SJC Winner of the 2012 VIVA Award

San Juan College became the second higher education institution in the state to be recognized as a winner of the 2012 VIVA Award, which was recently presented by the Association of Commerce and Industry (ACI) in Albuquerque. New Mexico Tech was recognized in 2008.

Under the acronym VIVA, this years award recognized a total of eight businesses in the state who demonstrate a unique Vision or corporate philosophy, an Investment in employees and the surrounding community, Vitality through the organizations growth or financial strength, and Action to make New Mexico a better place to live. VIVA awards have been presented since 1996.

“The missions of San Juan College and the Association of Commerce and Industry align in enriching the quality of life for all New Mexico residents, and we are extremely honored to be among the businesses in New Mexico who were chosen to receive this prestigious award,” says Dr. Toni Pendergrass, SJC President.


From its modest start as a small branch of New Mexico State University in 1956 serving just 25 students, San Juan College has grown to be one of the largest two-year comprehensive community colleges in the state. San Juan College now ranks fourth in enrollment among all two- and four-year colleges in the state, providing quality education to more than 18,000 students annually.

The College offers 100-plus, two-year degree and certificate programs in variety of disciplines including healthcare, energy, trades, technology, arts, sciences, business and more. An array of non-credit and community classes, as well as services to grow local businesses is provided through the Center for Community Engagement and the Quality Center for Business. Community partnerships and economic development are also a vital part of the Colleges success.

Most recently, BP America generously invested $4 million dollars to go toward the development of new building for the School of Energy, enabling the school to become a national trainer of choice in oil and gas field technical education.

“It is a privilege for San Juan College to be recognized for our work in providing a quality education to our students as well as supporting economic development in the Four Corners and in the state,” Dr. Pendergrass adds.

Among the eight businesses selected to receive the 2012 VIVA award also included French Mortuary, Inc. in Albuquerque; Old Republic Title Insurance Group in Rio Rancho; Hutton Broadcasting, LLC in Santa Fe; Southwest Capital Bank in Las Vegas; Mack Energy in Artesia; Las Cruces Machine in Mesilla Park; and Carrie Tingley Hospital Foundation in Albuquerque.

The Association of Commerce and Industry is the statewide, legislative advocate of business interests. ACI serves as the state chamber of commerce and the NM representative of the National Association of Manufacturers.