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From Cluster to Center
Long decades without a permanent home created a desire at San Joaquin Delta College to make its new campus something special.
Two key decisions were endorsed by College trustees in the fall of 1968. Though the campus would be one of the largest in California, the student population would be divided into five instructional centers.
The design of each center included a central open courtyard, snack bar and study lounge. The goal is to encourage students and faculty to develop activities according to their own interests, creating a healthy campus-wide diversity.
Cunningham Center and a portion of Budd Center were the first buildings to open in 1973, and had classes in physical and life science, public safety & services, computer science and printing.
The decision reflected the philosophy that all knowledge, as with all work, is worthwhile and not susceptible to "status." Students with greatly different backgrounds and career interests, musicians and mechanics-meet in the hallways, lounges and sometimes classrooms and learn to respect each other's values.
The Committee recommended the names of deceased, local historical people who had made significant contributions to education. And the College Board of Trustees agreed.
Cunningham Center, named after Sheriff Thomas Cunningham of the late 1800's opened in June, 1973. The center has Clever Planetarium, the only planetarium in San Joaquin Valley.
Holt Center was named after Benjamin Holt, developer of the belt tread tractor that helped make large-scale farming possible in this area's peat soil. Holt Center opened in the summer of 1974, and contains instruction in music, machine technology, heating and air conditioning, welding, engineering, and the only college electron microscopy lab in the nation.
Shima Center honors the memory of George Shima, who left Japan in the 1880's after failing his university exams and founded an agricultural empire on land reclaimed from Delta bog. The center opened during the spring semester of 1975, and offers instruction in agriculture and natural resources, broadcasting, fine arts, home economics (including early childhood education), business and photography. The Shima Gallery provides exhibits and displays in creative artistry.
Budd and Locke centers were completed in the fall of 1976, except for a vocational portion of Budd which opened in conjunction with Cunningham Center. James Budd was the only Stocktonian to become Governor of California. The center holds the physical education facilities, including a 3,000-seat gym and 50-meter pool.
Locke Center is named after Dr. Dean Jewett Locke, the man who founded Lockeford and the Lockeford School District. The center has instruction in nursing, business, drama, and includes a 400-seat main theatre and a 100-seat studio theatre. Atherton Auditorium holds over 1,400 people.
Three other campus buildings bear historical names. Goleman Library is named after Dr. Irving Goleman, a brilliant Delta teacher and thinker who believed no one was truly educated without experiencing the liberal arts. Danner Hall honors Helen Danner, Associate Dean of Students at Delta until her death in 1970. The hall contains student activities offices as well as the main cafeteria, a student-operated gourmet restaurant and bookstore. The road connecting the different campus areas is called Burke Bradley Road in the south part of the campus and Burke Bradley Drive in the north. Dr. Bradley was President of Stockton College in 1956 and presided over the separation of San Joaquin Delta College from Stockton Unified School District in 1963.
San Joaquin Delta College