Debbi Guthrie, community activist, will be honored with Riverside City College’s inaugural Legacy Award and Dr. Salvador Hernandez as the Alumnus of the Year during the College’s President’s Dinner on Thursday, October 18, at the Riverside Municipal Auditorium.
Individual tickets are $150 and opportunities are available to be a sponsor of the event. Monies raised from the event will benefit the College scholarship fund. For more information on sponsorships or to purchase a ticket, log on to http://schools.rcc.edu.
Guthrie is a distinguished civic leader and former owner of Roy O. Huffman Roof Company in Riverside. She retired after 27 years, having built a solid reputation as the third-generation owner of the company first established by her grandfather in 1921.
A graduate of Ramona High School and California State University, San Bernardino, Guthrie is known for her tireless efforts in promoting, improving and supporting local causes. She participates on numerous boards such as the Riverside Sport Hall of Fame, ATHENA of Riverside, the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce, and has worked on a number of initiatives tied to the Riverside Community College District. These include the RCCD Foundation, the Passport to College initiative, the Chancellor’s Circle on Innovation and the construction of the Riverside Aquatics Complex. Guthrie, who serves on the College’s President’s Advisory Council, spearheaded the campaign for the Aquatics Complex and assisted in the development of the Starting Blocks program in order to increase access to water safety and aquatic sports for local children. She has been recognized for her philanthropy as well as her tireless efforts in supporting causes that benefit youth, students and higher education entities.
“There isn’t anyone more deserving of this Legacy Award,” Irving Hendrick, interim president of RCC, said. “Debbi’s passion for education and philanthropy is well documented. She has touched many lives through her fundraising and support of causes, not only at this college but throughout the region.
“It is said, ‘the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.’ If that is true then Debbi is one happy person.”
In addition to saluting Guthrie, the College will also honor Dr. Hernandez as the 2018 Alumnus of the Year. Dr. Hernandez, who was born and raised in the Central Pacific state of Michoacan, Mexico, came to the United States with his father, a seasonal migrant worker, at nearly 18 years of age. He attended Rubidoux High School and, despite little support from his family, enrolled in college, learned English and transferred to the University of California, Irvine, graduating from its medical school in 1996. He was selected as RCC’s Outstanding Student of the Year in 1988.
Today, Dr. Hernandez is an infectious disease specialist with Kaiser Permanente Anaheim Medical Center. He received his medical degree from UCI School of Medicine and has been in practice for more than twenty years. In 2006, he was honored as the Southern California Kaiser Permanente Group Outstanding Physician of the Year and in 2017 appointed Chief of Infectious Diseases.
In nominating him, James Morrison, a retired College faculty member, said, “His story is an inspirational and remarkable journey of a young immigrant…Salvador's determination was evident; it was not unusual to see him in a chemistry or biology class with a Spanish-English dictionary to help him succeed in his courses.
“Dr. Hernandez accomplished all this against difficult odds and statistics, but owes a great deal of his success to the early support and mentorship he received while he was at RCC. His life is not only an example of achieving success in the face of many obstacles, but also a classic example of the role that RCC plays in helping students change their lives and achieve their dreams.”