Story by Denny Han and Dawn Moses / Viking News / Follow on Twitter: @DennyH_

Long Beach City College hosted their annual State of the College Address on Feb. 3 to discuss changes in education programs, additions of funding and construction projects with the surrounding communities of Long Beach, Lakewood, Signal Hill, Avalon and Hawaiian Gardens.

Acting Superintendent-President Ann-Marie Gabel gave the address and thanked the surrounding communities for helping pass the $850 million construction bond measure that would go to upgrading and improving the LBCC campuses.

Highlighted in a press release soon after, Gabel also went on to detail the search for a new LBCC Superintendent-President to take office in spring, academic reforms to reduce the amount of time needed for a degree or certificate, and a $750,000 gift from the Don Temple Family Charitable Organization that will go to funding Long Beach Promise scholarships.

Academic Senate President Karen Kane, who introduced Gabel, gave a speech focused on the impact of the student-teacher dynamic:

“The last few months have rocked me to my core, and as much as I really want to, I can’t hide my eyes and turn my back on all that is unfolding. I am a teacher. I know that now more than ever it will be the power of what we do in education that will serve to enlighten.”

“…here we are in 2017, and now more than ever – we faculty, we teachers, understand our role and the responsibility we have to deliver information that will provide a sense of security and safety for all of our students. Now more than ever, we understand that we must remind our students and each other of the importance of truth to fact and fact to reality. Now more than ever, we understand that the power of communication is palpable and the written and spoken word matters, and that communication in all its forms bear the responsibility to uphold the virtues of respect, decency, and civility.”  

LAC Club Senate President Sokhak Phan, who attended with all other members of the Associated Student Body cabinet, said, “I thought the speech was very motivational.” Phan also went on to praise the service of the dining crew, Choura Venue Services.

 Several VIPs and elected officials from Calif. were also present at the event. At the Federal level, Congresswoman Linda Sanchez, Congressman Alan Lowenthal, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and Senator Janet Nguyen were in attendance.

At the local level, city leaders such as Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia and Signal Hill Mayor Lori Woods also made an appearance alongside to several councilmembers and city managers from throughout Los Angeles County.  

According to LBCC Assistant Director of Public Relations Stacey Toda, the State of the College Working Group planned the event at a total cost of approximately $45,000 obtained through private sponsorships given to the LBCC Foundation.

Highlights from the event can be found on the college website: http://events.lbcc.edu/detail.cfm?eventid=3255