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Remembering Michele Jenkins: COC dedicates softball team room to late board member

From left: COC Dean of Kinesiology, Health & Wellness, Fitness & Athletic Chad Peters, the late Michelle Jenkin’s husband Greg Jenkins and COC Softball head coach John Wissmath on Tuesday after the COC Softball Michelle Jenkins Dedication Room ceremony. 041624 Katherine Quezada/The Signal
From left: COC Dean of Kinesiology, Health & Wellness, Fitness & Athletic Chad Peters, the late Michelle Jenkin’s husband Greg Jenkins and COC Softball head coach John Wissmath on Tuesday after the COC Softball Michelle Jenkins Dedication Room ceremony. 041624 Katherine Quezada/The Signal
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Right before the College of the Canyons Cougars softball team took on the Los Angeles Valley College team on Tuesday, the late Michele Jenkins, a longtime board member and softball program supporter, was honored with an unveiling of the Michele Jenkins Softball Team Room.  

The team room at Whitten Field at the COC campus was packed with faculty, community members, and Jenkins’ family who witnessed a special ceremony that will continue to memorialize her and her dedication to the COC community.  

Jenkins enrolled as a student at COC in 1969 and holds the distinction of being the longest-serving board member in the college’s history, stated a news release from the college. She died Feb. 6, 2023.  

“There are many things on this campus we could’ve named after Michele, and this room by far is the most fitting,” said Chad Peters, COC dean of kinesiology, health and wellness, fitness and athletics. “She enjoyed many afternoons here at Whitten Field watching the Cougar softball team compete. On warm days it was a regular occurrence for Michele to turn up at the Whitten Field with popsicles, frozen [water] bottles … She was always very thoughtful for the team that way.”  

Jenkins had numerous titles throughout her career at COC including six terms as board president and five terms as vice president. She also served as the COC Foundation Board liaison, added Peters. The COC Foundation is a nonprofit organization with the mission of creating an environment in which all students who attend the community college can thrive.  

College of the Canyons Faculty and other members of the community joined in on the COC Softball Michelle Jenkins Dedication Room ceremony to celebrate the moment a beloved COC Faculty member would be memorialized in their community on Tuesday. 041624 Katherine Quezada/The Signal

“I’ve worked here since 2008. Most [of] the time, I would show up to a softball game and there Michele would be in that front row, ready to watch the game. Again, this team room is incredibly fitting,” said Peters.  

Head COC softball coach John Wissmath shared a few words about what the new revamped team room meant to him and his team and fond memories he has with Jenkins.  

“Every year we got new faces and new talent coming in here and competing. That’s what we do here, just trying to be competitive for our program,” he said.  

One of the moments he remembers most about Jenkins was when she would drive to the softball fields and check in with him while they both watched the softball players practice throwing pitches and other drills, he said.  

“She [would] just say, ‘Hey, how’s the team looking?’ She kind of felt like she knew who the girls were, who was getting ready to play and it was just fun,” he added.  

Greg Jenkins, Michele’s husband, thanked the COC community for keeping her memory alive through something she so passionately loved and supported. While he shared fond memories he had of her, he became emotional.  

“It shows commitment and hard work. Michele, she really worked hard and she loved this college,” said Greg. “She was wonderful, and she worked so hard for the college. She was always talking about the college. I’d say, ‘Can we not talk about the college?’” he said, laughing as he reminisced on the memories with his late wife, with whom he shared a daughter and now three grandchildren. 

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