College of the Canyons has had four superintendent-presidents since its creation in 1968, plus one interim superintendent-president who served in that capacity on two separate occasions. The position of superintendent-president is that of superintendent (now chancellor) of the Santa Clarita Community College District and president of College of the Canyons.


Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook
Chancellor, 2008 to present
Superintendent-President, 1988-2008

Dr. Van Hook assumed her role as superintendent-president on July 1, 1988. The college's first chancellor and longest-serving superintendent-president, she has literally reshaped the Valencia campus -- and created an entirely new one in Canyon Country. She has enhanced and transformed the college's original vision into a model educational institution that is uniquely prepared for the challenges of the future.


Dr. Ramon F. LaGrandeur
Superintendent-President, 1983-1988

Dr. LaGrandeur, former president of Spokane Community College, stepped into his role at College of the Canyons on May 1, 1983, facing a daunting budget deficit of nearly $500,000. He served in this capacity until his retirement in 1988. He died in 1995 at age 68, having spent more than 30 years in education.


Mr. Gary Mouck
Superintendent-President, 1982-1983

Mr. Mouck served as interim superintendent-president on two occasions -- during the void created by the resignation of Dr. Leland Newcomer in 1982, and following the retirement of the first superintendent-president, Dr. Robert Rockwell, in 1978. He set a retirement date of his own for Dec. 15, 1982, but he dutifully agreed to stay on until a replacement for Dr. Newcomer could be found. He eventually retired in 1983. He and his wife currently live in Nevada.


Dr. Leland B. Newcomer
Superintendent-President, 1979-1982

Dr. Newcomer, former president of La Verne College and superintendent of Grossmont Union High School District, assumed his role as the college's top administrator on July 1, 1979. He arrived during a particularly difficult period for all of California's publicly funded institutions. Just a year earlier, voters approved Proposition 13, which led to significant cutbacks in education. He resigned in June 1982. He died in 2007 at the age of 86.


Mr. Gary Mouck
Interim Superintendent-President, 1978-1979

Mr. Mouck worked with Dr. Robert Rockwell at Santa Barbara City College, and he followed his mentor to the Santa Clarita Valley. His primary responsibility was serving as vice president and assistant superintendent of instruction, handling day-to-day operations. He assumed the top post on an interim basis when Dr. Rockwell retired in 1978, and again in 1982 when Dr. Leland Newcomer resigned. He and his wife currently live in Nevada.


Dr. Robert C. Rockwell
Superintendent-President, 1968-1978

Dr. Rockwell, president of Santa Barbara City College, was chosen to lead the new college district and, most importantly, create the institution that would become known as College of the Canyons. He retired in 1978, having accomplished his primary task of building a college from the ground up, as well as a strong foundation on which to grow. He died in 2000 at the age of 87.

This page updated on May 4, 2010

College of the Canyons
Valencia campus: 26455 Rockwell Canyon Road, Santa Clarita, CA 91355 • (661) 259-7800
Canyon Country campus: 17200 Sierra Highway, Canyon Country, CA 91351 • (661) 362-3800

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