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Madera Community College Has Eyes on $1 Million Prize



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Madera Community College is one of 10 finalists in “The Million Dollar Community College Challenge” by the Lumina Foundation, an Indiana-based nonprofit that strives to increase post-secondary educational opportunities for all.

The goal of the challenge is to help community colleges increase their marketing and branding efforts to capture the attention of adult learners. Just being a finalist has already netted Madera College the opportunity to obtain a $100,000 grant and technical assistance.

Madera, the newest and smallest of State Center Community College District’s four colleges, is vying against Long Beach City College and eight other colleges nationwide for the top prize, which will be announced in August.

The next step of the competition is submitting a video that communicates what Madera offers to adult students.

“Many in our community did not go to college right out of high school. But we know that a college degree leads to higher incomes,” Dr. Ángel Reyna, Madera’s president, said in a news release. “Through education, people in our community can change the course of their lives. And they can impact the future for generations to follow. We are grateful for this award and the opportunity it gives us to reach adult students.”

Also in School Zone: 

  • A task force recommends stripping Madden name from Fresno State’s library.
  • Central Unified celebrates the construction start on a new school.
  • Congratulations to Fresno State and its top undergrad and grad students.

Task Force: Take Madden Name Off Fresno State Library

In what seemed a foregone conclusion, a task force that has been examining the extensive personal papers of Fresno State’s library namesake Henry Madden is recommending that Madden’s name be taken off because of his racist and antisemitic views.

The task force released its 74-page final report on Wednesday, and it contained the findings that Madden expressed antisemitic and pro-Nazi views, some of them violent, prior to World War II; continued to express antisemitic views after the war; made racist remarks about Jews and other ethnicities as a university administrator; and that he donated his papers with the full knowledge that they contained antisemitic and racist statements.

Madden had put a 25-year embargo on his papers being made public. A Fresno State communications professor uncovered Madden’s leanings while working on a book about prominent Americans with pro-Nazi and antisemitic views.

Fresno State officials cannot unilaterally take Madden’s name off the structure, however. Because the naming came from a vote by the California State University Board of Trustees in 1980, the current board will need to make the decision on whether to take the name off — and whether to put a new moniker on the structure and its contents.

It will be hard to completely erase Madden’s name from the library, however. The 370,000-square-foot library, one of the largest in the CSU system, contains 1.13 million volumes, many if not most stamped with the name Henry Madden Library.

Work Starts on New Elementary in Central Unified

Tuesday was a big day for the folks in Central Unified School District. Officials gathered for a groundbreaking ceremony to herald the start of construction of the district’s new elementary school at Shields and Brawley avenues.

With new housing popping up west of Highway 99, Central’s schools continue to grow. The district’s new high school, Justin Garza High, opened last fall.

The two-story school, as yet unnamed, will have room for 750 students when it opens, and there will be capacity for more. It will have 31 classrooms, a multi-purpose room, library, baseball, softball and soccer fields, and basketball courts.

Architect’s rendering of Central Unified elementary school being built at Shields and Brawley. (Central Unified)

Kudos Go To …

  • Fresno State, for ranking No. 29 on Money’s 2022 Best Colleges List for quality, affordability, and outcomes, just behind No. 28 Cal Poly Pomona and ahead of No. 30 Cal State Fullerton. Fresno State was one of 11 CSU campuses in the top 50. It also ranked No. 25 for Best Public Colleges and No. 17 for Best College in the West.
  • Fresno State undergraduate Steven Hensley and grad student Audia Dixon, for being selected for Fresno State’s top academic honors for the Class of 2022. Hensley, of Merced, earned bachelor’s degrees in philosophy, pre-law option, and political science with a 4.0 GPA, and wrote two respective honors projects for his majors. Dixon, of Fresno, earned a master’s degree in art with a 4.0 GPA, and has been an instrumental artist in the community for many years.

Nancy Price is a multimedia journalist for GV Wire. A longtime reporter and editor who has worked for newspapers in California, Florida, Alaska, Illinois and Kansas, Nancy joined GV Wire in July 2019. She previously worked as an assistant metro editor for 13 years at The Fresno Bee. Nancy earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Her hobbies include singing with the Fresno Master Chorale and volunteering with Fresno Filmworks. You can reach Nancy at 559-492-4087 or Send an Email