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By Omar Reyes / Staff Writer/@salar0895
Photos by Denise Jones / Co-editor in chief/@DeniseJonesLBCC

Long Beach City College President Eloy Oakley acknowledged several students on their accomplishments and a successful 2015 at LBCC, in the State of the College Address 2016 Friday, Feb. 5, in the Hall of Champions at the LAC.

“It makes me excited to see what’s in store for LBCC. You can tell that Oakley is invested in the students. The State of the College Address makes me proud to graduate because LBCC has a good reputation,” said Tabby Larson, 20, a creative writing major.

Nearly 450 people attended the State of the College Address, According to LBCC associate director Stacy Toda

Students recognized by Oakley included twins Martel and Markel Cooper, first generation college students who have maintained high GPA’s and plan to become athletic trainers.

The Cooper twins, 21 and kinesiology majors, said they were honored to be recognized. Markel said, “Since we first started, we didn’t have all these programs like the Promise Pathways program. We have all these new things and it will only get better.”

Also recognized was Amanda Stevens, a 21-year-old English education major and honors student who has maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout her entire LBCC career and two students, Kelley Zellner and Brian Ortiz, who starred in the PSA “Head’s Up America” from the White House.

LBCC included new accelerated programs for English and Math departments, a new V Building for the Math and Culinary Arts Department, expanded a new tutoring network, implanted a new online counseling program, and secured state funding to help students fill in gaps in their academic achievements.

LBCC’s plans include increasing the number of students who transfer, graduate and get certificates while decreasing the time it takes for students to do so. LBCC was the 10th best college to give transfer degrees in the state and 463 degrees were given last year

LBCC was also awarded a 5 million dollar innovation award from the state of California. This award has expanded Long Beach College Promise from one tuition-free semester to a tuition-free academic year.

Speakers who welcomed, opened with remarks, and introduced Oakley included Executive Vice President Lou Anne Bynum, President of LBCCD Board of Trustees Doug Otto and Academic Senate President Karen Kane.

The Pledge of Allegiance was presented by Associated Student Body President Dalziel Arambula and the National Anthem was played by student Sandra Ene Saucedo before lunch was served to guests.

Lunch was provided by “Grand Food and Beverage” Company and no culinary arts students were involved, according to Devin Wright, director of off-site catering.

“The thinking was that so long as we opened the doors and gave (students) an opportunity to go to college and take classes, our job was done,” President Oakley said. “Today, that’s just not acceptable. We can, and must, do more for our students.”