COC Foundation | Bruce Fortine Honored as 2022 Silver Spur Recipient
The College of the Canyons Foundation celebrated Bruce Fortine as the 2022 Silver Spur Community Service awardee on Saturday, May 14, 2022 at a ceremony at Santa Clarita Studios.
From the COC Foundation’s website:
“After two years of postponement, it is with great joy and renewed enthusiasm that we look forward to celebrating Bruce Fortine for his legacy and lasting contributions to College of the Canyons,” said Chancellor Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook. “He has been a part of College of the Canyons since the very beginning. His character, commitment to the college, care for students, and connections to the community have been instrumental in shaping the development of our college. The Santa Clarita Community College District is deeply indebted to his tireless support, which spans more than 50 years.”
After an election that saw 72 candidates run for five available seats Fortine was sworn in on December 11, 1967, as a member of the original Board of Trustees along with William Bonelli Jr., Sheila Dyer, Edward Muhl, and Peter Huntsinger. That initial Board of Trustees named College of the Canyons (formerly referred to as Valencia Valley’s junior college district) on May 19, 1969.
Fortine served on the Board until July 1973 when he was hired as a COC employee and was required to resign from the Board of Trustees. During his time as a COC employee, Fortine created the Community Services/Non-Credit Department and also served as the Public Information Officer. He worked at COC until August 1978. In 1991, Fortine returned to the District when he was elected to fill a seat on the Board of Trustees, a seat he held until 2016.
Given his involvement with the college that stretches from its earliest days to its latest accomplishments, Fortine played a significant role in establishing the college as an innovative learning institution marked by ongoing excellence. He worked behind the scenes of on each of the college’s five local bond measures, the first of which was passed by local voters in 1970 and provided the funding to buy the land on which the Valencia Campus is located.
Fortine, who is affectionately referred to by many as “Mr. COC,” is well known for sharing his passion about the college, and connecting the college to resources and partnerships in almost every segment of the community.
Among the college’s key initiatives on which he worked are the capital campaigns for the Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center and the College of the Canyons Institute for Culinary Education. He was also instrumental in rallying support for the mid-1990s expansion of the college’s athletics programs, which included the revival of the college’s football team, as well as the addition of the women’s soccer team and the women’s golf team.
Fortine’s fundraising efforts on behalf of the college also include raising funds for the Dare to Dream Scholarship, the Re-entry program, the Legacy Giving Program, the Osher Scholarship challenge, and the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center.
In addition, Fortine made a tremendous impact on the college’s Foundation as the District Trustee’s liaison to the Foundation Board of Directors and recommended many new members for the Foundation Board.
For more information on the COC Foundation, click [here].(c) 2022 SCVTV
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