December 2013 | Issue 1
Hundreds of stories told!
Early in 2013, the MJC Foundation began a campaign to identify and communicate with the alumni and friends of Modesto Junior College. We have identified over 55,000 people who received a degree or certificate from the college. We can’t reach everyone at once, so we are taking it one step at a time. In July, we reached out to about 10,000 alumni who graduated from MJC between 1945 and 1985. We invited them to share their stories to better understand the impact MJC has had on our graduates and our community.
What we are discovering has been remarkable! With more than 250 stories already submitted, we have an amazing picture of the impact this great college has had on its alumni and community! It’s
immeasurable! Here is just a taste of what we’ve read:
• “These instructors were my driving force to complete two BA degrees and forge ahead to graduate school.”
• “MJC allowed me to mature and made it possible to receive an athletic scholarship to UCLA.”
• “I met the woman who would become my wife at MJC. We have been married for 44 years.”
• “I am now a manager for a state agency and I honestly feel that MJC prepared me to become the man I am today.”
• “I was ‘mixed up’ needing direction and goals in life. I will always appreciate his help in turning my life around.”
• “Career preparedness, athletic development, and finding a life partner are all due, in part, to MJC. Quite a ride!”
For those of you who have shared your story…Thank You! We will be sharing many of these stories over the next two years. For those of you who have not had the opportunity to share your important story… never fear…you still have time.
My family has a long relationship with MJC. My father and uncle taught there. My parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings, and nephew all attended. When I graduated 6th in my class at Grace Davis High School, my friends thought it was beneath me to attend Modesto Junior College. Little did they know what an excellent college MJC is. I had the best teachers – Ben Starr, Jim Johnson, Lori Bryhni, Paul Neumann, Marsha Hoagland, Darrell Topp, and more. And, I saved a lot of money by not going to a fouryear university for the first two years.
I am so grateful that MJC is open to the community. Over the nearly 30 years since I graduated with my Associate in Science degree in engineering, I have continued my relationship with the college as a member of the Off-Balance Dance Company. MJC has an excellent dance program, which would hold its own against most four-year schools. I am proud and honored to be involved in such a program.
Click Here to tell us YOUR MJC Story!
I am happy to reminisce about my time and experience at Modesto Junior College, but first I want to establish a reference point that is important to me. The day after graduation on June 10, 1948, I commenced a 65-year marriage with Barbara Nesslage. It has been an exciting ride and we remember MJC on June 11th each year.
Modesto Junior College was an important interlude between three years on a U.S. Navy ship in the Pacific, and my exciting professional and educational years.
Having spent 50 years in the educational arena, I look back and consider that the professors and their teaching ability were a high mark in my experience. I particularly remember the bicycle-riding Dr. Pobantz, an unflappable teacher who passed his left hand over the top of his head to scratch or massage his right ear. Also, outstanding was math professor James Pierce. He insisted that I go to Stanford University rather than UC Berkeley. I had trouble with chemistry at Modesto High, but Ronald Julien soon convinced me that chemistry was not only interesting it was also understandable. In Professor Weinberg’s surveying class I learned how to step off 100 feet to within 6 inches—a requirement to pass his class. Dr. Herbert Florcken made American history interesting and his class served as a respite between technical courses. I even learned to play some tennis from Fred Earle, but it wasn’t enough to defeat my wife Bobbie two weeks later on our honeymoon. I should admit that I took a German class from Mr. Wilson, but some years later my family accused me of flunking my class after ordering at a restaurant in Germany.
Click Here to tell us YOUR MJC Story!
Earlier this year, due to a generous gift received from the James and Eleanor Morris Trust, the MJC Foundation was able to launch the “My MJC Story” campaign. We couldn’t be more pleased with the results! Our goal in the coming years is to identify, connect with and engage our alumni. You will be invited to campus events featuring performing and fine arts, the sciences, agriculture, technical education, the humanities, our civic engagement project, and community education (www.mjc4life.org), just to name a few. Join us and enjoy your community college.
We are partnering with campus programs to begin or enhance alumni efforts in athletics, fire science, agriculture, nursing and other areas where our alumni have the greatest affinity to MJC. The purpose of these efforts is to help our students and recent alumni find their path in life following their education at MJC. The MJC Alumni Association is another key partner in these efforts. Soon, we will be forming an alumni advisory council and we encourage your input and involvement.
I invite you to join us as we build a deep and lasting foundation of alumni involvement at MJC. Call me at (209) 575-6714 or e-mail me at email@example.com with your ideas.
George Boodrookas, Ed.D.