COSTA MESA : Retired Dean Rejoins OCC in Interim Post

Former Orange Coast College administrator James S. Fitzgerald has been called out of retirement to become acting dean of instruction, college officials announced this week.

Now a resident of Cambria along California’s central coast, the 64-year-old former president of Foothill College will be acting dean until July 1, while a permanent replacement is sought.

“It’s wonderful to have ‘Dr. Fitz’ back on campus,” said Orange Coast College President David A. Grant, whose association with Fitzgerald dates back to the late 1950s.

Grant was an OCC student government officer in the 1950s, when Fitzgerald was assistant dean of student activities. One year, Fitzgerald was also vocal music director for the campus spring musical, “Finnegans Wake,” in which Grant had the lead role.


Fitzgerald, a former choir director at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach, joined the Orange Coast faculty in 1955 as a voice instructor.

He became assistant dean of student activities in 1959 and was dean of instruction in 1963-73. He then was president of Foothill College in Los Altos Hills until his retirement in 1983.