Sixth Annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony a Great Success
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 14, 2017
Media Contact: Aya Abelon, Public Affairs; (562) 653-7878
NORWALK, Calif. – March 14, 2017 – The Cerritos College Hall of Fame inducted its 2017 class on March 2 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Norwalk.
Cerritos College President/Superintendent Dr. Jose Fierro welcomed more than 300 people to the dinner. Steve Richardson, executive director of the Cerritos College Foundation and Community Advancement, served as master of ceremonies. Attendees enjoyed a special meal planned and prepared by students and staff in the Cerritos College Culinary Arts Department.
The seven inductees received special crystal awards and proclamations from the offices of Assembly Member Ian Calderon (District 57), Assembly Member Cristina Garcia (District 58), California Senator Tony Mendoza (District 32), and the City of Downey Council Member Blanca Pacheco.
Event sponsors included: Diamond Sponsors Edison International and Tilden-Coil Constructors; Silver Sponsors Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo, The Chugh Firm, Marukan Vinegar, Parker & Covert LLP, and California Senator (District 32) Tony Mendoza; Falcon Sponsor P2S; and donors Mr. Max Freifield, Mr. Mark Logan, Dr. Walter Magnuson, and Dr. Hillary Mennella.
The 2017 Cerritos College Hall of Fame Inductees:
April Brown - Distinguished Female Athlete (Track and Field)
As a sprinter on the Cerritos College track and field team from 2002-03, April Brown set and broke her own record in the 100-meter and 200-meter numerous times. She went on to win the state championship in the 100-meter both years, while she won the state title in the 200-meter as a sophomore. April is the only sprinter in Falcon history to win the state championship in either event. She transferred to California State University, Los Angeles and won the 2006 NCAA Division II 60-meter Indoor National Championship with an NCAA Championship record time of 7.43. After graduation, April earned a bachelor’s degree and is currently working in the medical field.
Lorenzo Ramar - Distinguished Male Athlete (Basketball)
From 1976-78, Lorenzo Romar was a men’s basketball player and earned All-South Coast
Conference recognition as a sophomore at Cerritos College. He was recruited to play
at the University of Washington before being drafted by the Golden State Warriors
in the NBA and had a five-year professional career that saw him play for three teams.
Lorenzo then embarked on his coaching career after a stint playing and coaching for
Athletes in Action. He is currently in his 15th season as the head coach at the University
of Washington, and has guided Washington Huskies to three Sweet 16 appearances and
nine post-season appearances. Lorenzo was named the PAC-10 Coach of the Year twice,
and the PAC-12 Coach of the Year in 2012.
Jeff Smith - Distinguished Coach (Wrestling)
After spending 21 years as the Cerritos College wrestling coach, Jeff Smith spent
seven years as the department’s Athletic Director before retiring in 2008. In his
time as the wrestling coach, Jeff led the Falcons to 12 South Coast Conference championships,
one State Championship (1995) and two dual meet state championships. As a collegiate
wrestler, Jeff was a State Champion and All-American for the Falcons during the 1966-67
season. He then moved onto Michigan State University where he was a two-time Big Ten
Champion and named the conference’s Most Outstanding Wrestler. Also a two-time All-American,
Jeff went on to win national titles and was a four-time USA Wrestling All-American.
He was also Pan American Games gold medal winner in free style wrestling and was an
alternate on the 1972 Olympic Team.
Patrick Schwerdtfeger - Distinguished Alumnus (Class of 1969)
Recognized as one of the most successful community college forensic coaches in the
state and nation, Patrick Schwerdtfeger began his illustrious career at Cerritos College
where he developed an aptitude for competitive debating. Pat also participated in
student government, receiving a Silver Falcon award for his service. After earning
his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, Pat shared his craft and knowledge with students
at Palomar College for 33 years. He then promoted through the college administrator
ranks, serving as Vice President of Academic Affairs at Riverside City College in
2007. Although retired since 2011, Pat continues to contribute to community colleges
both in- and out-of-state in interim positions. In fall of 2011, Pat served as interim
Dean of Technology, and Liberal Arts at Cerritos College.
Donna Miller - Distinguished Faculty (Speech Communications)
Donna Miller began her teaching career at Cerritos College in 1972 as the Director of Forensics. Under her direction, the speech and debate team won numerous state and national awards. During her 38-year tenure, she served as professor, department chairperson, and instructional dean of Liberal Arts, interim Executive Dean of Community, Industry, and Technology Education, and interim Vice President of Academic Affairs. Along with her on campus leadership roles, Donna served off campus as president of the National Community College Forensics Association, and directed both the National and California Forensics Tournaments. Donna also served for 20 years as an elected trustee of the Buena Park Library District, and 19 years as a trustee on the North Orange County Community College District Board of Trustees. Since her retirement in 2010, she remains committed to the success of California’s community colleges.
Tilden-Coil Constructors Inc. - Distinguished Corporate Partner
Tilden-Coil’s foundation is one of integrity, visionary thinking, and moderate controlled
growth. They are committed to carrying on the culture that began in 1938. Tilden-Coil
has a committee made up of passionate individuals who guide their philanthropic activities.
Tilden-Coil Cares has raised over $650,000 for local charities and community organizations.
As a standing Title Sponsor for the Cerritos College Foundation Golf Classic, Tilden-Coil
proudly supports the Foundation and the value it brings through its many programs.
Tilden-Coil expanded the educational partnership with Cerritos College beyond the
construction of the structure, and helps build the futures of its students through
internships, mentoring, and real world experience.
John Jackson – Distinguished President’s Award of Excellence (Professor Emeritus of Automotive Technology)
Hired in 1957 as one of Cerritos College’s original faculty members, John Jackson played a key role in the development and transformation of the College’s Automotive Technology program. Throughout his 34-year tenure, John worked tirelessly to advance the program, cultivated key relationships with industry experts, and established long-term partnerships with major automotive conglomerates, many of which are still in place today. He was instrumental in procuring and implementing training programs with General Motors, Chrysler, and Ford providing students with highly marketable experience in the workplace. Although John retired in 1991, he continues to contribute to the College, the program, and automotive students through generous donations to the Foundation and establishment of a scholarship fund.
Congratulations to the 2017 Hall of Fame inductees! 2017 Hall of Fame program
About Cerritos College: Cerritos College serves as a comprehensive community college for southeastern Los Angeles County. Communities within the college’s district include Artesia, Bellflower, Cerritos, Downey, Hawaiian Gardens, La Mirada, Norwalk, and portions of Bell Gardens, Lakewood, Long Beach, Santa Fe Springs and South Gate. Cerritos College offers degrees and certificates in more than 180 areas of study in nine divisions. Annually, more than 1,200 students successfully complete their course of studies, and enrollment currently averages 23,000 students. Visit Cerritos College online at http://www.cerritos.edu/.