The Long Beach College Promise’s recent $5 million prize was part of California Gov. Jerry Brown’s Awards for Innovation in Higher Education. The Promise program achieved the highest score among the state’s applicants. The inscription on the award states:
Office of the Governor
Long Beach College Promise
California has long committed itself to creating opportunities for all Californians seeking higher education. We often celebrate the report, “A Master Plan for Higher education in California, 1960-1975,” which articulated this commitment, but it was inherent in state policy a century before that document was published and it remains true today.
California is also a state of entrepreneurs and innovators. Its citizens continually reimagine our society and our economy, creating whole new industries and areas of inquiry in the process.
The state continues to maintain its commitment to educational opportunity, but the burden on students and their families has grown in recent years. The pressures on the state budget continue to expand as well. Our state’s future relies on a strong effort to both harness our tradition and spur real innovation.
The Awards for Innovation in Higher Education seek to do that, and your work exemplifies the best of that effort. Your award reflects your willingness to set ambitious goals, imagine creative ways to solve seemingly intractable challenges, cultivate deep support to try a different approach and then actually implement the innovations.
As you are well aware, this work is only beginning. Your award provides you with an opportunity to push harder and experiment with new ideas. I encourage you to share the lessons you have learned and support others as they seek to join the effort to reinvigorate higher education in California.
Sincerely, Edmund G. Brown Jr.