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NORWALK – The Cerritos College Hall of Fame inducted its 2014 class on March 13 at DoubleTree by Hilton in Norwalk. Cerritos College President and Superintendent Dr. Linda Lacy welcomed more than 350 people to the induction ceremony.
“The Hall of Fame has become a distinguished tradition of Cerritos College,” said Dr. Lacy. “It is an honor to welcome these individuals and celebrate their achievements as we induct them into our Hall of Fame.”
Steve Richardson, executive director of the Cerritos College Foundation and Community Advancement, served as Master of Ceremonies. He thanked Diamond Sponsors Southern California Edison and LBS Financial Credit Union; Gold Sponsors GST, P2S and Tilden-Coil Constructors; and Silver Sponsors Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo and Union Bank for their generous support.
Attendees enjoyed the special dinner planned and executed by the Cerritos College Culinary Arts Department. Guitar Student John Conti entertained guests during the program.
As each of the eight honorees was inducted, an interview video footage was shown. A special crystal award was presented to each honoree. Proclamations from the City of Cerritos and from several offices of elected officials were presented to the inductees as well.
Reminiscent of previous years’ Hall of Fame dinner, the event had the warm feeling of a reunion of old friends. The honorees shared their memories as a Falcon and humorous episodes as each accepted his/her award.
The 2014 Cerritos College Hall of Fame Inductees:
Shelley Hall – Distinguished Female Athlete (Basketball)
Shelley Hall, who set three career records, two single-season records and countless single-game records during the 1984-86 seasons as a member of the Cerritos College women’s basketball team, was inducted into the California Community College Women’s Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame on March 13, 2004.
Shelley, who went on to play at Cal State Los Angeles, led the Falcons to their first-ever South Coast Conference championship and state tournament appearance. In her freshman year of 1984-85, the Falcons struggled to a 12-17 season, but watched Shelley break the single-season scoring record with 575 points and a 20.7 scoring average.
Yet it was in her sophomore season that the Falcons began their current 20-plus years of success and post-season accomplishments. The Falcons turned in a 25-8 record and won the conference title, as Shelley broke the scoring record she set the season before with 636 points (since broken) and averaged 20.5 points a game. Shelley still holds the record for most career points (1,221) during a time where there was no three-point basket.
Also a great defender, she set the school record with 64 career blocks as well as 191 career steals. In her 65 games, she scored in double-figures 63 times, which included streaks of 31and 25 games in a row.
While at Cal State Los Angeles, Shelley was a 3rd Team All-American her junior season.
Antonio McKee – Distinguished Male Athlete (Wrestling)
In his two seasons as a member of the Cerritos College wrestling team, Antonio McKee was unbeatable. He won a pair of state championships (1988 & 1989) while posting a combined 61-0 record, which is the second best all-time record in California Community College history.
In addition to his state titles, he won a pair of Southern California and South Coast Conference championships, while he was also victorious in both of his North/South All-State matches.
For his efforts, Antonio was a two-time 1st Team All-American and helped the Falcons finish in second place at the state championships, while they won the SoCal Championship and conference title his sophomore year. As a freshman, they won the conference championship and came in third place at SoCal.
At the conclusion of his collegiate wrestling career at Cerritos, he eventually went on to a successful Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) career, which includes fighting for SherDog (28-6 record) since 1999 and was also a Maximum Fight lightweight champion and fought in the World Fighting Alliance and UFC among others. He currently owns KOFightNight.com and helped bring the first MMA event to the Cerritos College campus. The response was overwhelming and the college will look to bring in more Antonio-sponsored events.
Nancy Kelly – Distinguished Coach (Softball)
From 1976 through 1997, Nancy Kelly served as the college’s women’s softball coach and led her teams to 502 career wins and the first state championship (1978) in California Community College history. She coached her teams to 15 Southern California Regional Playoff appearances and five South Coast Conference championships.
Prior to winning the state title in 1978, she led her team to a 27-3 mark and was the Southwest AIAW runner-up as well as the National AIAW runner-up.
Nancy came to Cerritos College after a storied high school and college athletic career that saw her get inducted into the Temple University Hall of Fame in 1982. While at Temple, Nancy was on the field hockey, softball and basketball teams, where she averaged 28.7 points a game and played on the 1962 World AAU basketball championship team.
Since her retirement, Nancy created the Nancy Kelly Academic Scholarship, which is awarded to a softball player who competed for two seasons and qualifies to transfer to a four-year college under NCAA rules. The scholarship has been given out annually since 2003 at the Foundation Golf Tournament.
After Nancy was hired, she quickly worked to get a dedicated field for women’s softball which was named in her honor in 2004.
Eric Draper –
Eric Draper attended Cerritos College after graduating from Cerritos High School. He credits Cerritos College with piquing his interest in photography as a career when he began working for Talon Marks, covering the basketball team for the newspaper.
He then transferred to Long Beach State in 1988 because of its strong journalism department. Eric served as President George W. Bush’s chief photographer for the entire eight years of his presidency, photographing him daily in his activities at the White House, abroad, and in his personal life.
He was named special assistant to the President and is the first White House photographer to be named a commissioned officer to a U.S. president.
During his tenure, Eric directed the photographic and archival conversion of the White House Photo Office from film to digital and took nearly one million photos documenting the presidency.
Carmen Garcia – Distinguished Classified/Confidential
With 42 years of service, at the time of her retirement Carmen Garcia served as the longest classified employee in the history of Cerritos College.
All of those 42 years were at the switchboard. In spite of the high volume of calls and the rapid-fire bombardment of questions both on the phone and at the Information Booth, Carmen always remained calm, reassuring and gave a friendly voice to a countless number of students. She was instrumental in assisting with the development and selection of the college telephone system.
Carmen was actively involved in CSEA and served as an elected officer for four years. In addition, she was instrumental in the development of the Classified Retreats, 7C’s, and Staff Development committee.
Well-respected by her colleagues, Carmen was voted as the Classified Employee of the Month in November 1990 and as Classified Employee of the Year in 1991. She was known as “The Voice of Cerritos College” and made a favorable impression on not only the students, families and colleagues, but also the community that the college serves.
John Boyle – Distinguished Faculty (Biology)
John Boyle began his teaching career at Cerritos College in September 1974. During his tenure he served as an instructor, department chairman, faculty senate president, interim dean and interim vice president of instruction.
He worked with the community and Cal State Long Beach in spearheading summer research for our students in the Bridges to Baccalaureate program. In addition, John led the President’s Emphasis on Transfer project in order to increase the transfer of our students to universities.
John’s students always gave him high marks as a highly qualified and well-prepared professor which earned him the Most Outstanding Faculty Award twice. In 2006, several colleagues worked with the Foundation to establish a scholarship in his honor to be awarded each year to an outstanding student in biology.
After his retirement, he has continued to teach on an adjunct basis. John is a faculty member who is highly revered by students, faculty, staff and administrators.
Southern California Edison – Distinguished Corporate Partner
Ron L. Litzinger, president of Southern California Edison (SCE), joined Edison as an engineer at SCE in 1986 and since has served in a variety of capacities throughout Edison International’s companies. Mr. Litzinger became president in January 2011.
Southern California Edison is one of the nation’s largest investor-owned electric utilities that safely provide reliable and affordable electricity to nearly five million customers in a 50,000 square-mile service area within Central, Coastal and Southern California.
A long-time supporter of higher education, especially at the community college level, Edison has awarded Cerritos College over $250,000 in support of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs, a generous scholarship program in support of green technology education, and most recently, funding for more scholarships through the Edison Scholars Program.
Nello Di Corpo- Distinguished President’s Award of Excellence
During the 36 years he devoted to Cerritos College, Nello Di Corpo truly made Cerritos College a “community college.” His favorite phrase, “We’re here to meet the needs of the community” just didn’t mean outside the walls of the campus, but within as well.
He strived to make Cerritos a college both staff and students could be proud of. Nello was a visionary filled with creativity, coupled with an amazing management style of service leadership, a dedicated staff, and a strong work ethic dedicated to the mission of Cerritos College.
Nello was hired as a full-time business education instructor in September 1956. He quickly became involved in the college’s Student Activities program and formed Phi Beta Lambda (the Future Business Leaders of America Club) on campus.
As the Dean of Community Services (now called Community Education) Nello was instrumental in the expansion of the Community Services Program and in the formation of the Cerritos College Foundation in 1979.
As the Dean of Community Education, Nello saw the value of collaboration by establishing a number of specialty advisory committees – fine arts, professions, city managers, senior citizens, chambers of commerce, and school district superintendents. It was through these advisory committees that a number of programs and were met with great success.
As a result of Nello’s leadership, Cerritos College was the first community college in the state to have its own community services building. Many of the programs he implemented are still offered today and remain highly successful.
Published: March 27, 2014 – Volume 12 – Issue 50