Dorothy Stilling, Alumna, First Graduating ClassApril 22nd, 2009
[San Fernando Valley State College] had just opened when I came. I came from Valley Junior College [Los Angeles Valley College], over on Fulton Avenue. And I did two years there, and then realized that this was a good spot to come into, at the end of my two years, to complete my degree. That would have been in 1957.
Dr. Schwartz was the chairman of that department [Education], and he was also the main teacher in getting us into training. Everything I took was geared toward teaching. For example, the Music Department with Dr. Ryan was learning to teach music in the schools. And the same was true with the Physical Training [Phys Ed], which was Mrs. Fisher, as I recall — there again, we were given ideas about incorporating it into our teaching.
I was older, because I put my husband through college first, and then he decided that he would put me through college. . . I think I had an advantage as far as my age was concerned, because I thoroughly loved it, and I got a lot out of all my classes because I enjoyed coming and studying, so in that respect it [San Fernando Valley State College] had a lot to offer and I appreciated it as far as the professors and just being a new college was great for me too.
I think it’s been a fantastic thing for the valley to have this university and it seems to be better each year as far as things that are offered and then the community involvement as far as Northridge is concerned, I think it’s great. It’s a wonderful thing for our community.
It was just an overall wonderful accomplishment for me to be able to finish and get through in four years — which doesn’t happen too often. — and then also getting the teaching credential to me was like an insurance policy, so wherever we might go I could use it, and it wasn’t until two years ago that I stopped with my substitute work. I enjoyed that thoroughly throughout the valley.