Santa Ana College Foundation Month Year
A History of Success, A Future of Promise

Honoring Ken Purcell as Former Board Chairman

Concluding a very successful tenure as chairman of the SAC Foundation Board of Directors, Ken Purcell passed the gavel to incoming chairman Tony Ellis on June 30, 2008. Ken will continue his service as a member of the board, which he began in 1991. He plans to focus on building an Athletes Hall of Fame to honor the outstanding sportspersons who have kicked, putted, batted, shot and dribbled their way to success through the programs of Santa Ana College.

Ken himself was one of those athletes, participating in 1957-‘59 in baseball and basketball at Santa Ana College. Ken credits his basketball coach, Bob Boyd, and the great relationships Boyd had forged with the community for the launch of his own 47-year career with First American Title. “Coach Boyd recommended me for a part-time job that gave me the resources to continue at Santa Ana College,” Ken explains.

“In 1959, I joined the Boston Red Sox minor league team, playing in southwest Texas—El Paso, Odessa, the Midlands area. Ultimately, I entered the National Guard, returning to Orange County in 1961 where I rejoined First American—once again starting from the proverbial ground up.”

Ken did not stay there long. His march through First American included tenures in Sales throughout the Southwestern United States, opening branches in several states. In 1991, he was called to the national corporate office in Orange County.   He retired at the beginning of July as the National Vice President of Sales for this global  company.  When Ken returned to Orange County, Rancho Santiago Foundation board member Don Anderson invited him to consider joining the group. “Santa Ana College got me started.  It launched me on what became a very rewarding career, and I was eager to become involved,” Ken explains. “Community colleges play an unbelievable role in our Southern California higher education mix. Highly qualified candidates frequently must wait to get into a four-year-school, and a stint at a community college can help to expedite that transition.”

When Ken, a two-time SAC Foundation chairman, thinks back upon his last tenure, he credits First American Title for its very strong support of the community, and Santa Ana College in particular. “We sponsored the first-ever Pageant of the Trees and Lights, which was a real show-stopper in Orange County with a former Four Seasons pastry chef dazzling our eyes and tastebuds. I can still remember the incredible white chocolate two-foot by two-foot SAC logo.  We continue to sponsor other SAC programs, as well as other worthwhile philanthropies.”

He is gratified to have witnessed growth in the Board of Directors and the strengthening of relationships with the community. “It is important to build strong connections with local businesses.  After all, our students will one day work in those organizations, and we want to understand their needs. It is also important to bring our alums back in and to help them appreciate why their support is both vital and valued.”


Tony Ellis

 
He points with justified pride to the formation of the President’s Circle, which allows donors committing $1,000 for five consecutive years to special events and President forums. He also praises SAC President Erlinda Martinez, Ed. D. and Foundation Executive Director Christina Romero for the leadership and support they have given to the Foundation since joining the college staff. His words to incoming chairman, Tony Ellis? “Good luck,” with a laugh. “I recruited Tony myself. As a Senior Vice President at Citizens Bank, he brings incredible financial acumen to the board. I project a whole new dimension of growth under Tony’s leadership.”

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photo Honoring Ken Purcell
as Former Board Chairman

Concluding a very successful tenure as chairman of the SAC Foundation Board of Directors, Ken Purcell passed the gavel to incoming chairman Tony Ellis on June 30, 2008. Ken will continue his service as a member of the board, which he began in 1991. He plans to focus on building an Athletes Hall of Fame to honor the outstanding sportspersons who have kicked, putted, batted, shot and dribbled their way to success through the programs of Santa Ana College.

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