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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