From 1918 to 2018, SRJC begins 100 year celebrations

The culinary arts department supplied hand-decorated cakes for the event.

Rachel Edelstein, Managing Editor

Santa Rosa Junior College faculty, board members, educators, students and alumni gathered on Jan. 24 at Bertolini Hall to kick off the first in a series of events celebrating the college’s 100 year anniversary.

“I’m so proud and elated to see such a turnout. Many of the folks present worked here in the 50s and 60s,” said SRJC President Dr. Frank Chong.

Approximately 100 guests attended the event. The program featured musical performances and presentations about the history of SRJC.

The SRJC centennial campaign organizers announced that $7.75 million have been raised thus far towards the $15 million goal. The money will go towards student scholarships, internships, funding for research, classroom equipment and the future development of the college.

“It’s a cool time to be going to the college. I like seeing all the history,” said Harmony Simmons, 28, an English student.

Simmons works at the SRJC Foundation as an office assistant. The Foundation has been planning the centennial campaign.

“We were excited by the community’s generosity in supporting the campaign and we’re looking forward to an exciting year of supporting students, faculty, programs and the future of our college,” said Sarah Laggos, Director of Alumni, Annual Fund and Corporate Relations.

The first event was also an opportunity to celebrate with outside organizations that work alongside with SRJC.

“One thing that’s been really lovely the last few years is members of the JC working with Petaluma City Schools to get our students enrolled seamlessly,” said Sheri Chlebowski, Board President of the Petaluma City School District.

The event began with a cheer routine from SRJC Cheerleaders, followed by a welcome speech from SRJC President, Dr. Frank Chong.

Other speakers included Maggie Fishman, SRJC Board of Trustees President, and Sabrina Rawson, former Board of Trustees Student Trustee.

Two alumni received cheers and loud applause for their performance of a song from the Spring 2017 SRJC musical “In the Heights.”  

Several SRJC faculty members remained at the entrance to Bertolini Hall, refusing to attend, holding signs in opposition to celebrating 100 years while SRJC administration remains at an impasse with the All Faculty Association (AFA).

“Our department has decided to boycott any 100 year celebrations. The faculty are devalued while the administration just took a huge pay raise,” said Mark Ferguson, Math Department Chair.

Ferguson held signs that read, “Students taught by faculty: 25,630” and “Students taught by admin: 0.”

“In numbers, the district wants to cut the faculty salary by over three percent and that’s just after they gave themselves about a nine percent salary increase,” Ferguson said. “When we negotiate, we believe we’re being extremely reasonable and it was the district that walked away from the bargaining table.”

Centennial events will continue throughout the year:

Wednesday, January 31

100 Years in the Making: Featured Paintings by Current SRJC Petaluma Art Students

4:00 pm – 6:30 pm

Mahoney Library Gallery, Petaluma Campus

Free event

This exhibit, running from January 17th – March 15th,  highlights the exceptional talent of our SRJC students, taught by SRJC faculty on how to create stunning artworks. Student artists will be in attendance at the opening reception on January 31.


Saturday, February 17

Bear Cub Athletic Trust 100th Anniversary Polenta Dinner

Lawrence A. Bertolini Student Center, Santa Rosa Campus

Fundraiser for student-athletes and KAD Department

Details and tickets:

Thursday, February 22

Jesse Peter Multicultural Museum History Reception

1:30 pm – 3:30 pm

Jesse Peter Museum on the Santa Rosa Campus

Open to the public

Free event

This historical exhibit of the museum from 1939 to today runs from February 22nd to April 12th, 2018. The opening reception will include live demonstrations and speakers honoring the museum history, as well as light refreshments.


Monday, March 5, 2018

The Challenges of Creating the National Women’s History Project

speaker Molly McGregor, founder National Women’s History Month

10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Carole L. Ellis Auditorium, Petaluma Campus.

Free event

Wednesday, March 14

History of Women at SRJC: By the Numbers

speaker KC Greaney, director of Institutional Research, SRJC

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

Santa Rosa Campus:  Frank P. Doyle Library, Room 4245

Petaluma Campus:  Live video, Call Building, Room 602

Free event

Saturday, March 17

Three Dimensional Perspective, Draw the JC Buildings for its 100th Birthday

Community Education Class

10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Santa Rosa Campus

Class Registration

Christian Quintin, a French-born Artist and Santa Rosa resident, will offer a drawing workshop in the morning on the elements of perspective, and follow up in the afternoon by drawing various buildings on the Santa Rosa campus with graphite or colored pencils.

Thursday, March 29

Gaye Le Baron presents “What if women built a community college – and EVERYbody came?”

12:00 pm -1:00 pm

Santa Rosa Campus: Lawrence A. Bertolini Student Center

Petaluma Campus:  Live video (room TBA)

Free event


Thursday, April 5

“100 Years: Countless Stories” Reception

4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Herold Mahoney Library Gallery

Free event

This exhibit, running April 2nd to July 26th, features photos of Santa Rosa Junior College alumni and their stories on the impact SRJC has had on their lives.

Saturday, April 7

Bear Cub Athletic Trust 100th Anniversary and 20th in History Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Dinner

Wednesday, April 18

“Veritas” sculpture and time capsule

The Quad in front of the Frank P. Doyle Library, Santa Rosa Campus

Free event

A collaboration between SRJC students, instructor Michael McGinnis, a world-renowned artist and inventor, and The Engineering Club. Master sculptor McGinnis and his students will fabricate “Veritas,” a sculpture that reflects our search for truth with its labyrinthian pathway of interconnected elements. TEC students will build the time capsule and the base on which the sculpture will be placed.

Sunday, April 22

Apple Blossom Parade & Festival

Sebastopol, downtown

Free event

Sunday, April 28

Butter & Eggs Parade & Festival

Petaluma, downtown

Free event


Sunday, May 6

Day Under the Oaks & Foundation Dedication: 100 Years of Academic Excellence

Free parking and admittance

Food available for purchase

Saturday, May 19

Rose Parade

Santa Rosa, downtown

Free event

Friday, May 25

Celebrate CTE

Begins at 5:00 pm

John Surryhne Outdoor Stage, Graduation Lawn, Santa Rosa Campus

Free event

Join us for the third annual “Celebrate CTE,” as we honor students who have completed their career certificates during the 2017-2018 academic year.

Saturday, May 26

SRJC Commencement Ceremony

Free event

Thursday, May 31

100th Anniversary Celebration Dinner

Begins at 5:30 pm

Walter Haehl Pavilion, Santa Rosa Campus

May release

The History of Santa Rosa Junior College

Release date, location and event details to be announced

The History of Santa Rosa Junior College will be a new book of photos and images representing each decade of SRJC’s history.


Thursday, June 7

Building Community Breakfast

Physical Fitness Center, Building 800, Petaluma Campus

Additional reporting by Kevin Johnson.