Highlights in SBVC History 1958-1967
The Sheffield Presidency: 1958-1966
Herman Sheffield, Valley Colleges fifth president, well deserves to be called "The
Builder." In his eight-year tenure, the campus was enlarged to its present size. Seven
major buildings were constructed, and the students, faculty and staff more than doubled
During President Sheffield's first month in office, the Board of Trustees adopted
a master plan for expansion of the campus to Grant, Esperanza and "K" Streets. Most
of the residences acquired were sold and moved, but a few were used as offices and
classrooms until other permanent buildings were constructed. One was used to exhibit
artwork and was known as the "Little Gallery." The Faculty Association requested that
one of the homes be utilized as a faculty club, but it was used to house the Nursing
The campus was further enlarged in 1963 with the purchase of the Fairview School property
on Grant Street. The buildings, acquired for $40,000, were converted to college use
for horticulture classrooms, and to provide space for such services as warehousing,
shipping and receiving, and the college print shop. The chemistry building was completed
in the fall of 1958, and construction of a business education building began in 1960.
The swimming pools were finished in 1962. Construction of an addition to the library
also began in 1962, after considerable board discussion as to its location. When the
construction contract was awarded, the Board was assured that another building of
similar design would be built on the corner of Richardson and Mt. Vernon to "balance"
the more modern look of the addition. A new art building was initially considered
for the site, but a decision was later made to construct a combination lecture/forum
and office building on the site. An art building was completed in 1964, as was a new
technical building. The Women's Gymnasium was finished in 1965, and the Physical Science
building was finished a year later.
One of the achievements for which Dr. Sheffield will be remembered was the development
of the college's educational television station. In his first year as president, he
began advising the Board of Trustees of the educational possibilities of the new media,
and of the desirability of acquiring one of the designated educational UHF channels
for college use. Since it was possible that much of the cost of this proposal would
be covered by special grants, the Board authorized application for a channel assignment.
Student activities during the early Sheffield years generally followed the traditions
established in earlier years. An annual "bed push" race was introduced in the early
1960s. The contest was first held on Richardson Avenue, which at the time bisected
the campus. Later, the walkway between the Administration and Business buildings was
For many years, graduation week activities included a special breakfast for the graduates.
In 1962, a number of the faculty volunteered to act as waiters at this breakfast,
and a tradition was established that continues to the present day.
A decrease of interest in student activities gradually developed throughout the 1960s.
In the spring of 1960, the Student Council decided to discontinue the publication
of the college annual due to lack of student interest and support. Opposition was
voices to provisions of the student dress code, and in 1965 a student petition was
circulated asking that the right of men to wear long hair and beards be guaranteed.
The McDaniel Presidency: 1966-1967
Dr. Sheffield left his presidency on November 1, 1966 to become the Superintendent
of the Ventura Community College District, and John Wesley McDaniel was appointed
to replace him. Although McDaniel served only one year as the president of Valley
College, his impact was impressive and long lasting. After seventeen years at Bakersfield
Junior College, he joined the Valley College staff in 1944 as the Director of Student
Personnel and Curriculum. In an administrative reorganization in 1957, he was named
the Vice President for Student Curriculum. Three years later, he became the Vice President
for Instruction. When he assumed the presidency of Valley College in 1966, he already
had forty years of experience in junior college education.
"Mac" encouraged innovation and diversity. If a faculty member had plans for a new
and promising educational program, Mr. McDaniel could usually be counted upon to be
supportive. "Mutual trust and shared responsibility" was his motto and the basis of
his administrative philosophy. He constantly stressed the role of the college as a
service center for community educating, stating that "a junior college should aim
at creating a great community, rather than creating a great college."
During this year, the program to bring visiting lecturers to the campus was encouraged
and expanded. Such distinguished personalities as Richard Gardner, Henry Kissinger,
Howard Thurman, John Ciardi and Sir Bernard Lovell were guests on the campus.
In retrospect, the 1966-1967 year appears to be one of transition from the earlier
"Joe College" years to the later ones of student political activism. Although there
were still activities like the Annual Bed Race, the Tricycle Grand Prix and a turtle
race, a series of special student forums also aired views on abortion, LSD and the
draft. McDaniel sense the growing concern and scheduled two hours each week to meet
with students in an "open forum."
Much of President McDaniel's time was devoted to the planning of a second campus in
Yucaipa, and of the new district administrative organization that must necessarily
result. At the March 1967 Board meeting, a new multi-campus district administrative
organization was approved, with three administrators of equal status (the two college
presidents and a business manager) reporting directly to McDaniel, who was named District