Davitt Tops the Charts at No. 4 Out of 103 Influential People of 2002

Beverly Irwin
El Vaquero Staff Writer

Dr. John Davitt, superintendent and president of GCC, placed number four out of 103 in the recent Glendale News-Press list of the city’s Most Influential People of 2002. In the list, compiled by a six-member panel of News-Press editors from readers’ nominations plus a few names of those the panel felt deserving of consideration, Davitt moved up from his number 42 ranking in the newspaper’s list for 2001.

Citing recent construction projects, the newspaper commended Davitt for his leadership in modernizing the college and accommodating the ever-growing enrollment.

Modest about his accomplishments, Davitt was nonetheless honored by the boost in his ranking. “Naturally I am pleased to be recognized,” he admitted.

He is also pleased to see the GCC Board of Trustees make it to the list this year, coming in with a first time ranking of 24. He believes their hard work has long been ignored and their recognition overdue.

After all, GCC is the third largest employer in Glendale with a workforce of 1,300, and this year has an enrollment this year of 25,000 students.

Pat Skerry, administration assistant to Davitt, loves the diversity of working for such a dynamic boss. She finds it hard to attribute his 38-point rise on the list. “He does so much for the college,” she said. “It’s hard to pinpoint one thing in one year.”

Davitt is the longest serving community college president in the state, having headed GCC for the past 17 years. After coming to the college in 1968 as administrative dean of student services, he was later promoted to the position of vice president of instructional services before becoming superintendent/president in 1985.

Davitt is also very active in the Glendale community. He is a member of Glendale Chamber of Commerce on the executive committee for Character and Ethics, and on the board of regents for Holy Family high school.
One of his more surprising associations is with the Love Ride Foundation, a charitable foundation which organizes the annual Harley-Davidson Love Ride fund raising event.

Love Ride 19 is scheduled for Nov. 10 this year, and is expected to raise more than the $1 million it brought in last year.

Begun in 1984 by Oliver Shokouh, the owner of Glendale Harley-Davidson, to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, this year’s Love Ride proceeds will benefit 16 different charities. The Los Angles Times’ Reading by Nine program, Providence Saint Joseph hospital in Burbank and the Muscular Dystrophy Foundation will all receive part of the funds.

One of the other beneficiaries will be GCC ‘s new Cimmarusti Science Center. The largest lecture hall in the new center is courtesy of the Love Ride Foundation.

Yes, Davitt still rides his Harley. Though not as often as this busy man would like he still manages to get in the occasional ride.

Davitt rides a Harley, not as often as he would like but he does still ride occasionally.

The event was begun in 1984 and in its first year 500 riders participated and raised $40,000 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.