The Taft College Library is being renamed in the memory of Harry Wilson, who donated $104,000 to the college in 2013 and, with his death on Sept. 10 at 95, bequeathed $1.6 million to the college.

The donations were to be used to help support the library, student support services, the School of Dental Hygiene, the Phi Theta Kappa club and to start the Opal Smith and Harry Wilson Endowment.

Opal Smith is Wilson’s aunt. It was after her death in 2013 that he donated the $104,000 to the college.

“This year Taft College lost a true friend and community role model. Harry Wilson ... believed in furthering education for everyone interested in making an honest living. He believed in strengthening our education programs and most of all he believed that Taft College was more than a school but rather an institution for making a positive change within our community,” the college said in a news release.

A celebration will be held on Wilson’s birthday, Dec. 13, at 3 p.m. in the library parking lot, located at 29 Cougar Court.

Wilson graduated from Taft College in 1942. He was a member of the U.S. Army and served during World War II in 1945 and 1946. His second tour of duty was served during the Korean War from 1950 to 1952. He retired from ARCO after 30 years working there.


The Farmworker Institute of Education and Leadership Development in Tehachapi will be holding a news conference in Bakersfield on Dec. 14 regarding a grant from the state Department of Education.

The press conference focused on how a $1.3 million grant will help support the institute’s Career Technical Education program will be held at 10 a.m. at the University of La Verne, located at 10800 Stockdale Highway.

Bakersfield College President Sonya Christian will speak, as will Devorah Lieberman, president of the University of La Verne, and Cal State Bakersfield President Horace Mitchell.

The FIELD Institute’s CTE program was developed in partnership with area colleges to help give students hands-on learning experiences in the areas of agriculture, environment conservation, education and alternative energy.

For more information, call 310-913-0625.


Stockdale High School band student Abby Higgins was chosen to be part of the National Association for Music Education’s 2017 All-National Honor Band in November.

The first-chair French horn player got to play with the band during a conference held Nov. 27-29 at the Coronado Springs Resort at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

“Being a part of the Honor Band was definitely one of the greatest musical experiences of my life,” Higgins said. “It was an incredible honor to have the opportunity to rehearse and perform with some of the nation’s finest high school musicians, as well as being able to grow in my musicianship with the help of my conductor’s expertise.”

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