Chaffey College dean’s family is full of Black history firsts | News

Dean of Chaffey College, Dr. Michael McClellan, a graduate of Fontana High School, comes from a long line of college black history followers, with relatives including the first athletic coach of color, a co-founder of the Black Student Union and a deputy student government . president.

Overall, McClellan has more than 15 relatives who have attended college since the 1960s – and six were prominent campus leaders.

“I think it’s very humble,” McClellan said. “I am very proud of the family heritage we have here. It just really shows the importance and impact that Chaffey College has had on three generations of my family. “Chaffey really embraces people who would otherwise have no other chance of advancing in life.”

McClellan’s grandparents came to California from Texas in 1957 in search of the best opportunities. Two of his uncles – Theophilus “TC” McClellan and Harold Lynn McClellan – excelled in class and athletics at Chaffey.

TC McClellan became a record-breaking football star and Los Angeles Times All-American, and was named “Man of the Month” at Chaffey – later considered the highest honor for a student. He later earned a degree in mechanical engineering from Washington State University.

Harold McClellan competed against Lew Alcindor (later known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) in 1966 when Chaffey played against the UCLA’s new university basketball team. He was Chaffey’s first coach of color athletics and the first captain of the’s football team.

“Obviously they stood out because of the racial tension of the 1960s and because of the color of their skin,” McClellan said. “But they were extremely intelligent and driven to turn to the community and do positive things. “Being at Chaffey College paid off for them.”

McClellan’s cousin, Shirley McClellan, helped form Chaffey’s Black Student Union in the 1960s. blacks between faculty and staff. She served on the hiring committee that brought the first professor of color to Chaffey in late 1968. And she was one of the many student leaders who developed the concept of Chaffey’s “Action Center” – a forerunner of the Center for Culture and Justice Social – where students of all backgrounds could gather.

Other relatives included cousin Robert Leonard Spratt, who served as vice president of the Chaffey Associated Student Corps, and Robert’s sister, Linda Spratt, who was a member of Chaffey’s dance color guard team. Robert Spratt was named “Bachelor of the Year” in the 1960s, considered a high honor among students.

Another McClellan cousin – Sylvester McClellan – played basketball at Chaffey and was later admitted to Claremont’s College – a difference because the school only accepted one Chaffey student a year in the 1960s. He worked in the banking industry, becoming the first president of black of the Federal Credit Union 1st Advantage in the history of the organization. He praises Chaffey for his success.

McClellan, a Fohi graduate and four-sport athlete with six degrees and more than 20 years of experience in higher education, has also brought in a number of “firsts” for Chaffey.

Since the beginning of his tenure at Chaffey in 2018, he has helped launch the academic and college career communities, as well as Chaffey’s program maps – two key initiatives developed to help students navigate their college paths . He serves as Dean of the Departments of Counseling, Teaching Support and Kinesiology, Nutrition and Athletics.

He requested an archive search at Chaffey’s library in 2018 so he could learn more about his family’s connections to college.

“We were in the library archives looking at photos, newspapers and yearbooks. It really strengthened the reason why I had to be at Chaffey College, “he said.” It just let me know I was home. “

His family legacy continues today with Harold McClellan’s grandson Santiago Merlos, who has attended all of his classes at Chaffey virtually. Merlos, who will graduate this year with an associate degree in business administration and economics, earned his diplomas through the “College Promise” program, which allowed him to take all of his courses for free. He has already been admitted to 15 universities.

McClellan encourages other students of color to be active on campus, take advantage of all the resources and services available, and embrace the Chaffey experience.

“Real education is not just what you learn from a textbook or classroom,” he said. “This is what you learn from being around different people.”

Chaffey College dean’s family is full of Black history firsts | News Source link Chaffey College dean’s family is full of Black history firsts | News

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