How DVC and the athletic hall of fame began

Steve Ward, Guest writer

How did our college get started?

It all began on December 14, 1948, when the voters of Contra Costa County elected there be a countywide college district. Initially, classes were offered in several locations in the county. The first classes in the eastern part of the county were held in Camp Stoneman in the fall of 1949. Diablo Valley College was originally named East Contra Costa Junior College and in 1957 its name changed. The final three names chosen from were Oakmont college (oak groves throughout Pleasant area), Contra Monte College (meaning across from the mountain) and DVC (the area in which the college is located). ECCJC, present day DVC has had athletic teams since the Fall of 1950 and first used local high school facilities to compete at before DVC got their own many year later.

Since 1949 DVC has grown from an enrollment of 200 full and part-time students to 20,000 today.

ECCJC became a recognized junior college when in the fall of 1950 it was moved to an abandoned elementary school on Alhambra Ave. in Martinez. A block and a half away from the school was a Campfire Girls’ building which served as a student lounge and cafeteria. A CIO Hall, courtesy of Oil Workers, Local 5, was the scene of P.E. Classes and assemblies. This was the home of ECCJC for two years.

The college was moved to its present and permanent location in the Fall term of 1952. Classes were held in 12 steel frame buildings. In the Fall of 1954, while awaiting completion of ECCJC’s first permanent building (Library), classes were held in circus and revival tents put up on the football field. The library was completed and first utilized in the spring of 1956. The second permanent building was Student Activities Building which was completed in 1957.

Football was first played on the DVC campus in 1970. The DVC swimming pool opened in 1969 and DVC had its first Track meet held at home in 1971. Basketball was first played at DVC in the gymnasium in 1957. The pond on campus was named Ruth’s pond, after Ferdinand Ruth who taught Zoology and Biology for ECCJC. Today, DVC has grown to support 17 intercollegiate athletic teams (9 women/8 men). And a final fact is that almost all of the 115 California Community College’s have dropped their name of ‘Junior’ college. Nowadays the name simply reflects the community or city where the college resides.

The DVC Athletic Hall of Fame was started in 2005. DVC’s Hall of Fame recognizes not only past athletic excellence but also celebrates what these student athletes achieved after their education was completed and playing days were over.

DVC’s Hall of Fame has inducted All-State players, Conference MVP’s, record setters as well as former MLB and NFL professional. More importantly, DVC has enshrined former student athletes who became four year college graduates, teachers, coaches, firefighters, fire department captains, police, sheriff personnel, military, government employees, health professionals, and business owners. Even to the current California State University system chancellor, Tim White.

A biography of each individual or team who has been inducted can be found on the DVC athletics website.