Fremont, Calif., June 11, 2021—The Ohlone Community College District announces with great sadness the passing of longtime Ohlone College Board of Trustee Ms. Vivien Larsen. Larsen actively served the District representing Newark since 2011 and was a powerful voice for the community in her role on the Board serving Area 1 of the District which encompasses the City of Newark and precincts in Fremont and Union City west of Highway 880.
“Vivien was a true example to us all. In my short time working with her and serving with her in the District, I am inspired by the ways in which she tirelessly continued to raise the standards,” said Dr. Eric Bishop, Superintendent/President of the Ohlone Community College District. “Our world is better because she was in it and I know that she would want us to continue to blaze the trails she sparked, to continue to do more, and to bring our best to the work we do for our students and for the community we serve.”
Larsen, a former high school counselor at Newark Memorial High School and Vice-Principal at Newark Middle School, previously taught in the Oakland schools and at Cal State University Hayward (now CSU East Bay). She touched all those she came across and was an example of not only talking about action but taking action, helping to transition many of her students to college and implemented high school to career pathways into various STEM disciplines.
“Trustee Larsen was a fierce advocate for our students and college. Her passion for equity and commitment to student achievement was unparalleled. She touched many of us with her positivity, bright spirit, and warm smile and laughter. She will be missed,” said Dr. Richard Watters, Ohlone College Board of Trustees Chair.
Her education was impressive and spanned two continents where she earned a Master’s in Education from the Catholic University of Valparaíso in Chile and completed coursework earning an M.A. from San Jose State University (SJSU), with credentials in school administration, school counseling, and college admissions process from the University of San Francisco, SJSU, and University of California, Berkeley.
In her role on the Ohlone College Board, Trustee Larsen always advocated for students by asking the hard questions and pushing the College to do more and to do better in serving. Her passion for equity and her focus on empowering students and the community through education and opportunity inspired those she served with. Larsen recently retired from the Board at its June 9th meeting where, thereafter, the Board directed President Bishop to begin filling the vacancy through an appointment process.
“I am going to very much miss Trustee Vivien Larsen and her contributions, both personally and professionally,” said Board Member Greg Bonaccorsi. “I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked in partnership with her over the years and, being the counselor that she was, she was always providing that support and providing a perspective on students in issues that helped to educate me and have helped me to be a better Trustee.”
Larsen leaves behind her loving family, close friendships, and a lasting legacy of positive impact and dedication to the Ohlone Community College District.