College of the Canyons officials marked the official completion of the school’s newest building in Canyon Country on Wednesday morning.
The Takeda Science Center, named after long time biology professor Don Takeda, was dedicated during a ceremony outside the building.
“We are here today not only to celebrate this new building, but also to honor the person whom it’s named after,” said Chancellor Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook.
Van Hook paid tribute to Takeda after his nearly 50 years of service — remarking his tenacity, loyalty to his students, and long-standing commitment to the college.
“Even after retiring, he devoted time to college and its students, coming back to teach part time and serve on the Canyon Country Biology Committee,” said Van Hook.
Van Hook went on to explain how Takeda has left an impact on people’s lives at COC in more ways than one, explaining why he was so deserving of this dedication.
“Don’s career is truly remarkable and has touched thousands of lives — not only [with] his students, but his colleagues at COC — who are lucky enough to count him as a friend,” Van Hook voiced.
Takeda first began teaching at the college on Jan 1, 1972 at a time where College of the Canyons was at its infancy.
Few buildings existed at the time — and the staff was small, compared to the two sprawling campuses today, both in Valencia and Canyon Country.
Takeda was the second biology professor to be hired at the college, serving under James Boykin.
He retired from full-time teaching in 2017, but continues to work part-time to ensure that students receive a quality education.
Takeda expressed his gratitude to his current and former colleagues, students and the community.
“Each and every one of you are a part of who I am, and I cannot muster enough gratitude to thank each and every one of you for being a part of this, and for being a part of my life,” Takeda said.
Takeda, however, shifted the focus away from him – and shined light on the sheer importance of having a state of the art facility like this, and how it will give back to the community.
“This is crucial for the entire college population – to have this facility – and I am so honored. This is a tribute to great success,” Takeda said.
The 55,000-square-foot building named in his honor will serve students studying in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs.
The college broke ground on the science center in January 2018 and completed construction in the summer of 2021.
It is devoted to physical and biological sciences — and houses eight labs, 10 science service rooms, three computer labs, study rooms, seven lecture rooms with up to 75-seating capacities, and state of the art technologies.
Takeda expressed gratitude towards those who support him, but also to those who continue his legacy in support of the students.