Riverside City College's 100th Anniversary Countdown
September 2, 2014
Evan Vail was a member of an exclusive group of Riverside City College faculty. He was one of only twelve that taught at the college for 40 years or longer. The others were: Ruth Cooper (Associate Professor Botany; 1931-1971), Kathy Farris (Associate Professor, Physical Education; 1971-2011), Wilhemina Hathaway (Professor, Chemistry; 1964-2004), Glenn Hunt (Associate Professor, Mathematics, Dean of Instruction; 1958-2007), Dwight Lomayesva (Professor, History; 1974 to date), Maurice Mackenzie (Associate Professor, Economics & Political Science; 1924-1965), Al Parker (Associate Professor, History; 1969-2011), Joan Pleasants (Professor, Chemistry; 1966-2007), Paul Roby (Associate Professor, Anatomy & Physiology, Dean, Natural Sciences; 1951-1992), Phyllis Rowe (Associate Professor, Nursing, LVN Assistant Department Chair; 1968-2010), and Jan Schall (Professor, Sociology; 1971-2011). Vail came to RCC (then known as Riverside College) in 1950 to initiate the Instrumental Music Program. He later became a part of the Counseling Department and later transitioned into Administration.
Below are “Tequesquite” yearbook photos of Vail as an instructor of Music. The photo on the left is from 1953. The right, top photo (also from 1953) is of Vail with the RCC Marching Band at a Thanksgiving Football game at Wheelock Field. The right, bottom photo (from 1956) shows Vail along with Donald Stone (Associate Professor, Music & French; 1948-1964) and student Mary Dolan.
The photo below (on the left) is a 1960 shot of Vail in the Guidance Office with student Tom Bridges. In the top, right 1962 photo. Vail (at the chalkboard) is seen with fellow Music faculty John Guin (1957-1979) and Edwin Sayre (1946-1967). In the bottom, right 1963 photo, Vail (center) is flanked by fellow counselors Richard Andrus (1962-1989) and John Matulich (1955-1992) along with student Mary Ann Baran.
The photos below are from the 1965 and 1966 yearbooks.
When Vail was about to retire, the May 8, 1991 issue of the “Viewpoints” student newspaper ran the following profile on him:
“Riverside Community College’s main campus will be looking for a new provost following the departure of its current provost, Evan Vail. Vail is one of three top RCC’s administrators who will step down at the end of the spring semester. Vail’s predecessor, Dick Stover, 63, who left the provost office following his promotion to Vice President of Academic Services in November of 1990, will also vacate that office in July of 1991. David Richardson will return to teaching chemistry after serving as provost for the Moreno Valley campus since June of 1990. Vail, who began his career at RCC in 1950, has filled his tenure serving on committees both academic and administrative. His first position was that of a teacher in the music department. He served in that capacity until 1957 when he took a yearlong sabbatical in which he traveled Europe and worked towards his counseling credential at the University of Southern California. Upon his return to RCC in the fall of 1958, he and ten other faculty members established an academic advising facility through which, students could receive counseling on their major or career choices. In 1963, Vail was made that division’s chairperson, a post he held until his promotion to Dean of Admissions and Counseling in 1979. Although the duties of the Dean’s position were numerous, Vail still remained in the classroom at least part of the time, a decision which he credits with helping him to remain in touch with the needs and attitudes of students. Upon his promotion to Dean of Research and Planning In 1983, however, Vail left the classroom to help the college plan and implement as he put it its ‘long term goals and short term objectives’; Working alongside college President Charles Kane, Vail was a critical force in the creation, in 1984, of the President’s Strategic Planning Advisory Committee (PSPAC). PSPAC formed a coalition of faculty, staff and students to establish a vision statement and future goals for the college. In the summers of both 1989 and 90, Vail has also run the Leadership Academy which brings together selected (based on an application process) faculty and staff interested in improving and demonstrating their leadership skills. The office of provost has been one of increased responsibility for Vail but that still has not kept him from working in the greater Riverside area. His yearlong term as President of the Riverside Downtown Association expired in March of 1991. It was this position as president that Vail credits with keeping him from retiring from the provost’s position before now. He wanted to maintain active in a downtown school so that he could have a better understanding of the needs of the downtown area. Vail cited personal reasons for his retirement according to published reports in the Press-Enterprise. He hopes to spend his retirement years travelling and spending time at his cabin in Montana.”
After he left Riverside City College, Vail still maintained an interest in the activities of the college. On March 21, 2010 he attended the rededication of the “Earl A. McDermont Hall” in Quadrangle room 240. Below he can be seen along with Jan Schall (Study Abroad) and Virginia McKee-Leone (Dean of Instruction) in a photo taken at the event.
Evan Vail passed away on August 22, 2014. He had just turned 90 years of age the previous week.
It is 1 year and 27 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