On January 19, 1962, The California State College Board of Trustees selected John M. Pfau, Chair of the Social Sciences Division at Sonoma State College, as the first President of San Bernardino-Riverside State College.
In a 1980 oral history interview Professor Edward White said, “…it seemed to all of us at that time, that some people can afford to send their kids to Dartmouth and to Amherst and to Harvard, and buy that kind of education for their kids. That’s very nice, but in a democratic society, able kids who don’t have that kind of money behind them should also have that kind of education available. That’s what we tried to do.”
In a 2012 oral history interview Dean Emeritus Ralph Petrucci said, “I think somehow the spirit of what we had here in 1965 is still here. I’ve heard the presidents who followed John Pfau, noting the same thing, that whatever spark started us in the beginning it’s still here.”