Alphonse Derosiers Memorial Scholarship

Alphonse Derosiers Memorial Scholarship

Those not part of the California Lutheran campus community during the years between 1964 and 1985 missed a very colorful chapter in the life of the college. For those were the years in which Alphonse Toussaint Desrosiers worked on the facilities staff. Alphonse and his wife June lived in Simi Valley for 31 years.

Alphonse was never called by his given name. He was simply “Al the painter,” the ubiquitous, uninhibited workman who painted his way from one end of the campus to the other. Along the way he managed to make friends with faculty, students and staff. No classrooms or hallways remained untouched by his paintbrush. In addition, he served as an unofficial counselor, philosopher and sounding board for many students. Friendships just came naturally to Al.

The college soon became more than his employer, when Al took advantage of its tuition remission plan and became a serious college student, majoring in art. He graduated cum laude with the class of 1978, two years after his daughter Juin ‘76 and three years before his son James ’81. Al surprised everyone by going on to earn his teaching credential in 1983, although he never actually ended up in the classroom. But he was prepared, just in case!

Some lesser known facts about Al include the following: He served six years in the United States Navy during World War II. He competed and won the state championship for baton twirling twice in Rhode Island, the state where he was born. Before moving to California he owned and operated a dental laboratory in Springfield, Pennsylvania. And CLU’s board of regents honored him in 1974, citing him for “faithful and effective service, competence and spirit.”

Although Al had been retired for nine years before his death in August 1994, the campus remembered him well. As a result, many friends and admirers contributed to his memorial scholarship fund. The Alphonse Desrosiers Memorial Scholarship was, appropriately, designated for an undergraduate art major. What a pity that its recipients will not have the opportunity to know the unique person for whom their scholarship is named.