The Campus Center at San Bernardino Valley College now bears the name of Lois Carson, the first person of color elected to the San Bernardino Community College District Board of Trustees.
Twenty-four years a district leader, Carson died last year shortly after turning 90.
With Carson’s son and granddaughter in attendance, as well as several local elected officials, district and college representatives unveiled the Lois Carson Campus Center Nov. 4.
In a news release, Chancellor Diana Z. Rodriguez called Carson “a community giant.”
“She was an angel among us for all the good she did for people,” Rodriguez continued. “We recognized the debt we owed her for her lifetime of selfless service to our students and community.”
Carson, a 1965 San Bernardino Valley College graduate, was in Cal State San Bernardino’s first graduating class two years later.
She was a teacher and director of UC Riverside’s Upward Bound, helping low-income high school students prepare for college.
Carson was a deputy director of San Bernardino County’s Community Action Partnership before serving 30 years as executive director of the same organization in Riverside County.
She is credited with founding the San Bernardino County Status of Women Commission, the Inland Empire section of the National Council of Negro Women, the Ladies Auxiliary of the Knights of Peter Claver, and Black Future Leaders, according to the release.
“I hope that when students see her name on this building, it will cause them to do a Google search or ask themselves, ‘Who is Lois Carson?’” SBCCD Trustee Joseph R. Williams said in the release. “What I hope they gain from it is the understanding of the spirit of service and the charge to get involved in San Bernardino and our region.”
Carson, whose mentees include former Assemblywoman Wilmer Amina Carter, former SBCCD Trustee Beverly Powell and San Bernardino City Unified School District Trustee Danny Tillman, is a 1997 inductee to the San Bernardino Valley College Hall of Fame.
She remains one of the community college district’s longest-serving representatives.
“I saw her as someone I wanted to be like when I grew up,” Carter said in the release. “I wanted to be just like her.”