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Students, faculty, and staff are celebrating today at Pasadena City College, as the college revels in earning the coveted John W. Rice Student Success Award.

The award is granted each year by the California Community Colleges Board of Governors, the governing body of the largest education system in the United States. Its namesake is Dr. John W. Rice, an educator who was named by Gov. Gray Davis to the Board of Governors in 1992.
The Rice Award will be bestowed in a livestreamed ceremony on Wednesday, Sept. 30, at 1:45 p.m. PDT. Watch online:
Dr. Rice’s only child, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, will speak at the livestream ceremony today, along with Mrs. Clara Rice, Board of Governors President Tom Epstein and Vice President Pamela Haynes, and Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley.
“This is an outstanding recognition for Pasadena City College,” said Erika Endrjionas, PCC’s superintendent/president. “We constantly strive to keep our students’ needs at the front of our minds. We are reshaping our college to put our students first, and we are loving every minute of it!”
The Rice Award recognizes achievement in diversity and equity, as well as student success. Now in its 20th year, the honor inspires colleges to pursue the goals laid out in the system’s “Vision for Success” strategic plan.
“With a laser-like focus on giving all students the tools they need to succeed, Pasadena City College demonstrates strong retention and degree completion rates and offers a high-quality learning environment,” the award committee wrote in the event program. “The college … offers multiple programs for special populations to ensure all students can achieve their higher education goals, no matter where they begin.
“Pasadena City College has built an environment that ensures all students are prepared for success in their personal and professional lives,” the citation concludes.
The Diversity and Equity Award winner is the College of Marin. Honorable mentions go to Hartnell College for diversity and equity and Moreno Valley College for student success.
Earlier this year, PCC was named one of 10 nationwide finalists for the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the third time in a row the college has been so recognized.