My Chico experience
After reading the article “Your Chico Experience” [spring 2010 Chico Statements, page 21], I was moved to share my story. While a participant in Chico’s first distance education classes using a satellite dish, I lived in Bridgeport, California, in the Eastern Sierras (pop. 500). Soon this changed to computer/internet classes. As an older student with a full-time job, I earned my bachelor’s degree.
Now I have a Master of Arts in Teaching and teach at Lincoln City Career Tech High School, a charter school on the Oregon Coast. Thanks to Chico State pioneering online classes with the best teachers, I am highly qualified in my field. To say I am grateful would be an understatement.
—Mary Ellen Griffing (BA, Social Science, ’03)
An outstanding professor
As a former student and friend of Dr. Lantis, I was delighted to read of his being named to the Emeritus and Retired Faculty Association Hall of Honor [spring 2010 Chico Statements, page 5]. Dave Lantis was the best of several outstanding professors. He encouraged me and many other students to continue our studies in geography. He, along with Dr. Art Karinen, was responsible for my receiving a National Defense Education Act (NDEA) grant to the University of Florida, where I earned a PhD in 1972.
Dr. Lantis’s influence on California geography was great, and he was well known throughout the United States. He is certainly deserving of any honors given him.
—Harlan Hawkins (AB, Geography and Credential, ’59; MA, Social Science, ’67)
Remembering a hero
I was saddened to read “A Casual Hero” [fall 2009 Chico Statements, page 31], which reported the death of John R. Hicks Jr. (attended fall ’75–spring ’80). From 1975–1977, I came to know John through our mutual classes within the communication department. John was larger than life. His friendly and outgoing personality made it easy for him to make anyone’s acquaintance. His laid-back demeanor was complemented by his infectious laughter.
John was an awesome chef, a fantastic piano player, and an all-around kind person. As I recall, he also worked as a DJ for local radio station KFMF. John had talents that knew no boundaries! I always felt he had the ability to live life to the fullest, and upon reading the myriad of John’s accomplishments, it seems he did just that.
—Iralene (Gilliand) Holbrook (BA, Visual Communication, ’77)
A spirit of activism
A friend recently sent me the article “Chico’s Radical Past” [fall 2000 Chico Statements]. I spent 10 weeks in the administration halls during “No Guns on Campus.” After the strike I ran for student body president and worked with The Wildcat (to become Chico News & Review) to get guns off campus. After graduation from Chico State, I went to law school at the University of San Diego, clerked for the California Supreme Court, was a staff attorney at the Court of Appeal, and entered private practice.
Now, in addition to my practice, I am an adjunct professor at the University of La Verne College of Law, and I sit as a judge pro tem when the courts need a hand. The strike helped instill a spirit of activism and a commitment to service in both my personal and professional life.
—Marian Tully (BA, Art, ’77)