about fullerton college
History of Fullerton College
A good beginning makes a good ending.” So reads an old English proverb, and if what it says is true, then Fullerton College certainly has all the makings for a continually successful future. As the oldest continuous community college in California, Fullerton College’s roots can be traced back to a time when the city of Fullerton was primarily an agricultural community devoted to growing, packing and shipping citrus products. Originally enrolling 28 students in its first year in 1913, today Fullerton College boasts an enrollment figure of nearly 20,000, with figures anticipated to reach more than 32,000 by the year 2020.
Junior College, as it was known from 1913 to 1972, was born out of a
proposal made in April 1913 by then principal of Fullerton Union High
School Delbert Brunton that the board of trustees authorize two years of
postgraduate study at the high school.
The idea was approved, and classes at Fullerton Junior College
officially began in the fall of that year.
Out of the 28 students who enrolled as freshmen, 14 eventually
graduated, and enrollment figures totaled 44 at the start of the 1915-1916
the beginning years of the two-year college concept were quite unstable
(Los Angeles, Hollywood, San Fernando and Anaheim Junior Colleges were
shut down during this time), Fullerton Junior College remained in
operation. During the teens and 20’s, the curriculum at Fullerton
Junior College continually changed to meet the specific needs of the time.
Military drill, oil drilling technology, manual arts and shop
courses were offered during WWI, and by the mid-20’s, semi-professional
courses such as typing, stenography, bookkeeping and office practice were
college’s first newspaper, The Weekly Torch, was introduced in 1923, in
addition to its annual Torch Magazine.
The Torch newspaper was later renamed The Weekly Hornet, and has
been in continuous publication for the past 76 years.
The first club at Fullerton Junior College, the Literary Club, was
formed in its second year, followed by the Collegians and the College
Woman’s Club the following year.
1934, Superintendent of Fullerton Union High School and Fullerton Junior
College Louis Plummer compiled a “master plan” for Fullerton Junior
College that would soon lead to the development of the campus as we know
it today. In his thesis for
his Doctorate titled “Building Requirements for Fullerton Junior
College,” Plummer outlined a need for 36 classrooms to accommodate an
anticipated enrollment figure of move than 1,600 students by the year
1950. At the time, Fullerton
Junior College was utilizing about 60 percent of the high school’s
resources, which by 1950, would need to be dedicated solely to the high
that year, the school board of directors purchased a 14-acre parcel of
land located adjacent to the high school on the east side of Lemon Street
for the use of Fullerton Junior College.
A master plan for the property was developed in 1935 and was
approved and partially funded with the help of the Federal Government and
the Works Progress Administration.
first building to be completed on campus was the commerce building, now
known as the Business and Computer Information Building (Bldg. 300) in
1936, followed by the Administration Building (Bldg. 100) and the
Industrial Building (Bldg. 600), now known as North Science, in 1937.
The Student Union, or Student Center as it is now referred to
(Bldg. 800), was built in 1938, and all plans included in the original
1935 master plan were finally realized in 1956 with the completion of the
Language Building (Bldg. 200), or William T. Boyce Library.
Additional acreage was later purchased incrementally until
Fullerton Junior College reached its present size of nearly 70 acres.
1965, the North Orange County Community College District (NOCCCD) was
formed to oversee both Fullerton Junior College and Cypress College.
Up until this point, Fullerton Junior College was still owned by
Fullerton Union High School, and there was overwhelming support for
Fullerton Junior College to break away from the high school and adopt its
own ownership and government. With
the NOCCCD, Fullerton Junior College finally had its own board of trustees
who would dedicate themselves exclusively to the college’s needs.
Later that same year, the college began acquiring the land that it
occupied by buying it back from the high school.
the reorganization and ownership changes, it was decided that Fullerton
Junior College should be renamed to reflect its newfound independence from
the high school. By 1972,
Fullerton Junior College simply became known as Fullerton College.
major construction took place on campus during the 1970s, however, in
1977, Fullerton College was designated an Orange County Historical Site.
Soon after, in the early 1980s, construction did pick up again. In 1982,
a major signage project took place which identified major classrooms and
buildings for student reference. The 2000 Building, located across Chapman
Avenue was completed the same year and currently houses a variety of
programs including Counseling, Admissions & Records, the Bookstore,
Academic Support Center, and Distance Education.
1984, the California legislature passed AB 1XX which established a
mandatory enrollment fee of $50 per semester. Students taking less than 6
units only paid $5 a unit, and those taking non-credit courses were exempt
from fees. Until that point, students had not paid an enrollment fee and
were only responsible for the cost of textbooks and any laboratory fees
required for specific classes. As a result of the increase, student
enrollment dropped 2,300 to 16,652.
the cultural makeup of Orange County changed, greater emphasis was placed
both issues of diversity and cultural understanding.. Fullerton was
awarded its first Title III Hispanic Serving Institutions Grant in 1996.
Funded by the US Department of Education, the grant was designed to
enhance academic programs and student services for underrepresented
students. Fullerton received $350,000 in its first year. In 2002, the
college received a Title V Hispanic Serving Institutions Grant, and in
2003, partnered with Santa Ana College and CSU Fullerton for a Title V
an effort to promote diversity, the Cadena/Transfer Center was also
established in 1996. A dual-purpose center, it offers both transfer
assistance and cultural resources to students, faculty, and staff. The
Office of Equity & Diversity, which was originally established in
2000, also sponsors a number of cultural events, including visits to the
Museum of Tolerance, panel discussions featuring members of Gay and
Lesbians Initiating Dialogue for Equality, and a presentation by Little
Rock Nine member Terrence Roberts.
years later, in the spring of 2002, North Orange County voters passed a
$239 million facilities bond measure, benefiting the North Orange County
Community College District. The nearly $135 million allotted to Fullerton
College has already allowed for the critical renovation of current campus
facilities and construction of new facilities.