An impressive trio of former Orange Coast College students were
inducted last Thursday evening into the college's Alumni Hall of
The inductees were Inonge Mbikusita-Lewanika, ambassador to the
United States from the Republic of Zambia; Brent Mayne, former major
league baseball player; and Paul Frank, director and head designer of
Paul Frank Industries.
Ambassador MbikusitaLewanika arrived at Orange Coast College as a
17-year-old student in 1960, fresh from a mission school in rural
Zambia. She graduated two years later.
Mbikusita-Lewanika went on to complete bachelor's and master's
degrees at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. She earned a Ph.D. from New York
For 15 years, she taught at colleges in Zambia. For a decade, she
worked for the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), fighting for
the rights of African women, children and refugees.
Mbikusita-Lewanika served two terms in the Zambian Parliament. In
2002, she was appointed ambassador and special envoy for the
president of the Republic of Zambia.
For the past two years, she has served as Zambia's ambassador to
In 1959, her father, a Zambian diplomat, visited the U.S. to look
at colleges for his daughter. He liked what he saw at Orange Coast
"I would like to thank the officials of OCC for welcoming my
father and giving him a campus tour," she told the audience Thursday.
"He was greatly impressed, and Orange Coast College ended up
setting the foundation for my life."
She said that OCC gave her an introduction to the United States.
Prior to her arrival on campus, her knowledge of America was
restricted to what she'd read in history books and seen in Hollywood
Brent Mayne played baseball at OCC in 1987 for his father, Mike
Mayne. Brent hit .297 for the Pirates and led the team to a
conference title. He went on to play for two years at Cal State
Fullerton and was an All-American.
The former OCC catcher enjoyed a 15-year major league career,
playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Kansas City Royals, New York
Francisco Giants. He hit .301 for the Giants in 1999 and .301 for the
Rockies in 2000.
Mayne called his induction into the Hall of Fame a "great honor."
"It seems like I've had a relationship with Orange Coast College
all of my life," he said. "Most students go here one, two or three
years. My younger brother Kevin and I were here for 10 or 11 years.
It was our gigantic playground when we were kids."
A talented musician, Paul Frank has been playing in bands since he
was 13. While an Orange Coast College art student, from 1994 to 1996,
he experimented with altering his band's clothing. In 1995, his
$100-million design business was born. It was small at first, but it
had a steep growth curve.
Before long, Paul Frank Industries began to offer clothing,
accessories and watches. It now produces bicycles and surfboards.
Today, Paul Frank Industries is a cultural phenomenon that features
more than 200 different characters -- all created by Frank.
"Wow!" Frank said upon receiving his award Thursday. "I came to
this school after attending Golden West College because I was so
impressed with the art projects I saw here. My favorite class was
three-dimensional design. It was so cool. I also took freehand
drawing and other art classes."
Frank thanked the college for giving him a strong foundation.
"I'm honored to receive this award. I owe a great deal to this
* JIM CARNETT is senior director of community relations at Orange
Coast College. Reach him at o7jcarnettocc.cccd.edu f7or (714)