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VALLEY FOCUS | Woodland Hills

50 Alumni Honored at College Festival

April 17, 1998|SYLVIA L. OLIANDE

Whether they spent one, two or five years on campus, were just out of high school or changing careers, the distinguished alumni honored this year by Pierce College have something in common--they all said the college changed their lives.

As part of its 50th anniversary festivities, Pierce College chose 50 of its best and brightest former students to honor for their achievement.

The alumni include people from all walks of life, from health care workers to athletes, teachers to TV producers. The list includes two men who died in combat in Vietnam.

Included among the alumni are Denny Crum, a student from 1955 to 1957, and Doug DeCinces, a student between 1969 and 1970.

Both men went on to careers in sports in the 1980s, Crum as a coach of two NCAA championship basketball teams and DeCinces as an all-star third-baseman with the California Angels.

The honorees also include Jack Burditt, who attended Pierce from 1979 to 1986. Although he began school as an oceanography major, Burditt became interested in journalism while at Pierce. He is now co-executive producer/writer for the NBC sitcom "Just Shoot Me."

The distinguished alumni, like most students today, enrolled at Pierce College for many reasons and at many different times in their lives.

Gary Orin Haase, a student from 1989 to 1990, entered Pierce right out of high school due to financial necessity. Haase now lives and works in Japan as a member of the Japan Exchange and Teaching program.

Marilyn N. Hankins was a reentry student who fit classes in while raising a family between 1972 and 1977. Until she retired recently, Hankins was the executive director of the Valley Cultural Center.

These and 45 other alumni will be recognized at a sold-out reception and dinner on campus on Saturday.

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