Saturday, February 11, 2012

Memorial ceremony for Richard McCullough

Friends, family remember former Saddleback College president (OC Reg)

     Splashed across a screen above the stage at Saddleback College's McKinney Theatre were 20-foot-tall images of Richard McCullough, professor, former college president, father and friend. McCullough, who spent more than half his life at the college, died Jan. 31 at age 70 from colon cancer.
     Gary Poertner, Chancellor of the South Orange County Community College District, eulogizes former Saddleback College president Richard McCullough at a memorial ceremony in the college's theater Thursday. McCullough, a beloved professor at the college since 1971, died last week following a battle with colon cancer.
. . .
     Nearly 300 people packed the theater's seats Thursday as a four-piece band performed Glenn Miller tunes, McCullough's favorites. Behind that big smile, people said, was the mind of a first-class scientist and educator, and behind those twinkling eyes was a practical joker.
. . .
     Carol Hilton, the college's director of fiscal services, described McCullough's wicked – but wonderful – sense of humor, recalling the time he said he could tell her how to beat a lie-detector test.
     "And I thought, 'Wow, I really want to know this,'" said Hilton. "And then I caught myself and thought, 'Why do I need to know this?' And secondly, 'The college president teaching the fiscal director how to pass a lie detector test?'
     "But that was Rich, so full of life, so light-hearted, incredibly intelligent, extremely modest and very down to earth. He didn't like a fuss, He took everything in stride with a big smile."
     McCullough, who had a bachelor's degree in biological sciences, a master's in cellular biology and a PhD in psychophysiology, led the effort to build a solar observatory at the campus and designed the college's electron microscopy lab.
     It was the Saddleback College Veterans Memorial, however, that was mentioned most at Thursday's ceremony. McCullough, a veteran, was the force behind the memorial and its oven-fired red-clay walls, silhouettes of soldiers, and bubbling waterfalls – a campus centerpiece.
. . .
     The memorial was dedicated in April 2010. In a ceremony Saturday, it will receive the George Washington Honor Medal Award from the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, founded in 1949 by president Dwight D. Eisenhower. The memorial, according to the foundation, exemplifies its ideal of promoting understanding and appreciation of the country’s heritage and freedoms.
     "He agreed with me that it should be an active memorial; it should be something that people use during time rather than something that they walk by and forget about," White said. "And so, you know, I think as that water goes through that memorial, I'll be thinking of him, every time."

On the occasion of McCullough's retirement, 2008
(Skip to 01:46. Rich's lovely speech is at 03:00.)

1/9/08: They look pretty uncomfortable. I don't think Rich held Mathur in
high esteem. Nope. 5/24/04: McCullough speaks briefly at about 05:00.

SEE ALSO Former Saddleback president dies after battle with cancer (Lariat)


Bob Cosgrove said...

Rich is missed. He was part of "Saddleback College". Rich will be missed.

Anonymous said...

Rich was a really fine man. A great teacher, a great administrator. He will be missed.

College Storage said...

I agree with your blog that Rich was a great teacher..Thanks!

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