Riverside City College's 100th Anniversary Countdown
August 3, 2015
In 1978, Riverside City College President/Superintendent Charles A. Kane decided that it would be a good idea to have an RCC history book to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the college in 1981. He turned to two RCC professors, Thomas Meidell Johnson (English and Humanities 1958-1997) and Gilbert Jimenez (History 1970-2004) to research and author the book. The book was published and released in 1982.
In the photo below, Tom Johnson is on the left and Gilbert Jimenez is on the right.
Below is the cover of their book.
The photo and story below appeared in the May 14,1982 edition of the “Viewpoints” student newspaper.
“RCC’s history has been recorded in a book, Riverside City College, 1916-1981: A 65 Year History by Gilbert Jimenez, associate professor of history, and Thomas M. Johnson, associate professor of English. The 256-page book, representing three years of extensive research, went on sale recently in the bookstore for $18.95. According to Johnson, the book is designed to function at least at two levels. First, it has a value as history, memories and nostalgia. However, its main value is in the history of the junior college movement itself. “RCC was one of the first junior colleges in the state and in many respects, it is typical. Its history is pretty much an example of any junior college in California,” he said. Jane Manning, director of the office of public relations, said that 8 out of 10 people in Riverside have gone to RCC or are associated with someone who has. Manning said all of these people have been affected by the college and the book records the importance of the college in the community. Johnson read all newspapers, annuals and catalogs plus all the reports, accreditations and bulletins in the archives. He said a big help to him was two scrapbooks assembled by Mayor Ab Brown and Bill Noble, president of the college from 1950-63. Jimenez researched the Press Enterprise files as well as their indexed work for any articles about RCC. Johnson said he did not have any serious problems in his research; however, Jimenez said he got quite frustrated in the gaps in the newspaper stories, conflicting statements and the problem of interpretation or lack of clarity. ‘Sometimes I had to really dig to get the full experience.’ Jimenez also read all the board of trustees’ minutes since 1895 and researched the local library files. Both professors agreed the biggest problems came when they had to select the copy to use. Johnson said, ‘Often we had to decide between what was interesting and what was the most important event. Had we kept going the way we had started, we would have needed 600 pages,’ explained Johnson. Jimenez said, ‘There were a lot of anecdotes and personal touches that there was no room to include.’ The idea for the three-year project came from Charles Kane, RCC president. He wanted a recorded history of the college and to show the community the role RCC has played in it. The two professors were reassigned time some semesters to do the project. Instead of letters to the alumni. Nearly 25 personal interviews were conducted with alumni. Teaching one class they would do the research on the book. In an effort to get material for the book, newspaper articles were written as well as emeriti, and other persons connected with both early and more recent periods in the college history. These tapes are now a part of a library of tapes for future prosperity. Another by-product of the history project was a multi-media presentation developed with the help of John Short. The slide presentation was first presented at a banquet to inaugurate the 65th anniversary. It is now available for viewing in the learning center. Johnson stated there were endless problems with production. The Taylor Publishing Co., a yearbook publisher, produced the book for $12,000 in three of their plants located at El Paso, Dallas and West Covina. The book itself has seven chapters dealing with a ‘specific time period in the college’s history,’ Jimenez said. ‘It has many, many photographs—it is narrative and analytic.’ The 8 x 10 1/2 book has a black with copper letters and college seal on the front complete with preface and afterword.”
The photo and article below appeared in the June 1982 District publication “RCC Reports”.
“A reception was held recently on campus in honor of Associate Professors Gilbert L. Jimenez and Thomas M. Johnson co-authors of RCC’s history book. Riverside City College, 1916-1981: A 65 Year History represents more than two years of research and writing for the two RCC faculty members. They researched college documents, files, newspapers and many other sources to gather information to compile 65 years of growth and development of the college. Faculty members and other special guests attended the reception where Jimenez and Johnson presented autographed copies of the 256-page book to representatives from local libraries Joan Minesinger, chief librarian for the Press-Enterprise; Ellen Thompson of Riverside City and County Public Library and Barbara Anderson, director of the San Bernardino County Library accepted a book from the authors on behalf of their libraries. Nancy Paul, widow of RCC’s first President A.G. Paul, also attended the reception to accept an autographed book from the two professors. The authors also signed copies of the book for others attending the reception.”
Gilbert Jimenez and Tom Johnson’s history book is available to study in the RCC Digital Library archives.
There are 31 weeks until RCC’s 100th Anniversary on March 13, 2016.
The Riverside City College Instructional Media Center is bringing you this five year countdown to RCC’s 100th Anniversary. Our intention is to give everyone a weekly glance at the many people and events that have been a part of the thanks go to the RCC Digital Library Archives and the District’s Office of Strategic Communications and Relations for allowing us to use their photo and newspaper collections. Thanks as well to all of the RCC students and Faculty Advisors that were a part of the yearbook and newspaper staffs. Thanks also to Tom Johnson and Gilbert Jimenez who wrote “the book” about RCC’s history. “Riverside City College 1916-1981- A 65 Year History” is available in the RCC Digital Library.
For copyright purposes, all images originating from Riverside City College publications and the District’s Office of Strategic Communications and Relations are the property of the Riverside Community College District.
Countdown to 100 Years: Archives