Community gathers for naming of the Gwendolyn E. Schlange center at MSJC

April 17, 2017

Mt. San Jacinto College held a public ceremony on April 13, 2017 to name the Child Development and Education Center on the San Jacinto Campus after the late Gwendolyn Schlange, a longtime MSJC board member and Hemet/San Jacinto Valley educator.

Ms. Schlange passed away on November 21, 2016. Beloved in the community, her career in education spanned more than four decades in the Hemet/San Jacinto Valley. She dedicated herself for more than 20 years as a trustee on the MSJC Board of Trustees. During her tenure on the board, she was thrilled to read Dr. Seuss books to the children in the centers on March 2, the birthdate Ms. Schlange shared with the late children’s author. She also served on the MSJC Foundation board to raise scholarships for students. The MSJC Board of Trustees took action in December 2016 to name the center after Ms. Schlange.

Liliana Gomez, the former MSJC student trustee who served from 2014 to 2016, said she remembered her first public meeting sitting with the full Board of Trustees. She said Ms. Schlange took her aside and assured her that she was going to be great.

“I feel like she really made an impact on my life,” Gomez said to those who gathered at the ceremony. “From the bottom of my heart, I just wanted to say thank you to her. She made such a difference (at Mt. San Jacinto College). I know that we miss her here so much.”

Gomez said she was also honored to have received a Catherine “Kit” Longe Stewart scholarship, a scholarship in memory of Ms. Schlange’s relative and also a longtime MSJC Foundation member.

Speakers at the event included MSJC Trustee Ann Motte, MSJC Foundation Board President Sherrie Domenigoni, and Child Development and Education Center Director Kimberly Day. MSJC Superintendent/President Roger Schultz welcomed guests. Members of the community attending the event included Hemet Mayor Linda Krupa, former MSJC Trustee Eugene Kadow, and representatives from other college and school districts.

Trustee Motte spoke fondly about her professional relationship with Ms. Schlange as they served together on the board for more than 20 years. She smiled as she told the audience that at elections, Ms. Schlange always drew the most votes compared to her colleagues on the board. In fact, she said, Ms. Schlange received more than 80 percent of the votes in her district.

Dr. Schultz and Foundation President Domenigoni presented center Director Day with a collection of Dr. Seuss books.

MSJC Board President Tom Ashley sat with a group of children from the center to read from the book “Oh, the Places You’ll Go” by Dr. Seuss.

A portrait of the late Gwendolyn Schlange, a former longtime MSJC Trustee, stands in front of the newly-named Child Development and Education Center at Mt. San Jacinto College as community members gather in the background prior to a renaming ceremony.

Mt. San Jacinto College Board Chair Tom Ashley reads to children who attend MSJC’s Child Development and Education Center during a ceremony to rename the center after the late Gwendolyn Schlange, a former longtime MSJC Trustee.

Members of the community and employees of Mt. San Jacinto College gather in front of the Child Development and Education Center in San Jacinto after a ceremony to rename the center after the late Gwendolyn Schlange, a former longtime MSJC Trustee.