By Edgar Lopez
Former East Los Angeles College president Ernest H. Moreno’s retirement leads to the question of how he would be remembered.
Although his work will be remembered by current staff and students, it would soon be forgotten after they graduate or retire and move on with their lives.
Therefore, there should be some way to help preserve Moreno’s legacy. In honor of all the work he did to improve ELAC, not only academically but architecturally a building should be named after him.
He was responsible for all the current construction projects and new finished buildings.
Despite the fact that some projects are still under construction, he renovated ELAC and made it an appealing school to attend.
“His policies have resulted in moving the college from approximately 13,000 students to more than 30,000,” said Olga Barnes, who has been Moreno’s secretary for his entire tenure as president.
Having a building named after him is the perfect solution.
Seeing as how the library is already named, the only other building that would suit Moreno’s name is the F7 building, because it’s located in the middle of campus and houses general education classes.
Often, students ignore the names of buildings. Some don’t even bother to learn them. They usually stick to the short numerical and alphabetical names, such as E3, B2 or simply point them out.
It doesn’t matter if students or faculty forget the name of their buildings, as long as the name is lettered on the building.
There will always be someone who asks why that building is named after the certain person.
Eventually, they will find the answer, and Moreno’s legacy will live on at campus.
In addition, if Moreno’s name was written on the building, it would prevent the building from being named after sponsors.
It would also prevent it from being named the Business, Social Sciences and Humanities building, as the Facilities Planning Subcommittee selected from a list of three names, which were submitted by the five departments that will be remembered.
ELAC and the Los Angeles Community College District should name the F7 building as the Ernest H. Moreno building to show gratitude for a job well-done that took the span of nearly 18 years.
Without Moreno’s leadership and personality, ELAC would not be the same higher education institution that it is today.
At a banquet, during the Spring 2011 semester, instructor Dennis Sanchez introduced Moreno as “the architect of that home.”
Moreno always spoke about the legacy that he wanted to leave at ELAC.
He said he wanted to build a comfortable learning and working environment for his students and faculty, respectively.
And with a remodeled library opening soon in January, Moreno said, ELAC will be a facility closer to meeting the student body’s educational needs.
As for student services, he created a facility where they were all grouped together in one shell, rather than being scattered.
He cut down those long sightseeing trips at ELAC. Students no longer have to go to the B2 complex to get their financial aid in order.