SBCC Foundation benefactor and local philanthropist dead at 99


Ryan. P Cruz

File photo of City College’s Wake Campus which was obtained with the contributions from Jeanne and Harold ‘Hal’ Thornton.

Rodrigo Hernandez, Editor-in-Chief

Prominent SBCC Foundation donor Jeanne Thornton died on Wednesday, Oct. 27. 

The 99-year-old philanthropist was surrounded by her family, with her daughters Joyce and Janelle present, according to an email from community member Denice Spangler Adams. 

“Jeanne was known to everyone who knew her for her welcoming good nature, sincere interest in others, and her sparkling eyes,” Adams wrote in the email. “She treated her many visitors over the decades with homemade jams and treats with afternoon tea as she actively listened to whatever was on their minds.”

Jeanne and her late husband Harold ‘Hal’ Thornton were involved with the foundation since it began in 1979. Funds from the SBCC Foundation made it possible for City College to obtain the Wake Campus, and also continue to help multiple students through financial aid. The Thornton Auditorium is named after them in recognition of their contributions.

Adams also noted that the Thorntons received recognition from the State Senate for their contributions to California and the Santa Barbara area. 

Details on remembrance ceremonies are pending and will be announced soon.