PALM SPRINGS – Joel Kinnamon, Ed.D., superintendent/president of College of the Desert, will receive the Fifth Annual “Mayor’s Award” at the Palm Springs Women’s Club’s annual Scholarship Luncheon & Fashion Show.

“I am deeply honored to receive this award and am a firm believer that education has the power to change lives,” Kinnamon said in a statement to Uken Report. “To be recognized by the mayor and the Palm Springs Women’s Club for the change College of the Desert brings to the lives of our students and our community is very special.”

Kinnamon, is one of the driving forces behind COD’s proposed new West Valley Campus at the Palm Springs Mall location directly across from the Palm Springs High School.

The Desert Community College District (DCCD) Board of Trustees announced in April 2018 the purchase of the former Palm Springs Mall, freeing the development of the permanent Palm Springs Campus to move forward.

In May 2016, the College approved a final environmental impact report and master plan for the site, which is at the corner of Farrell Drive and Tahquitz Canyon Way. The final price for the approximately 29-acre property was $22 million.

As part of the acquisition, the College was also able to purchase adjacent leased land, securing the entire site for development and enabling the College to move forward absent use restrictions and pursuant to the original vision for the property. Plans for our permanent campus include about 330,000 square feet.

Kinnamon will receive his award at the Scholarship Luncheon & Fashion Show. Models in roaring 20s Gatsby-themed attire will walk the runway in support of education on Friday, March 22 at the event. The luncheon and silent auction will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The theme for the event is “Roaring 20s Great Gatsby Style” and will be held at the Riviera Resort, 1600 N. Indian Canyon Drive.

Local resident Katherine Hough will receive the Pearl McManus Community Service Award.

All proceeds benefit four-year college scholarships for graduating students of Palm Springs High School in their quest for higher education.

To get tickets for the event, click here.


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  • Joel Kinnamon: College of the Desert