Gavilan College on lookout for 1967 alumni

100th GALA celebration in September

Gavilan College is digging deep into its roots for the upcoming 100th Centennial Gala celebration and wants to honor its Class of 1967, the last graduating class from when the community college was located in Hollister.

“It’s proven extremely difficult to locate alumni as there isn’t a database with their names,” said Gavilan Joint Community College District Trustee Irma Gonzalez, who did find an old program from the 1967 commencement. “We’re hoping that perhaps someone will recognize a name of a relative or a friend and contact us.”

In that 1967 class, there were 149 graduates listed on the program, with 87 earning an associate in arts degree, 29 an associate in science degree, 12 a certificate in aviation, 11 a certificate in business, and five in each cosmetology and drafting.

Gonzalez, who was elected to the Gavilan board in November 2018, and her husband are both Gavilan alumni; he served on the Gavilan Student Senate during his time there. Gonzalez’s brother-in-law Raul Gonzalez was the last Associated Student Body president at Gavilan’s Hollister campus.

“It’s been a long road making contact with our alumni, many who are unaware of our Gala,” said Gonzalez, who can be reached at [email protected]

The “Gavilan Through The Decades” Gala event, set for 5:30-9pm Sept. 7 at the 5055 Santa Teresa Blvd. campus in Gilroy, will allow attendees to look back at its first 100 years.

Gala guests will take a nostalgic and informative stroll through the decades of Gavilan’s history from the 1920s to today. Each decade will feature areas of academia highlighted with education tables, as well as food stations with themed food from each decade, wine stations, live music, photo booths, students in period costume, formal portraits, live auction, silent auction, strolling card magician in a tuxedo and a string quartet.

“We are really looking forward to this celebration, and look forward to welcoming the community to campus for the party of the century,” said Gavilan President Kathleen Rose.

Faculty member Leah Halper found and interviewed some of the early alumni, including Muriel Brem and Norma Trevino, but Gavilan is looking for more, and for artifacts (photos, class schedules, publications) from San Benito Junior College.

Alumni are invited to submit information, memories, and stories at gavilan.edu/about/foundation/your-galivan-college-experience.php.

Alumni  stories will be showcased at the Centennial Gala on Sept. 7.

Gavilan College was originally established in 1919 as San Benito County Junior College and operated under that title until 1963, when a new community college district was drawn that included both San Benito and southern Santa Clara Counties. A successful 1966 bond measure then funded the construction of the present main campus in Gilroy. In the spring of 1997, instructional sites were added in Hollister and Morgan Hill. Most recently, Gavilan opened its Coyote campus on Bailey Road, home to the public safety training academy and other programs such as Drone Technology.

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