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Great Lakes CEO Accepts White House Invitation to Join the College Promise Campaign Advisory Board

First of three recent honors recognizing higher education expertise of Richard D. George

—President Barack Obama recently announced creation of the College Promise Campaign Advisory Board to explore how the United States can produce more college graduates. A key objective will be identifying ways to provide two years of debt-free community college for responsible students – so more students not only start college but also complete their degrees and certificates.

The Advisory Board brings together national leaders from the business, philanthropic, higher education, student, labor and nonprofit communities, as well as elected officials. Among them is Richard D. George, President and Chief Executive Officer of Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates, who will serve a three-year term. Although launched by the White House, the College Promise initiative will be a non-partisan effort designed and implemented at the state and community level.

"The goal of the advisory board is closely aligned with Great Lakes' goal of getting more students to and through college," George said. "I look forward to working with leaders across the country to develop strategies and tactics to help more students graduate from community colleges with the skills needed to support our nation's workforce and economy."

Additional Recognition for George

In September George was also recognized by national and local organizations for his leadership and expertise in helping students from low-income households, students of color, and first-generation students successfully graduate from college and repay their student loans.

The Council for Opportunity in Education (COE) presented George with its 2015 Lifetime Service Award. The award honors individuals whose lives have been dedicated to promoting the cause of educational opportunity—individuals who are committed to helping students overcome class, social, academic and cultural barriers to succeed in college. It acknowledges that George has worked to advance the mission of COE, that access and retention services are an absolute essential component of the strategy to ensure equal educational opportunity. This is only the fifth lifetime service award presented by COE in its 34-year history.

In recognition of his collaborations with the University of Wisconsin Colleges and UW-Extension, George received the 2015 Wisconsin Idea Award from Chancellor Cathy Sandeen. The award honored George for his guidance, commitment and leadership to reducing barriers for those seeking to access the promise of the Wisconsin Idea and achieving their higher education dreams.

George said, "Our goal at Great Lakes is to close the education achievement gap that threatens the American Dream. Through our partnerships with the White House, COE, Wisconsin's colleges and universities and many others, we are advocating for equity so everyone has the same opportunities. Our work has never been more critical than it is today. We are proud to be a champion for students across the United States."

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