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Special Message: January 13, 2023

Jan 13, 2023

Today we learned that former FCC President Clyde C. McCully passed away peacefully on December 21, 2022 at the age of 97. He is survived by his sons, Brian (Martha), Erik (Deborah), Kevin (Yuki) and his daughter Amanda Capin. He is also survived by his ten grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Clyde is preceded in death by his beloved wife, Betty Jo McCully. Clyde and Betty Jo were married for 63 years and together enjoyed and weathered the ups and downs of life with laughter, commitment, support and love.

Clyde grew up in Orlando and Winter Park, Florida, one of four sons born to Franklin and Beulah McCully. His early years were spent enjoying childhood activities such as swimming in Lake Killarney, hiking through nearby swamps, going to 10-cent movie matinees and getting odd jobs to support his school activities, including the Sea Scouts. Clyde graduated from Winter Park High School in June, 1943. In September of 1943, a few days before his 18th birthday, Clyde enlisted in the United States Coast Guard.

Upon completion of boot camp and landing barge school he was assigned to the USS Bayfield APA 33, an assault transport, which was his home for the rest of World War II. While assigned to the Bayfield, Clyde was the coxswain of a Higgins Boat LCVP. During the Normandy landings (D-Day) and the assault on Southern France, Clyde ferried troops and supplies to shore and returned casualties to the Bayfield. He also served in the battles at Iwo Jima and Okinawa. For his dedicated service, Clyde received four battle stars and a purple heart. One of his proudest moments came in 2016 when, by a decree signed by the President of France, he received the French Legion of Honor Medal for his participation in the liberation of France.

In April of 1946, Clyde was honorably discharged from the Coast Guard after attaining the rank of Boatswain’s Mate, 2nd Class. That fall he enrolled at Stetson University in Florida to pursue a college education. At Stetson, Clyde’s life was forever changed when he met Betty Jo Butler on the steps of Elizabeth Hall and, less than a year later, they married at Betty Jo’s family home in Quincy, Florida. Together they graduated from Stetson in 1949 and shortly thereafter moved to California to join Clyde’s family who had already moved to the Golden State. Clyde continued his education in California, receiving a Master’s in Education from California State University, Los Angeles, administrative credentials from the USC, and an Ed.D. in Education Leadership from the UCLA.

Clyde served as a school teacher, principal and college administrator before becoming president of Fresno City College (FCC) in 1967. He was president of FCC for nineteen years and is the longest-serving president in FCC history. During his tenure, Clyde led the college as it quickly expanded the number of degree programs available and occupational programs offered to meet community needs. He helped develop special programs for people with disabilities, for students from disadvantaged backgrounds, and for returning Vietnam veterans. In addition, Clyde guided FCC through the redevelopment of its campus to provide modern facilities to accommodate the growth in its programs and technology. Many believe that the transformation of the FCC campus to a modern-day community college could be attributed to Clyde’s leadership. Upon his retirement from FCC, a colleague wrote to Clyde, “you demonstrated the quiet power of the prudent, the good luck of the prepared, and caution when caution was the way of wisdom.”



Dr. Robert Pimentel

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