Legends and Legacies: The First 100 Years of Fullerton College

Carlota F. Haider, Christina M. Mercer, and
Kaitlyn Sturgis-Jensen
Fullerton College
Fullerton, CA

Born a century ago, Fullerton College continues its history of providing higher education opportunities for diverse populations in Southern California. The college wanted a to showcase the challenges and achievements of its changing community as well as provide a platform to the diverse people who have lived, worked, and contributed to the growth of Orange County.

Legends and Legacies: The First 100 Years at Fullerton College at the Fullerton Museum Center launched the centennial celebrations of the oldest continuously operating community college in California. This exhibit explored the development of Fullerton College–from rural, agricultural roots to an urban/suburban community center. Legends and Legacies featured four sections: tradition and history, achievement and overcoming adversity, innovation and education, and a look to the future. Each section offered a glimpse into the way the college adapted to changes throughout the century, while providing a sense of the interconnection between institution and community.

Legends and Legacies explored a century of the American experience, particularly Orange County history, through the unique perspectives of Fullerton College’s students, alumni, faculty, and staff.  Documents, artifacts, audiovisuals, costumes, photographs, memorabilia, video biographies, and family treasures, give a glimpse of life at Fullerton College.

Through portrayal of the values of tradition, achievement, and innovation through its exhibits, Legends and Legacies hoped to foster awareness and a deeper understanding of how local history informs and shapes people’s lives. The exhibit explored the historical, social, and cultural growth of Fullerton College in Southern California, as well as the broad impact its alumni have regionally, nationally, and worldwide. The exhibit sought to inspire future generations for higher education, highlight higher education as an opportunity for achievement, and its success as a truly democratic American experience that is available to all.