Clifford and Patricia Mettler

The Bakersfield College Foundation received a significant financial gift from the Clifford and Patricia Mettler estate to support 120 students enrolled in BC’s Agriculture Pathways Early College program.

The Bakersfield College Foundation received a significant financial gift from the Clifford and Patricia Mettler estate to support 120 students enrolled in BC’s Agriculture Pathways Early College program.

From this gift, students will have access to instructional materials and programming support that will allow them to earn associate degrees in agriculture as they complete their high school coursework.

“We are tremendously grateful for the generous gift offered through the Mettlers’ estate," President Sonya Christian said in a news release. “This gift comes at a time when our community is experiencing uncertainty in many respects. Knowing that future generations of our rural Early College Renegades will be provided the support to pursue their educational dreams is certainly a ray of light for the future of our agricultural community.”

The Mettlers grew up in Kern County — Clifford in Shafter and Patricia in Bakersfield — and both attended local schools. The economic and physical landscape of Kern County was greatly impacted by the Mettlers, in large part due to Clifford’s farming operations in the Edison and Mettler areas, according to a news release.

Their legacy will now continue through BC and its agriculture students, as they prepare for the next generation of farming in Kern County.

The Early College Program originated in 2013, and today BC has 36 high school partners. The agriculture program is offered at Wasco High School and the Wonderful College Prep Academy in Delano.

“Early College is changing the landscape of education for local students. This gift will ensure students have the resources they need to complete their college degree, while they are earning their high school diploma,” said Cheryl Scott, executive director of the Bakersfield College Foundation. “This benefits our entire community and I am proud to be the steward of such a generous endowment.”

The Bakersfield College Foundation was established in 1975 and currently manages funds for more than 400 campus organizations, individuals and endowments. In 2019-2020, more than $500,000 in scholarships and student aid were provided.

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(1) comment

Masked 2020

Community Voices: Judge made the right call in Giumarra case By Sharon Mettler May 14, 2018 so tell me do rich farmers cover for each other.........when I saw the Judges last name I always wondered........ concerning Judge Judith Dulcich's decision to reduce John Giumarra III’s felony hit and run charge to a misdemeanor.

First, I have no connection with any Giumarras. Second, my relationship with Judge Dulcich is a professional one, having watched her develop from a brand new misdemeanor deputy district attorney to a very fine and ethical judicial officer. Third, all I know about this case is from The Bakersfield Californian and a few rumors I have heard since the plea. Fourth, we buried our 26-year-old daughter three years ago, so I am well acquainted with the agony of losing a child. The purpose of the felony hit and run law is to see that aid is given an injured person as soon as possible to give the best chance for survival. The deceased in this case had emergency personnel present within minutes and was at a nearby hospital also within minutes. The defendant driver did nothing to cause the accident. It was caused by the deceased choosing to ride across a busy, multi-lane roadway without benefit of legal right of way or traffic controls. This is not an alcohol caused collision. The defendant driver stopped a few blocks from the collision, may or may not have returned to the scene of the collision, and was contacted by law enforcement in the vicinity of that scene a few minutes after the collision. I think it a safe assumption that the deceased was also contacted by emergency personnel and aid began about the same time. In short, the minuscule delay on his part appears highly unlikely to have made a difference in her dying.

Years ago I was the judge trying a felony hit and run case. The deceased in that case, a young man, had been hit by a car in a relatively lonely spot and left to die. When law enforcement was unable to locate the driver, the young man’s mother spent months walking the nearby neighborhood, eventually finding the car and the driver. He was convicted and sentenced to prison. That is a felony hit and run case deserving a state prison sentence. A driver stopping four blocks away with aid arriving within a few minutes is not a felony hit and run case deserving a state prison sentence. The easy decision for Judge Dulcich would have been agreeing with the District Attorney. The tough one was doing what she did. Kern County is fortunate to have a judge who has the courage to follow the law and not emotions. Judge Sharon Mettler retired from Kern County Superior Court in 2008 after 27 years on the bench in both municipal and superior court. The opinions expressed are her own.

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