College of the Canyons Chancellor Dianne G. Van Hook received the rarely awarded O – C (pronounced “oh bar see”) award from FivePoint at a community celebration event held to celebrate her 35 years of leadership at COC.
The award was presented by FivePoint Executive Vice President Don Kimball on Sept. 6. at the Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center.
Initially only awarded to Newhall Land employees in recognition of exemplary efforts, the award is now presented to only a select few community leaders for their commitment to the Santa Clarita Valley, according to a news release from COC.
“I feel incredibly honored to join the ranks of innovative individuals who have received this award for their deeply rooted commitment toward making the Santa Clarita Valley a better place,” Van Hook said in the release. “I wish to thank FivePoint for their dedicated support of College of the Canyons and our mission to make higher education accessible in our community.”
The award features a miniature replica of the O – C cattle brand that was purchased by Henry Mayo Newhall in 1871 along with an extensive cattle operation. Handmade at the Newhall Orchard by the ranch foreman, the brand has been used for decades on The Newhall Ranch.
“Dr. Van Hook exemplifies community leadership at the highest level and has had an immense impact on both College of the Canyons and our community over the past 35 years,” Kimball said in the release. “It was an honor to take the opportunity, on behalf of FivePoint leadership, past and present, to recognize her accomplishments at her 35-year anniversary celebration and award her with our highest honor, an O – C award.”
Kimball said in the release that FivePoint’s relationship with the college runs deep, dating back to the college’s inception over 50 years ago, when Newhall Land and Farming, a FivePoint subsidiary today, sold the community college district more than 150 acres in Valencia and then returned 10% of the purchase price to the college as a gift.
“Over the years, FivePoint has continued in the spirit of a true public-private partnership, working with Dr. Van Hook to support the college along the way, including the capital campaign for the University Center back in 2009,” Kimball added. “COC today is an amenity the entire Santa Clarita Valley can be proud of under Dr. Dianne Van Hook’s leadership, providing a local, affordable solution to higher education.”