In Memory of William O. Jay, 1935-2015

Dear Saddleback College Family,

The Saddleback family suffered a very sad loss last week. Trustee and former college president William O. Jay, Ed.D. passed away on March 2nd.  Bill was an ardent supporter of Saddleback College for over 40 years, and we know he was deeply admired and appreciated by many for his commitment to education, compassion for students, and great sense of humor.

Bill was a Gaucho through and through.  His service began in 1974 as a mathematics professor, and subsequently served as dean of instruction and president of the college.  Bill also served as vice chancellor of administrative services and human resources for the South Orange County Community College District, and over 10 years on the board of trustees.  Indeed, Bill was very well liked at Saddleback, and we have been fortunate that he remained an active member of Saddleback’s family for most of his life.

Upon the news of Bill’s death, we heard from many current and former faculty, staff, and administrators who shared their thoughts about him:

Dixie Bullock, former college president and interim chancellor: “I first met Bill in 1976 when I was a new faculty member and he was the vice president for instruction at Saddleback College.  He came to nearly every nursing faculty meeting we had regardless of how late in the day it was and stayed with us until 6 pm, always listening to issues we had and helping when he could.  He was a wonderful vice president, and continued his caring and dedication to education at Saddleback through his service to the college, the district, and to the community he represented as a board member.”

Zane Johnson, horticulture instructor, 1975-2011: “I remember Bill’s friendly smile, laugh, as well as his interest in whomever he talked with about any subject.  I always felt I could talk with Bill and discuss personal interests or education issues, and he was open and willing to discuss them or direct me to the right person if I needed more answers to a question.  While employed at Saddleback College, I never heard anyone say anything negative about him, in fact, I only heard positive things.”

On a personal note, I have the utmost respect and admiration for Bill.  I will always cherish his unending support and kindness toward me and the college.  I am deeply saddened about his death, and my heartfelt condolences go out to his wife Bobbie and the entire Jay family.  To say that he will be missed is a grave understatement.

We are pleased to announce that Bill’s legacy will live forever through the establishment of The Dr. William “Bill” Jay Memorial Scholarship by our Saddleback College Foundation.  To make a contribution in Bill’s memory, please visit

Plans are underway to hold a memorial service for Bill on our campus, and information will be provided when it becomes available.

Thank you Dr. Bill Jay for your incredible life’s work dedicated to Saddleback College.  We will miss you always.

Tod A. Burnett, Ed.D.


Saddleback College


William O. Jay, 1935-2015



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