The Sheffield Presidency, 1958-1966

Herman Sheffield, Valley College's 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 in numbers.

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 Department instead.

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.

1958 Television KVCR


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.

1958 Bed Push


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 used.

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.

President McDaniel and the Transition to a Multi-College District, 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 sensed 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 Superintendent.

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