Bill Kelly (1969)


Bill KellyVice Chancellor Bill Kelly

I was hired September 1, 1969. School was delayed until October due to construction issues. School opened in mid-October with no paved parking lots. The college had moved from the Mission Hospital site in the summer of 1969. Human Resources was located at an elementary school in Laguna Niguel. To get the semester days in for fall 1969, the final exams were given up through New Year’s Eve.

Twenty-six years later when I retired, I had seen the college grow from less than 1,000 students to over 33,000 including Irvine Valley College. I had been a counselor, teacher, director, dean, vice-president and finished my career as the Vice-Chancellor of Administrative Services. I have returned during retirement to three different dean assignments within the district.

I have some wonderful memories of my tenure with the district. First, the professional colleagues I had the good fortune to meet and work with and the lifetime friendships I’ve developed. The students have always been of the highest caliber and the community in which Saddleback serves is beautiful to live and work within.

The memories have not all been pleasant. However, it brought the college together in many different ways. The early years were so much fun. The faculty was small and there were many social events such as boat rides in Newport, swimming parties, pot-luck dinners and year end functions. So many events were lost as the college grew. There are so many memories over the 26 years: the streaker at the 1971 graduation, the national award-winning speech team, the theater and drama productions, summer stock, incredible success in our athletic programs, and numerous students who have gone on to higher degrees and successful careers throughout our state and nation.

I had the privilege to help develop the Child Care Center, Student Health Center, E.O.P.S. and the golf driving range. To have the opportunity to work at a new community college and be a small part in so many programs and policies is an unbelievable experience.

I’ll always cherish Saddleback College as an outstanding place to learn and a wonderful place to work. I have worked for five different districts since I retired and everyone has the highest praise for Saddleback and the quality of instruction, faculty and staff which makes Saddleback so special.

In 1968 when Saddleback was organized to today (2013) it has the reputation as of one of the premier community colleges in our state. I’m proud to say I was a small part of it.