Campus & Community

PBSC to host inaugural Emerald Torch Awards Gala on Veterans Day in recognition of College’s 90th anniversary

Palm Beach State College will commemorate its 90th anniversary by honoring community heroes, including military veterans and alumni, at the inaugural Emerald Torch Awards Gala that will take place at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 11, at the Fire Academy Complex on PBSC’s Lake Worth campus, 4200 Congress Ave.

With the twin goals of honoring community heroes and supporting student scholarships and programs, the dinner gala, featuring the Emerald Torch Awards presentation, will also recognize a prominent philanthropic leader with a lifetime achievement award.

“It is a great privilege to recognize the contributions of our veterans, community heroes and alumni in this celebration of Palm Beach State College’s 90-year legacy of serving hundreds of thousands of students and their families and communities,” said PBSC President Ava L. Parker, J.D. “The Emerald Torch Awards Gala will also be an opportunity to reinforce the College’s continuing mission to empower the futures of Palm Beach County residents and help drive the county’s economic development and progress.”

All proceeds from the ticketed event will support The Foundation for Palm Beach State College and its initiatives to fund student scholarships and enhance programs of study. For more information on a table sponsorship or to purchase tickets, please visit

“The Foundation for Palm Beach State prides itself on building relationships that not only serve but also elevate the College’s mission for the benefit of our students and the community,” said David Rutherford, CEO of the Foundation and vice president of Institutional Advancement at PBSC. “While the gala celebrates an incredible milestone in the life of the College, it also reminds us that we have been truly blessed with an extraordinary opportunity to impact lives and ensure a better future through higher education.”

PBSC opened its doors on Nov. 14, 1933, as Palm Beach Junior College, Florida’s first public community college. Since that day, when the College comprised three classrooms and 41 local students, the institution has grown to become Palm Beach State College with five campuses and more than 36,000 students from more than 150 countries.

The Foundation for Palm Beach State College, founded in 1973, funds initiatives and opportunities that advance student access and achievement and impact the economic and cultural vitality of the community. Since 2018, The Foundation for Palm Beach State College has awarded over $9 million in scholarships to PBSC students.

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