Education Lab

Fresno City College centennial finale set

Fresno City College will wrap up a nearly yearlong centennial celebration with a Sept. 10 convocation at Ratcliffe Stadium.

Officials at the 100-year-old college hope to draw a big crowd to the 9 a.m. event that will feature local and state dignitaries, a founder's award presentation and cake. Admission is free, and the stadium can seat about 10,000 for the occasion.

"We want the whole community to come," said campus spokeswoman Kathy Bonilla.

City College, founded in September 1910, is winding down a centennial celebration that has honored its history, alumni, students, staff and contributions to the community. Officials recently completed the list of "100 Stars for 100 Years" by naming the final 22 honorees.

The convocation will be the last official centennial event. In part, it will honor the legacy of Charles L. McLane, who persuaded the local board of education to create the state's first junior college. McLane High School was named after him.

McLane's great-granddaughter, Beverly Brock, will accept an award honoring his efforts, Bonilla said. Also expected to attend is Jack Scott, chancellor of the California Community College system.

The convocation will include an academic procession, special seating for the college's centennial stars and a concert band.

Campus activities leading up to that event include a "Car Show by the Decades" on Sept. 7 and "Spirit Day" on Sept. 9. An art exhibit -- "Our Journey to Now" -- runs Aug. 23 to Sept. 17 at the college's Art Space Gallery.

Next Wednesday, City College officials will open a time capsule and also honor 18 of the final 22 members of the "100 Stars."

At 9 a.m., those honorees will receive centennial medallions, followed by the opening of the capsule buried near the college sign at Van Ness and McKinley avenues.

Bonilla said the capsule was planted in 1988 when the college unveiled the sign. Officials always intended to open it during the centennial, she said.

The final four named to the "100 Stars" list will be given centennial medallions at the Football Wall of Fame dinner on Aug. 29.

City College formally launched its centennial celebration last December. Originally named Fresno Junior College, it is the state's first community college and was only the second in the nation when it was founded.

Fresno City College -- as it has been known since 1958 -- opened with 20 students and now serves more than 25,000 each semester.