Alumni, Nobel Prize Winner Speaks at Luncheon

BYRON BLOCKER
El Vaquero Staff Writer

On April 29th the Glendale Hilton played host to the tenth annual Glendale College Foundation Business Luncheon.

The luncheon was organized by Ann Ransford along with the Glendale Partners to generate financial support for GCC.

The noon time gathering was met with short speeches by the President of the Glendale Partners Gary J. Hopkins, Glendale Unified School District Superintendent Jim Brown, GCC President Dr. John A. Davitt, and the guest of honor Dr. Leland Hartwell who is the president of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, as well as a Nobel Prize winner, and a former GCC student.

Those present were given a brief overview of where the school is headed by Davitt who proudly informed the audience of the nursing programs 50 year anniversary which is rapidly approaching and boasted that, “[the GCC] family is committed to academic excellence”.

He continued to thank the Glendale Partners for their constant support and introduced Brown who playfully contended with Davitt over where the guest of honor Hartwell had gone to school jesting that,” [Hartwell] actually attended Hoover High School first.”

President of the Glendale Partners Gary Hopkins read the long list of honors and achievement credited to Hartwell and quipped, “We both went to Hoover High and Glendale College but that’s about where the similarities end”. Upon announcement Hartwell took the podium to much applause and banter.

Hartwell, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2001 for Physiology and Medicine in his cancer-related research on cells, spoke briefly about his experience at GCC noting that he wasn’t particularly fond of school until a staff member in the counseling department got him to check into the Cal Tech Biology Division where he found a spark of excitement that set him on the road to academic success.

Through years of Cancer cell research Hartwell has been able to learn which human gene causes cell division and that DNA can only divide 40 times which is directly responsible for our mortality. He went on to say, “cancer begins in a single cell which has been through 12 mutations.”

Through research he has also found that Cancer cells do not divide correctly and that detecting this earlier on will be the key to battling cancer in the near future.

As Hartwell drew his speech to a close he thanked GCC for their support and their ability to “see the value in the late bloomer.”