(Santa Ana, CA) - After 35 years of teaching at Santa Ana College (SAC) and advising on the el Don student newspaper, Professor Charles “Bud" Little is retiring. Since 1986, Professor Little helped the el Don win 28 Associated Collegiate Press National Pacemaker Awards, an induction into the Associated Collegiate Press Hall of Fame, Community College Educator of the Year in 2016, and multiple awards that have placed Santa Ana College on the map for having an award-winning journalism program.
Aside from Little's personal and organizational accomplishments, he has witnessed many of his alumni go on to win prestigious awards in their professional industries. These recognitions include multiple Emmy Awards, Golden Mic Awards, and numerous global design and national reporting honors. One such success story is Vera Jimenez, meteorologist and Emmy Award winner for KTLA Channel 5 in Los Angeles.
“It's because of my experience at el Don that I encourage all students to start at a community college," said Jimenez. “Bud was tough because he wanted the best out of us. He was encouraging [and] he recognized potential and talent," Jimenez continued. “Bud [is] a blessing to those around [him], especially the students and people [he works] with at SAC. Integrity and excellence are not easy to find, but when you do, the combination leaves a brand, and that's exactly what [Bud did] at el Don."
A few years into his tenure, Little was provided the opportunity to get el Don back on track, and given one semester to do it. He surpassed all expectations when the student-run media outlet began its award-winning history.
Throughout the years, el Don has competed for state and national honors against the nation's most prestigious journalism schools and SAC students prevailed repeatedly over four-year colleges and universities. With multiple accolades in mind, Professor Little always maintained his students as priority and provided ongoing and consistent advice. “The thing that I am most proud of is that a lot of these kids became friends for life," said Little. “They've gone on and graduated from major colleges, received their degrees and made a lot out of themselves."
Before his time at SAC, Professor Little wrote and edited for ESPN, Muscle Digest, and Energy Research Institute. He also designed as a consultant for The Orange County Register, General Dynamics, and American Sports Network.
Professor Little won the National Distinguished Community College Adviser Award in 1997; SAC's Distinguished Faculty Award in 2000; the Reid H. Montgomery Distinguished Service Award in 2015; and the John William “Sky" Dunlap Award at the Orange County Press Club in 2018.
“Professor Little has left an unforgettable presence for the award-winning journalism program at Santa Ana College," said Interim SAC President Marilyn Flores. “His impact on students is significant seeing where their education has landed them with successful careers and how they return to give back to SAC and the community," Dr. Flores continued. “He will absolutely be missed and the entire SAC family wishes him a most restful and celebrated retirement after 35 years of service to our students and the community we serve."
Click here to check out testimonials from past students about Bud Little's impact on their lives!
For more information about the Santa Ana College el Don, please visit www.eldonnews.org.
About Santa Ana College
Santa Ana College (SAC), which turned 100 years old in 2015, serves about 18,000 students each semester. The college prepares students for transfer to four-year institutions, provides invaluable workforce training, and customized training for business and industry. In addition, another 11,000 students are served through the college's School of Continuing Education located at Centennial Education Center. Ranked as one of the nation's top two-year colleges awarding associate degrees to Latino and Asian students, the college is also recognized throughout the state for its comprehensive workforce training programs for nurses, firefighters, law enforcement and other medical personnel. SAC is one of two comprehensive colleges under the auspices of the Rancho Santiago Community College District.