Orange Coast College President Margaret Gratton Retires
March 4, 2002
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OCC'S PRESIDENT, MARGARET A. GRATTON,
ANNOUNCES INTENTION TO RETIRE
Margaret A. Gratton,
Gratton, 64, has been a community college educator and leader for 32 years.
She spent 26 years in
"When I was a child my mother used to say, 'Always leave the party while you're having fun.' I'm still having fun, but it's time for me to seek a greater balance in my personal life and complete some other professional goals.
"I've thoroughly enjoyed my time at
As she prepares to leave the college, Gratton says she is gratified by the fact that most of the institution's goals over the past six years have been achieved. During her presidency, OCC's enrollment increased by almost 3,000 students. The college enrolled 25,176 students during her first semester on campus. Enrollment last fall was 27,907, and is expected to top 28,000 this spring.
She also hired a hundred new faculty members during her tenure, and secured 20 new full-time faculty positions.
"Those positions have strengthened our faculty and have brought new energy and vitality to the campus community," she said.
In January of 2001, the college received a full six-year accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
OCC's Foundation has just completed its most successful year ever, raising
nearly $3 million in cash and in-kind donations. The college recently began the
2002 calendar year with a $1 million gift to construct a new $2.5 million Arts
Pavilion on campus. Ground breaking will take place next fall. The college's
high-tech $15 million, 78,000-square-foot state-funded
"We've built new buildings, renovated and retrofit older ones, completed our all weather track, and have significantly expanded our technology network," she said.
Online learning has also mushroomed during her presidency, and nearly 2,000 students are currently enrolled in online, Internet classes. Service Learning, a program that has provided 6,000 OCC students with an opportunity to earn academic credits while contributing service to a variety of community agencies and organizations, was launched under her leadership.
The college's Honors Program has expanded dramatically, and the
Outreach and transfer initiatives have increased during her six-year
presidency and, this year, OCC became the state's leader -- out of 108
community colleges -- in transferring students to
The college also celebrated its 50th anniversary during her tenure.
Last fall, Gratton received the 2001 Outstanding President Award from the California Community College Council for Staff and Organizational Development . She was cited for making "significant contributions to staf and organizational development through outstanding leadership on campus and statewide."
She was one of 22 founding members of the American Association of Women in
Community Colleges. In 1997, she was named one of
She is a member of the advisory board of the National Institute for
Leadership Development, and serves as an accreditation evaluator for both the
Northwest Commission on Colleges and the Western Association of Schools and
"We have supported one another through cycles of joy, and sorrow and loss, including the tragedy of September 11, 2001," she wrote Monday (March 4) in a letter to OCC's faculty and staff. Staff members were caught by surprise at her announcement. It wasn't anticipated.
She is proud of the accomplishments that have been realized, and admits that
leaving the college won't be easy.
"I have been blessed with significant support from the Board of Trustees, the District, and OCC's administrative team, faculty and staff," she said in her letter. "What has been accomplished during the last six years we did together.
"I have come to love
Gratton began her community college career in 1968 as a composition and
literature instructor at
A native of Idaho who grew up in Vancouver, Wash., just across the Columbia
River from Portland, Gratton earned B.A. and M.A. degrees in English from the
University of Portland. She also earned a master of science degree from
Gratton has three grown children and four grandchildren. In her spare time, she writes poetry and practices yoga.
1947-64 Basil H. Peterson
1964-82 Robert B. Moore
1982-84 Bernard J. Luskin
1985-89 Donald R. Bronsard
1989-95 David A. Grant
1996-02 Margaret A. Gratton
- Orange Coast College President Margaret Gratton Retires, PDF, 25.1 KB