COC to host Michele Jenkins Team Room dedication ceremony

Michele Jenkins
Michele Jenkins
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News release 

The College of the Canyons Athletic Department will host a dedication ceremony to unveil the Michele Jenkins Softball Team Room in honor of the longtime board member and ardent softball program supporter’s nearly 40 years of service to the district. 

The event is scheduled to be held Tuesday, April 16, prior to the Lady Cougars’ scheduled game vs. L.A. Valley College. The dedication ceremony begins at 1:15 p.m. inside the team room located at Whitten Field and will be followed by pre-game snacks and refreshments leading up to game time. First pitch is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. 

As part of the celebration, current and former college faculty and staff, educational and business colleagues, family, friends, and supporters are all invited to attend the ceremony. Attendees are asked to RSVP in advance by calling 661-362-3742. 

Jenkins, who enrolled as a student when the college originally opened for its first semester in fall 1969, holds the distinction of being the longest-serving board member in the college’s history. 

During her tenure Jenkins served six terms as president, five as vice president, and seven as clerk. She served as the COC Foundation Board liaison, and on several ad hoc groups, including the Institute for Culinary Education Capital Campaign Committee, the committee that determined the feasibility of returning football and expanding women’s athletics at COC, the Measure “C” and “M” Advisory Committees, and the Health and Welfare Benefits Committee.  

In addition to her service to the district, Jenkins was extremely active at the state level representing the Santa Clarita Community College District and providing leadership for trustees statewide by serving on the nominating committee for the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges commissioner, as well as the Future of the Community College League of California Task Force and Self-Study Committee. 

She also helped start the Santa Clarita Valley chapter of the League of Women Voters, as well as the local branch of the American Association of University Women. 

Jenkins, who was re-elected to the COC Board for the final time in 2021, always took a tremendous interest in COC athletic programs, particularly softball, baseball and football, according to a news release from the college.  

Throughout her tenure she was a regular visitor at softball games and practices, both watching from the stands and interacting with the team’s coaches and student-athletes, often with special treats in hand. On warm days it was a regular occurrence for Jenkins to turn up at Whitten Field with popsicles, frozen water bottles and other snacks prepared for the players. She was often in the front row of the bleachers, with team roster in hand, ready to cheer on the Cougars. 

“I have so many fond memories of Michele checking in to offer her support,” said COC softball head coach John Wissmath. “Every time she was here there would be a big smile on her face and you could just tell she was right in her element and savoring every moment of it.” 

Jenkins died Feb. 6, 2023. She is survived by her husband Greg, daughter Lorian, son-in-law Andre, daughter-in-law Jennifer, and grandchildren Mary Jane, Lucas, and Lyra.  

The softball team room dedication event follows a March 2023 decision by the Santa Clarita Community College District board of trustees to name the facility in Jenkins’ honor.  

For more information about the Michele Jenkins Team Room dedication ceremony or to RSVP, call 661-362-3742. 

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