Sign In

News Release

Santiago Canyon College Foundation Appoints Former Mayor of Orange Teresa "Tita" Smith to Board of Directors


​(Orange, CA) – The Santiago Canyon College Foundation (SCCF) has appointed former mayor of the City of Orange, Teresa “Tita” Smith, to its Board of Directors. The Foundation, a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is managed by a 10-member board and is in charge of raising funds to support programs and scholarships for students at Santiago Canyon College.

Teresa "Tita" SmithMrs. Smith has dedicated herself extensively to community service. In 1986, she co-founded the Old Towne Preservation Association (OTPA) to prevent demolition of Orange’s historic downtown. She was appointed to the Orange Planning Commission in 1992, serving until 2004. That same year she was elected to the Orange City Council, a position she held until 2012, when she was elected Mayor. Mrs. Smith remained in that position until she “termed out” in 2018. She served on the Orange Centennial Committee in 1988, and has held other volunteer positions for numerous community-serving organizations, including the East Orange Advisory Committee, Orange International Street Fair, the YWCA, Holy Family Cathedral, and Orange Public Library. She is a founding member of the Friends of Pitcher Park Foundation.

In addition to her community service, Mrs. Smith has a long, professional history working with faith-based and other non-profits advancing family and social welfare, drug abuse prevention and mental health, including employment with Holy Family Cathedral in Orange, Catholic Charities of Orange County, the Mental Health Association of Orange County and Pacific Clinics. After gaining licensure as a clinical social worker in 2005, she returned to Catholic Charities of Orange County as Director of Family Services, and was subsequently promoted to Executive Director in 2009. She retired from the organization in December 2019.

Mrs. Smith has received numerous honors, including the 2000 Spirit of Old Towne Award and the 2006 Volunteer of the Year Award, both sponsored by the Old Towne Preservation Association. She is also the 2009 Orange Chamber of Commerce’s Commerce Award winner and the Orange Community Historical Society’s 2011 William T. Glassell Award winner for her work in preserving Orange's history and historic neighborhoods.

“I am extremely pleased that Tita has joined the SCC Foundation board,” said Larry Cohn, foundation board president. “Her extensive involvement in the City of Orange and experience as the Executive Director of Catholic Charities of Orange County makes her an invaluable resource to our board as we continue to build our community profile and fundraising efforts on behalf of SCC.”

Mrs. Smith holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Science from the University of California, Irvine; she was in the University’s first freshman class. After a 20-year break, she earned a master’s degree from University of Southern California (USC) in Social Work. She is a seventh generation California native and a fifth-generation resident of Orange.

About Santiago Canyon College Foundation
The Santiago Canyon College Foundation (SCCF), founded in 1998, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated exclusively to fundraising and community outreach on behalf of Santiago Canyon College. Ten volunteer and ex-officio board members work together to sponsor fundraising events and cultivate new philanthropic partnerships with individuals and organizations in the local community. The board also manages a permanent endowment for the benefit of the College. To find out more about the SCC Foundation, visit us online by going to or email foundation@sccollege. SCC is one of two comprehensive colleges under the auspices of the Rancho Santiago Community College District.

# # #