spanish 1A with Maria Elena Pellinen, Health 1 with Sophie Rheinheimer and California History with Joe Downs. Dr. Barbara Mertes was our Dean. We had 4 buildings, with another two "under construction". My first impression was that of a caring institution and a wonderful learning experience. To this day I have not changed my mind on that score.

I worked as a student assistant in the Library, and in Admissions & Records with Ginny MacCrossen, Marge O'Leary and Linda Peifer. We had one of our earthquakes during my Library days, I can still remember gluing many books back to their bindings. After I graduated in 1980, I then came back as on "on call hourly" employee. In 1984, I was hired part-time for the Assessment position. Working part-time enabled me to continue my education at CSUH earning my BA in History and Women's Studies in 1990. I later earned my MA in Humanities. With the encouragement from faculty and the many friends I made over the years here, kept me on my quest to further my education (something I had NO IDEA I would do back in 1975)! This year, I begin my 25th. year at LPC.

The campus used to be surrounded by fields and cattle. Every once in awhile a bovine or two would wander over and the rancher, usually Joe Murray, had to be called. I was born in Livermore and grew up over the hill from our campus on North Livermore Ave. Most of the cattle are gone now, and those fields have been replaced with condos and grape vines. Buildings were added and more are under construction as I write this. The Assessment Center is located in what used to be the Bookstore.

Sophie Rheinheimer is the last of the original faculty from the Valley Campus days and Linda Peifer is our classified person.

I can remember like it was yesterday the faculty here who supported and encouraged me as I began my college education and I will be forever in their debt: Joe Downs, Ellen Owens, Juanita Focha, Maria Elena Pellinen, Esther Goldberg, Hal Lubin and Frances Joyce.

I remember when we became Las Positas College and had our first President, Barbara Adams and our first Board members. Representing Livermore, Barry Schrader and from Pleasanton, Elva Cooper.

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2007 C.A.R.E.

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