Jeff Hall, a Hancock College trustee representing Lompoc, has been announced as the third nominee for the 2018 Valley of the Flowers Peace Prize.
Hall, whose 2016 campaign for election to the five-member Hancock College Board of Trustees called for free college tuition, saw the college implement his dream during 2018 in the form of the Hancock Promise. It represents a value of about $1,200 per student, and the result was a 44-percent increase in enrollment from local high schools.
“I opposed dormitories and advocated for free college,” Hall said recently after being told of his Peace Prize nomination. “If I die tomorrow, I can say I accomplished my goals.”
As it turned out, the tuition decision was relatively easy, Hall discovered. Other trustees were thinking along the same lines and the vote was unanimous. The Hancock Promise was issued publicly in August of 2017.
“We have a five-year plan for a $10 million fund by 2022,” Hall said. “We already have $5 million of it in the bank.”
A key role in fundraising is played by the Allan Hancock College Foundation.
“And it doesn’t start in high school,” Hall added. “It starts in elementary school. We get into parents’ minds that their children will advance to higher education. All they need to do is put in the work.”
Hancock College counselors and staff have been working with Lompoc elementary schools since the announcement in 2017.
The ninth annual Peace Prize, a 2-foot, 24-pound sculpture of black walnut with a ceramic layer at its hollowed center below three copper loops, will be awarded on Saturday, Jan. 26, at Valley of the Flowers Church in Vandenberg Village.