Board votes Emmett Linder as the 2017 Distinguished Alumnus

Publish Date: 
Apr 10, 2017

Board votes Emmett Linder as the 2017 Distinguished Alumnus

SALINAS, Calif.  – The Hartnell Community College District is happy to announce the recipient of this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award. The Governing Board took action at its regular meeting on Tuesday, April 4, 2017 to approve Emmett Linder as the 2017 Distinguished Alumnus and commencement speaker.

“Emmett Linder, through his professional accomplishments and community contributions, is the embodiment of a Hartnell distinguished alumnus. We are honored to bestow upon him this recognition," commented Superintendent/President, Dr. Willard Lewallen.

Linder was nominated by multiple entities. Dr. Lewallen made the recommendation to the Governing Board and the vote was unanimous in selecting Linder for the honor. 

“During its 97-year history Hartnell College has provided a foundation of excellence that has launched successful lives and careers.  The Distinguished Alumni Award provides an opportunity for us to recognize the accomplishments of Hartnell alumni who have distinguished themselves as leaders and contributors following their education experience at Hartnell.”

Emmett Linder was born and raised in Salinas. He attended Hartnell College from 1977 to 1979 and graduated with an AA in General Studies.  He transferred to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Business Management.  He has been involved with the Agricultural Business and Technology Institute (ABTI) at Hartnell since its inception in 2006, joined the Ag Steering Committee, and joined the Hartnell College Foundation in 2010. Emmett has been a great champion of education and his leadership has benefitted thousands of students at Hartnell. Emmett Linder has worked a large part of his career at Driscoll's. Driscoll's is a major partner with Hartnell in developing education advancement for farm workers and their families. 

He will be recognized on Friday, May 26, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. during the commencement ceremony to take place at Rabobank stadium. Emmett will be the keynote speaker.

Hartnell Community College District – established in 1920

The Hartnell CCD serves over 17,000 students annually through its main campus in Salinas, the Alisal Campus in East Salinas, the King City Education Center, and various outreach learning centers throughout the Salinas Valley. Hartnell College, a Hispanic Serving Institution, provides workforce training, basic skills courses, and prepares students for transfer to four-year colleges and universities. Hartnell College is recognized for its innovative public and private partnerships that support world class STEM education, career technical education, fine and performing arts, humanities, and athletics. We are proud to be the winners of the Innovation Award for CSin3 – a Computer Science degree in three years.  We are growing leaders through opportunity, engagement, and achievement. For more about Hartnell CCD, visit