RCC honors its past leader

By Amy Warshauer

Carved in stone (Martin iniguez Jr.)

By Amy Warshauer

The honorary renaming of the Digital Library and Learning Center for former Riverside City College chancellor Salvatore Rotella, was ready for its unveiling Feb. 26. Board of Trustees members, current and former chancellors, faculty, students, and alumni attended the ceremony on a sunny Thursday afternoon. Though the cheery weather, Mary Figueroa said, “was no coincidence.”

Flowers, refreshments, and soft music adorned the pay parking lot, which had been cleared for the set up of shaded chairs for those who attended the event. Master of Ceremonies, RCC president Jan Muto, introduced her fellow presenters, with whom she shared the stage, to the audience and then continued the dedication with a performance from the RCC Marching Tigers.

Ruth Jones, Student Trustee, then took center stage to share her thoughts on the importance of the library.

“We built this phenomenal digital library right here on the Riverside City Campus as a living testament that we of the college, we of the community, care about our students, and will do anything and everything in our power to support them and ensure their success,” she said.

Applause rang in conclusion of Jones’ speech, and Figueroa advanced to the podium to elaborate as to why Rotella was receiving this honorary dedication.

“He’s affected not only the students, but generations. He has set in motion, over the years, programs that students will benefit from. All of the different programs that have come on campus provide opportunities for students. So in that way he has basically opened the door to unlimitless potential for the future,” Figueroa said.

All speakers affirmed Rotella’s viability for honors due to his contributions to RCC such as Ford, Toyota and GM auto programs, Passport to College, funding for new structures, renovations of older buildings, and funding for future plans regarding the construction Nursing and Science buildings.As speakers wrapped up their praises, the headliner, Rotella, stepped up to give his acceptance speech.

When asked to speak to the crowd about his honor, Rotella said, “When I first found out, I was very touched, almost to the point of tears. And I don’t think I’ve had tears that often in my life.”

He progressed to thank all of those who had spoken on his behalf and those who had recommended nominating him for the honor of a building that would forever carry his name.

The ceremony was concluded by Muto with a countdown to the unveiling. As a chorus of voices reached the word “one,” the sheet fell from the building revealing the new title, Dr. Salvatore G. Rotella Digital Library and Learning Center.