After more than five decades of service to students and the campus, counselor Gerald "Jerry" Sjule has retired from OCC, effective Feb. 1. Sjule began working at Coast on Sept. 1, 1962, and is the longest serving employee in the history of OCC and the Coast Community College District.
At the CCCD Board Meeting on Feb. 13, Chancellor John Weispfenning read the following letter from Jerry to the campus community:
My profound gratitude to the Board for recognizing my years of service on a college campus that was heaven to me for 55-plus years. I was blest beyond words to describe it. William James came close: "I would gladly pay Harvard for what Harvard pays me to do."
The mystique that was Orange Coast College in 1947 remains today — sturdy and strong. I am at once proud, forever humbled, and eternally grateful recalling the words given me at days end in the summer of 1962 by Basil Peterson, Norman Watson, and Robert Moore in turn: "Welcome Aboard!" Words that took on new meaning for me that day, meaning in the sense of wanting to be as welcoming to others as those three giants were to me.
Thank you, Board, and Boards of Trustees now past, for your caring and love for the Coast District to which you have given so forever unselfishly of time and effort to make as certain as possible that the future of this District remains as bright as were the promises of long ago. I deeply appreciate all you've done for the District as a whole, and most certainly for me. You have been transformative in every sense of the word.