FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Executive Director of Communications and External Relations
Duarte Representative on Citrus College Governing Board Honored as State's Longest-Serving Trustee
Duarte, Calif. (April 30, 2020) – With more than 50 years of service on the Citrus Community College District Board of Trustees, Edward C. Ortell, J.D., will be honored by the Community College League of California (CCLC) for being the longest-serving community college trustee in California.
In May 2020, Dr. Ortell will be one of 10 individuals who will receive a CCLC Fulfilling the Trust award. Designed to celebrate the enduring service of California's community colleges trustees, the Fulfilling the Trust award is presented to those trustees who have achieved 20 years of service or have reached other milestones at community colleges in California.
Originally elected to the college's governing board in 1969, Dr. Ortell represents Trustee Area 3, which encompasses Duarte and portions of Azusa, Monrovia, Arcadia, Covina and Irwindale. This is the third time he has received the Fulfilling the Trust award from the CCLC.
"On behalf of the entire Citrus College community, I congratulate Dr. Ortell on receiving this honor. For more than five decades, his commitment and dedication to Citrus College, its students and its surrounding communities has been unwavering," said Dr. Geraldine M. Perri, Citrus College superintendent/president. "Throughout his tenure, Dr. Ortell has witnessed significant progress in the growth and development of Citrus College. As a member of the Citrus College Board of Trustees, he has helped guide the college as it navigated challenges and embraced opportunities. For this, we are grateful."
Prior to Dr. Ortell's election, the Citrus Junior College District expanded to include students from Claremont, Duarte and Monrovia. Soon after he took office, the district was renamed the Citrus Community College District to reflect the college's evolving role.
Dr. Ortell has helped provide vision and guidance at Citrus College. The student population has doubled over the last fifty years, increasing from 10,000 students enrolled in the 1970s to the approximately 20,000 enrolled today. Additional areas of growth include the expansion of student services, an increase in the rates of students transferring to four-year colleges and universities, the introduction of new vocational education programs and the construction of many new buildings, such as the world-renown Haugh Performing Arts Center.
"As a long-standing member of the board of trustees, Dr. Ortell has been instrumental in helping promote significant initiatives at Citrus College. He has advocated on behalf of all community colleges on issues such as the extension of the Gold Line and the expansion of dual enrollment," said Dr. Patricia Rasmussen, president of the Citrus Community College District Board of Trustees. "I have served alongside him since 2007 and know that he believes deeply in the mission of community colleges. I join my fellow board members in thanking him for the time and energy he has devoted to this cause."
As a trustee, Dr. Ortell has held all board offices, including more than 10 terms as board president. He has also served on other boards and associations, including the California Community College Trustees State Board, the California Master Plan for Education Task Force and the Los Angeles County School Trustees Association.
A professor emeritus of business and computer technology at Pasadena City College, Dr. Ortell has authored two college textbooks on mathematics and has received several National Science Foundation grants. He was also the former executive director of the Pasadena Education Association. Additional honors include receiving the CBS anchor Ralph Story Service Award, the Community College Association We Honor Ours Award and the Duarte Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Civic Service Award.
"Receiving this recognition from the Community College League of California is very humbling. It is definitely an honor to be among those whose service to the state and its students is being celebrated," Dr. Ortell said. "I am very appreciative of the support that the citizens of Duarte have shown me throughout the past 50 years, and I am grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with my fellow board members, as well as with Citrus College faculty, staff and administrators."