Celebrate new year, president

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By Scott Wysocki

WELCOME (Carla Aponte)

By Scott Wysocki

The academic year began with great fanfare Sept. 16, during Riverside Community College’s annual Convocation in the A.G. Paul Quadrangle. A host of officials from a variety of colleges came to greet the new academic year, expressing eager anticipation for the coming months. But this year, the inauguration of RCC’s 8th president stole the show, as Daniel Castro, was formally welcomed to the post by his new colleagues and friends.

Castro warmly accepted his new position during the convocation address.

“It’s like a dream,” he said.

But his excitement did not overshadow his focus on RCC’s upcoming issues, as his speech quickly turned to plans for the future. With a newly enacted $350 million bond measure to fund construction and development at RCC, the subject of “change” dominated President Castro’s speech in an attempt to address the transformative times ahead.

“We must embrace change, not fight it,” he said; it is “our road to greatness.”

Castro also addressed RCC’s primary focus-education-amid his talk of change, asserting his desire to “make sure the gift of education continues,” at RCC.

In a brief interview with President Castro, he said his primary goal for his first year is to make “a thorough assessment so we can move forward.” Castro emphasized his hopes of spotlighting RCC’s strengths and addressing its weaknesses, and he added that “students will be involved with all of it.”

One RCC student, Rudy Cajas, who was touched by his words, thinks Castro will “do a great job, especially because of his background.” Castro’s time on the Board of the Directors of the Rose Bowl Operating Committee particularly impressed him.

“Not just anyone steps out and does those things,” Cajas said. “I’m looking forward to seeing his presidential endeavors here at RCC.”Chancellor Salvatore Rotella, RCC’s former president, and residing Chancellor, also expressed excitement, calling Castro’s inauguration a “milestone” that will lead RCC to “new horizons of excellence.”

Other salutations to the inauguration were made by Riverside council member Nancy Hart, California Community Colleges Chancellor Mark Drummond, San Bernardino Community College District Chancellor Donald F. Averill, La Sierra University President Lawrence T. Geraty, California Baptist University President Ronald L. Ellis, and Associated Students of RCC President Ashley Di Muccio.

Among other highlights of this year’s convocation was the presentation of the Stover Fellowship Award to Dina Humble, instructor of Music, who emphasized “excellence in teaching,” during her acceptance speech and who closed the gathering with the singing of the Alma Matter.

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