Dorothy Stilling, Alumna, First Graduating Class

[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.

Natalie Holtzman, Alumna

I wouldn’t be anything without it (education).  When I see a person and they tell me, “Hh, I can’t go to school because…”  You know, just go, because I want everybody to be educated.  I just– I adore people being able to think.  They think– they think that they’re going to really learn something and it’s going to make them be something and do something.  That’s not what it’s about.  It’s about learning how to learn.  It’s opening up the doors and showing you where to go to get the learning that you need, so that you can develop the thing that you want.  So that you can get the thing that you want.  So that you can think about the thing that you want.  I promote that constantly, I’ve never lost that.  I have a great love for knowing everything there is to know.

I was on the campus newspaper, and I advise everybody to do at least one semester on the campus newspaper.  I advise my grandchildren.  One semester is all you have to do, because you will get to know everybody and everything about how the school works, and that’s what I adored about being on the paper.  I was on the Pierce [College] paper also, and I was on the paper here [the Sundial].  I was on the magazine [Scene Magazine] and the magazine we put out. . .  I believe was either the first in the country, or at least the first for CSUN, that was dedicated totally 100% to women, and it was at the height of the latest women’s movement, because the women’s movement never stops.  It’s ongoing.

Amy Reichbach & Edward Reichbach, Alumni

Hi, I’m Amy Reichbach.  I am an alum of Cal State University Northridge.  I graduated in 1977.  I now work here as a health educator in the Klotz Student Health Center.  I love being a health educator.  I have contacts with students from – I’ve been here 19 years now as a staff member – I still have contacts from at least 12 to 15 years ago.  Students stay in touch with me.  People still say, you know, “You made a difference in my life,” and that’s what I like about my job.

I think the other thing that helped motivate me was when I came here, one of my mentors was the woman for whom the Health Center is named, Addie Lou Klotz, and I met her through my journalism teacher . . . I met her when I was still in high school, and she encouraged me to come here too, and she encouraged me to be in Health Sciences.  She was the first director of the Student Health Center here.  And so she was the first director.  She mentored me, she taught me a lot about being in health education.  She was the first person I knew that had an MPH, a masters in public health, along with her MD degree, and I adored her.  I was here for groundbreaking [of the Klotz Health Center], I wanted to come and work for her.

. . .

[Even though CSUN has grown] there are things that galvanize the community.  In 1992, I think and again in ’95 I spearheaded a drive to bring the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt to campus, and it was a collaborative effort.  The premise had to be that nobody got charged any money to come view the quilt.  So everything had to be donated, and what I found in terms of building relationships — from President Blenda Wilson on down, in those days — is it’s still possible to do that, no matter how big you are.  I got to know people on all levels, from the custodial staff up to the president’s office, to make this event happen, and everybody cared about it and everybody came.  It was possible, even in those times, to build relationships that cross all levels of campus and everybody knew everybody for a common goal.  I think those things are still possible, despite how big we are.

CSUN Stories – Ed Reichbach Interview

I am Dr. Edward Reichbach (I differ with my daughter, I go with the original Austrian pronunciation).  I graduated with a Master’s.  I went on and got my doctorate and wound up teaching at Florida International University in Miami, and I credit Cal State Northridge — now — with getting me into administration because that’s what my degree was in, and that helped me immeasurably.

When I first came here this was a branch of L. A. State College [now CSU Los Angeles]. It was orange groves and Devonshire Downs which was a state or county fairgrounds.  It was large tents, tentlike buildings, and all of a sudden there were portables dropped.  There were many veterans like myself attending.  There were also people who lived at this end of the valley who didn’t want to go all the way back to Vermont Ave. to go back to L.A. State and since the branch was open and it was accredited, we could finish our degrees.   All this — there were  wheat fields along Sepulveda Blvd. and as you climbed the hill, it was ranches, cattle. . . And to see a small college starting here was just amazing to me. I always thought this would be rural for the rest of my life.

I remember Delmar [Oviatt].  He was the first Dean of the College of Education — I think it was the School of Education, because there were no doctorates at the time.  He was open.  You could talk to him anytime, because we were small enough.  And I remember going up the first time and seeing him and I said “Dean how are you?” and he says “Wait a minute I remember you, you were down on Vermont,” “yeah right,” and it was just an open, because we were small, everyone knew everybody, so it was really a nice way to fall into graduate school.

Hinda Lee Sheffer, Alumna

Hinda Lee Sheffer

I wanted to go to a state college. Let me say that– one of the questions you asked was,  “what was the most significant day for you?” It was my graduation day. My high school guidance counselor said I was not college material, I had to take a business class and I would never graduate from college. So for me, I was looking for something that was small and easily managed. After I went to junior college I came here, I did not want something mammoth like a UCLA. What I’ve seen today of this campus is nothing what it was like when I first came here. It was a small city — not even a small city —  it was just very small and very comfortable and very familiar. And now I see so many buildings and so many things, it’s so huge, compared. You have a three or four story parking lot. We had outdoor parking lots that, you know, that might be filled. So that was one of the things I wanted. I wanted a smaller school, which is what this afforded me at that time.

Even though I only lived over the hill, I wanted to stay in the dorm and it was very exciting for me. My sister had lived in a dorm in college and I wanted the same experience. It was all so new. I was with the big kids, so to speak. To be quite honest, most of my memories are centered around the dorm life, although I have some wonderful memories of the school life also.

[Living in the dorms was] very much like a sorority of sisters. We had interesting things. Like if someone got engaged, there’d be a message on the bulletin board, there’s going to be a candle-lighting tonight. They’d pass around a candle with an engagement ring on it and when it got to the girl who was getting engaged she’d blow it out. Oh, and we’d cheer and have a bridal shower and all that stuff. Which today sounds like totally ridiculous I’m sure, but in those days that was something you did if she got pinned or she got engaged. And there was a big social hall where we did that.

They had what’s called a panty raid. And if you’re not old enough you don’t know what a panty raid is. It’s when the guys break into the dorm and steal all the girls panties and then the next day. . . I have a photo of it with me, and the panties were all strung from the Sierra Hall tower. I for whatever reason locked my door, and then ended up because I was judicial vice president, I ended up helping the police type up a report and everything. The best part of it is, they gave us a party afterwards. You know, like a “we’re sorry” party.