Longtime West Hills Trustee steps down after 48 years on the board

From West Hills College
Edna Ivans
Edna Ivans
Photo courtesy West Hills College

After 48 years of service to the West Hills Community College District as a member of the Board of Trustees, Edna Ivans has resigned effective Monday, April 6.  She served on the board since June of 1967 and in nearly half a century has spearheaded and encouraged countless projects that helped to mold the West Hills Community College District. Along the way, she earned accolades for her support and work for the district.

 “Edna Ivans has served the district with distinction and is the longest serving community college trustee in the state of California,” said WHCCD Chancellor Dr. Frank Gornick. “She has served the college well and made an incalculable difference on the school. She leaves a lasting impression.”

 Ivans is memorialized as a permanent part of the West Hills College Coalinga campus as the women’s residence hall, Edna L. Ivans Hall, is named in her honor. She is intimately connected to this school by legacy as well. Her children and grandchildren both attended the school.

 In her time as a trustee, she has overseen immense changes in the district.

 This included the changing of Coalinga College’s name in 1969, the creation of an entirely new campus in 2002 in the form of West Hills College Lemoore, and a number of bond issues that led to building and expanding facilities throughout the 3,500 square mile district to serve residents in several rural communities. Among those are the North District Center, Firebaugh, and eight Child Development Centers in several cities, including one in Avenal where Ivans lives.

 The longtime trustee also confronted one of the most difficult challenges the district has ever faced: the possibility of closure in 1993. Amidst a financial crisis and in the face of buildings on the Coalinga campus rendered hazardous by an earthquake 10 years prior, Ivans helped push the district past the hurdle and lead its transformation into the nationally recognized educational powerhouse it is today.

 “I believe that we should all be willing to give something of ourselves and use our talents to achieve goals that will benefit the world around us,” said Ivans. “I truly regret that I can no longer continue in this role.”

 Ivans and her late husband, Nick, have been a fixture at district and college events in the time she has served. They could frequently be seen at graduations, fundraisers and everything in between. Nick died earlier this year.

 “Nick and I did not attend the many events that we were seen at because of duty but because we truly enjoyed being there and appreciated the friendship and warmth that we felt from the members of the West Hills College family,” she said.

 Ivans has been honored many times over for her efforts. She was named a Fresno Bee/YMCA Business/Professional Woman of the Year Finalist; Avenal Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year; Avenal Parent Teacher Association Life Member; and Advisor to the Good Neighbor Pharmacy Program of Bergen Brunswig Inc.  In 2011, she was also honored with a Spirit of Philanthropy award by the Valley chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

 Her professional affiliations include the American Pharmacists Association; California Pharmacists Association; Kings/Tulare Pharmacists Association; Delta Kappa Gamma; Avenal Business Association; Kings County Juvenile Justice Committee; and the Kings County Art Center Foundation Board. She is a retired pharmacist and alumna of the University of Southern California.

The Board of Trustees is now accepting applications for her former seat representing Trustee Area 3, until May 4. See the college website for more details.

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