Unveiling of Lois Carson Campus Center

It was a full house on Nov. 4, when San Bernardino Valley College dedicated the Lois Carson Campus Center.

The building was renamed in honor of Lois Carson, the first person of color elected to the San Bernardino Community College District Board of Trustees and its longest-serving member to date. An SBVC alumna from the Class of 1965, she spent decades mentoring Inland Empire students, and was passionate about ensuring everyone had access to a quality education.

The building dedication ceremony was attended by family, friends, mentees, local dignitaries, and others looking to celebrate Carson. SBVC Interim President Dr. Scott W. Thayer welcomed the crowd and introduced several speakers, including San Bernardino Community College District Chancellor Diana Z. Rodriguez, who called Carson "truly a community giant, a giant in our community, and more than that, she was truly an angel among us, with all of the good she did for people and all the good she held in her heart."

Carson died on July 14, 2021, just shy of her 90th birthday. The Board of Trustees voted unanimously to rename SBVC's Campus Center in her honor, after recognizing "the debt owed to her for the lifetime of selfless service to our students and to our community," Rodriguez said.

Several people who were close to Carson, including relatives and mentees, were interviewed for a video that played during the ceremony, and they spoke about her life and legacy. This was followed by remarks from her granddaughter Taylor Williams, who thanked the crowd for showing up and said it showed how much her grandmother's "influence spread in our community and how much she meant to the whole community."

Carson's work "is not done," Williams continued, and her "influence in our lives is still alive and thriving."

In addition to being a teacher, Carson was also deputy director of San Bernardino County Community Action Partnership and later executive director of Community Action Partnership of Riverside County. She served on the SBVC Foundation Board and created SBVC's Lois J. Carson Scholarship, and was honored in 2008 as theWoman of the Year in California's 62nd Assembly District.