Marlan “Skip” Davies
The name Marlan “Skip” Davies is synonymous with the City of Woodland and Woodland Community College.
He is inextricably linked with both–past, present, and future.
Skip attended Marysville High where he was an outstanding athlete in football and track. Across the street from
the High school was Yuba College, Woodland Community College’s long time parent school, where football
coach Bud Van Deren and Dean Walter Gottlund took Skip under their wings. In his 1958 freshman year the
Yuba College football team won the Golden Valley Conference championship and beat the third best team
in the nation, Olympia Junior College, to win the Lumber Bowl.
Those accomplishments set Skip in motion and cemented his “can do” work ethos.
From Yuba College Skip transferred to UC Davis where he was an award-winning starter for the U.C. Davis
football team while also earning two bachelors degrees in History and Physical Education in 1964. Skip earned
his Masters in Physical Education from CSU Sacramento in 1969 and went on to earn his doctorate in Curriculum
Development and Supervision from Utah State University.
When Skip took his first administrative job as vice principal of Douglass Junior high he knew little about the
job itself. All Skip knew was that he had to “do whatever [he] had to do to make it work.” Skip quickly ascended
the professional ranks, and by 1972 was principal of Douglass Junior High School. While principal he partnered
with Dan Walker from Yuba College to create a Woodland Center at Douglass Junior High School. For the first year
of its existence, the Woodland Center was housed at Douglass Junior High.
Skip looks back at his K-12 experience as the foundation for his career. “It [his time at Douglass] served me
well because they gave me everything that had a problem.” After his time at Douglass, Skip’s progression took him
to the Los Rios Community College District where he spent the bulk of his career in several distinguished capacities.
For Skip, his time working in the California community colleges, including four stints interim dean at Woodland Community
College mark an important nexus in Skip’s personal and professional life.
Skip views community college as serving three distinct functions: a place for transition or transfer, a place to learn
a career, or a place to retrain. Personally, it represented a pathway out of the Marysville fields to something more
According to Skip community college serves you when “you don’t know what you’re going to do or where you’re going to go.
You have no idea what the world is about. It’s a place to go and get started on your life and take a broad picture of
what’s in front of you so that you can then make a choice. In my situation that’s what was available. My parents had
never gone to college, and they wanted me to go to college and it was there. It was the same distance as the high school.
It was an opportunity to ask, ‘what do I really want to do?’ I think that sometimes you don’t make those decisions.
Sometimes you follow what your interest is and you’re there. So community college serves that transition piece from
teenager to adult.“
That willingness and desire to see where the road leads is something that has defined Skip’s career. He hopes to see
the road for Woodland Community College lead to a more complete campus where many different disciplines and students
are served; he believes that WCC president Michael White is the steward for the school’s present and future.
There is so much to say about Skip from his storied Community College career, to his two terms as Woodland’s mayor.
We could talk about his beautiful wife Juliann to whom he has been married since 1962 or their three children Teresa,
Diane and Miriam or his five grandchildren. All of these are integral layers to Skip’s story. But to bring us back to
that college across the street from his high school where his life changed forever, we acknowledge just how important
a role Yuba and Woodland Colleges have played in Skip’s life and just how important a role Skip has played in the College’s.