A longtime educator and former president of East Los Angeles College has been recognized for his service with the naming of a new 5-story, 135,000 square foot building at the college in his honor.
“Ernest H. Moreno has enriched the lives of community college students for nearly a half century,” ELAC statement following The Ernest H. Moreno Building of Language, Arts & Humanities sign unveiling ceremony on Feb. 8.
Moreno served as Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) employee for 42 years as a faculty member, administrator and college president. In 2013, he was elected to the LACCD’s Board of Trustees.
The naming of the new facility pays tributes to Moreno’s tenure at ELAC, where he served as president from 1994 – with a brief interim assignment as President of Los Angeles Mission College – until his retirement in 2011.
“Ernie Moreno is a legacy in our community,” said Scott J. Svonkin, President of the LACCD Board of Trustees. “Ernie led the effort to build one of the preeminent community colleges in the nation, right here at East Los Angeles College. He took a community college that had buildings in disrepair and with decades-old bungalows in use for classrooms and led the way for ELAC to become one of the finest and largest colleges in California and the nation,” Svonkin said in praise of the San Gabriel Valley native.
“And then he joined our board and led the effort to rebuild our campuses across the district. World-class facilities are now the norm at each of our nine LACCD campuses,” Svonkin told those gathered for the tribute.
According to ELAC, the building bearing Moreno’s name will house several academic departments, including English, Foreign Language, Chicano Studies and Speech; and provides 40 classrooms, three labs and office space for more than 80 faculty. The new central plaza quadrangle the building faces, offers space for students to study, and relax.
Moreno said he is “honored and humbled” by the recognition.
“During my nearly 18 years as president I was able to transform East Los Angeles College from a relatively small college to one of the largest in the nation and plan and guide the rebuilding and expansion of the entire college,” Moreno said. “My vision for the college was motivated by my devotion to the wonderful students and community that ELAC serves. I must thank the dedicated faculty and staff that help make my tenure as president a success.”
“Trustee Moreno led ELAC through significant growth of students and spearheaded the building program at the college,” LACCD Chancellor Francisco Rodriguez said. “Under his leadership, the college has become a premier institution that proudly serves the surrounding community.”
Moreno taught business administration, supervision and management, and labor relations at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College from 1976 to 1986, and political science at West Los Angeles College from 1986 to 2006. Educated in the San Gabriel Valley Unified School District, he attended Cal State L.A. where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in political science. He earned a Master’s in public administration from Cal State Long Beach.
Moreno is Chairman and member of the Board of Directors of Monterey Park Hospital and a member of the Board of Los Angeles County College of Nursing and Allied Health. He was a member of the Santa Clarita Community College District Board of Trustees from 1989 to 2006.