Monday, February 17, 2014

Foundation hosting homecoming event for retirees

The Foundation for Grossmont & Cuyamaca Colleges has its own take on the three R’s  -- “Revisit, Reconnect, Rejuvenate.”

That is the slogan of the 2nd Annual Homecoming Event for Retirees, a Feb. 20 get-together for former employees of the colleges and district, a resource of about 400 potential volunteers that the foundation would like to tap for a host of college events and programs.

Set for 2-6 p.m. at Grossmont College’s Griffin Gate, the event is free to retirees and guests, and includes faculty presentations, tours of the high-tech facilities funded by the 2002 Prop. R construction bond measure, a wine and hors d’oeuvres mixer, and an update by the foundation on upcoming retiree events.

 “Our retirees are always enthusiastic supporters of what we do to benefit students and the community, so this event is a way to let them know we value their involvement,” said John Valencia, associate vice chancellor of Advancement and Communications and foundation CEO. “We are calling this a homecoming because we regard our retirees as important members of the college and district communities. We welcome their return to contribute their considerable knowledge and talents.”

It is the desire to reconnect with colleagues that has Jan Ford, professor emeritus at Cuyamaca College, active in the foundation as the co-chairwoman of the retiree committee.

“I had a very good experience at Cuyamaca and with the district and I wanted to stay in touch with education,” said Ford, who co-chairs the retiree committee with Cristina Chiriboga, former vice president of instruction at Cuyamaca College. “I’m very excited about the positive response we’ve been getting from retirees planning to attend the homecoming. We hope to have other events to continue this relationship with those who have worked for the colleges or the district.”

Valencia said current faculty members and administrators are enthusiastic about inviting retirees and past colleagues back to the colleges to reconnect with students and coworkers.

“One purpose of the homecoming event is to familiarize retirees with the changes that have occurred, such as the new facilities, and to acquaint them with aspects of the colleges they may not have had involvement with during their time here as employees,” he said. “We hope it will be an exciting re-acquaintance and will bring back fond memories of their time here.”

Scheduled presentations by college faculty include:
  • Grossmont College’s Literary Arts Festival, a weeklong event that annually draws professional and developing writers to highlight their works
  • Cuyamaca College’s nature preserve, a restoration effort headed by the biology department
  • Grossmont’s Office Professional Training program, which provides unemployed students with up-to-date workplace skills and networking resources
  • The Coyote Music Festival, Cuyamaca College’s answer to Lollapalooza put on by students in the music industry studies program
To RSVP for the retirees’ homecoming event, call (619) 644-7109 or email