By Staff Reports
(Victorville)– Guests at the Victor Valley College Alumni Hall of Fame and Distinguished Service Awards will flashback to the 1970’s in honor of the decade in which the Victor Valley College Foundation was founded. For 40 years, the Foundation has been helping to bring the college and community together. With the help of the event’s presenting sponsor, Heritage Victor Valley Medical Group, the Foundation will do it again, honoring four notable award recipients and raising funds to support education during a “Disco Fever” themed celebration.
Each year the Foundation recognizes a Victor Valley College Alum whose success reflects positively on their alma mater, honors a community servant, highlights an advocate for education and acknowledges a friend of the College. This year the four recipients include a US Congressman, a former College Trustee, an accomplished vocalist, and a founding father.
The Alumni Hall of Fame inductee for 2015, is Congressman Jeff Denham who currently represents the 10th District of California in the United States House of Representatives. Denham is a 1989 graduate of Victor Valley College who served both as the ASB President and Captain of the Rams Football team. He quipped upon notification that it was at VVC that his political career started. Denham officially began his public service career by serving 16 years in the US Air Force. He owned a small business and was twice elected to serve in the California State Senate.
For only the second time in its history, the Foundation will offer posthumous recognition for Distinguished Community Service. This year, the honor remembers the contributions of Carollee Stater. Carollee volunteered as a leader for numerous civic and philanthropic organizations including American Red Cross, Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio, Assistance League of the Victor Valley, but perhaps was best known for serving three terms as a Victor Valley College trustee. Those closest to her recognize her selfless devotion to others and her family.
While not always the case, this year’s Distinguished Education Service Award recipient also has a college connection. Dr. Thomas Miller, the faculty member at Victor Valley College with the longest tenure, has been teaching for more than 40 years. In that time, he has developed a preeminent reputation for music education that has led VVC choral groups under his direction to perform by invitation for audiences worldwide. While his accomplishments with students on stage are many, he says his biggest reward may be the many smaller moments in rehearsal when the music gets to the “goose bumps” stage, because the hard work of his students falls into place.
The Presidents’ Award for 2015, which recognizes a person or organization for their impact on the College, will honor the Victor Valley College Foundation’s first president, John Kroencke. It is fitting for this award to acknowledge the legacy Kroencke started as the Foundation’s founding father, but his service to the Victor Valley is wide spread. Among his many current involvements, Kroencke is an active Rotarian who practices the club’s motto readily offering Service Above Self. He has been involved in helping Rotary and other organizations provide scholarships for Victor Valley College students and humanitarian aid to residents throughout the High Desert.
The Alumni Hall of Fame and Distinguished Service Awards Celebration will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Victorville on Saturday, February 28, 2015. In addition to celebrating the honorees, the event will feature dinner, dancing, a silent auction and a special tribute activity to help the Foundation usher in its 40th Anniversary year. Tickets and sponsorships for the event can be purchased online at www.vvcfoundation.com/discofever.
The Victor Valley College Foundation is a fundraising and public relations partner for Victor Valley College. Gifts to the Foundation change lives by providing scholarships for deserving students, equipment to enhance training programs, tutoring to demystify difficult academic subjects and other support to enrich the college experience.