Beloved Former President Passes Away
SAN LUIS OBISPO – Cuesta College mourns the loss of Dr. Frank R. Martinez, Cuesta College’s second Superintendent/President, who died on Sunday, Sept. 27, at the age of 98.
Hired in 1964 as the founding Assistant Superintendent/Vice President, Dr. Martinez was part of a small but mighty group with a big vision for Cuesta College and tasked with developing the first curriculum and hiring the founding faculty. His service was filled with firsts that set the course of the College’s growth and development. Those firsts included hiring the first staff member, negotiated the purchase of the land for the San Luis Obispo campus, hired the first cohort of faculty to teach the initial semester, and drafted Cuesta College’s original master plan.
In 1977, Dr. Martinez became the President-Superintendent, a role he held until his retirement in 1988. His 25 years of service to the College and community had an immense impact on generations of faculty that have reflected the best in education. His service was formally recognized by the Board of Trustees on Dec. 5, 2018, with the naming of a new instructional building in his honor. On May 31, 2019, the Dr. Frank R. Martinez Building was unveiled in a naming ceremony.
“Cuesta College will forever bear the imprint of Dr. Frank Martinez,” said Superintendent/President Dr. Jill Stearns. “He was a true pioneer and shared a wealth of history, passion, and stewardship. He was an outstanding educator, visionary, advocate for students, mentor, and friend. We are grateful for his dedicated service.”
Dr. Martinez’s enduring legacy continued in the decades following his retirement. As Cuesta College’s number one supporter, he insisted on being the first donor to the Cuesta College Foundation every year on July 1st. Gifts can be made in his memory to the Frank & Lois Martinez President’s Scholarship Endowment, care of the Cuesta College Foundation, P.O. Box 8106, San Luis Obispo, CA 93403. Donations earmarked for the fund can also be made through the online donation form or by calling the Foundation at (805) 546-3279.