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Orange County college leaders and mascots take to the Capitol steps



Why are a rustler sporting a 10-gallon hat, a bottlenose dolphin, a red-headed hawk, a six-foot elephant and a pumped-up anteater with a two-foot long nose converging in Sacramento on May 8? Mascots from the publicly funded higher education institutions in Orange County will accompany their chancellors and presidents in an unprecedented gathering at the State Capitol Building to meet with lawmakers about their colleges’ and universities’ contributions to the state’s economy.

The Orange County higher education leaders and mascots will communicate the collective value of higher education to workforce preparation and the economic well-being of Orange County and the state.

A robust higher education system is fundamental to the state’s economic recovery and its future. All three state higher-education systems provide unique coursework, academic degrees, workforce training and economic development, which drive the economic engine of California.

Michael V. Drake, M.D., UC Irvine Chancellor
Milton A. Gordon, Ph.D., CSU Fullerton President
Rudy Hanley, SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union CEO
Edward Hernandez Jr., Ed.D., Rancho Santiago CCD Chancellor
Raghu Mathur, Ed.D., South Orange County CCD Chancellor
Ken Yglesias, Ed.D., Coast CCD Chancellor

Chancellors and presidents flanked by students in mascot costumes. For this event, UCI’s mascot Peter the Anteater and CSUF’s mascot Tuffy the Titan have agreed to a truce in their intra-county rivalry and will stand side by side urging state leaders to support higher education. Santiago Canyon College’s hawk, Golden West College’s rustler, and Coastline Community College’s dolphin will bear witness.
DATE: Thursday, May 8, 2008
TIME: 11-11:30 a.m.
LOCATION: California State Capitol Building, South Steps


Higher education is an investment in the future. For every dollar the state invests in a student’s higher education, the state’s economy receives a $3 net return.

In less than three years, California has slipped from being the fifth largest economic power in the world to the eighth largest. To regain our competitive edge, we must continue to invest in higher education.

If two percent more Californians had associate degrees and another one percent more earned bachelor’s degrees, the state’s economy would grow by $20 billion; state and local tax revenues would increase by $1.2 billion a year, and 174,000 new jobs would be created.

The state’s three higher education systems are uniquely positioned to help address the expected shortfall of up to 17,000 doctors by 2015 and the 116,000 additional nurses needed by 2020.


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