From Heart to Wardrobe: Dr. Marie Colucci's Gift to RCC's Career Closet

May 13

Riverside City College (RCC) recently received a heartwarming donation that reflects the donor's generosity and serves as a poignant reminder of the enduring impact of one individual's legacy. Dr. Steve Colucci, in honor of his late wife, Dr. Marie Colucci, graciously contributed a substantial collection of professional attire to RCC's Career Closet, a gesture that embodies Marie's commitment to her students and the nursing community.

Dr. Marie Colucci, a beloved figure at RCC for over three decades, dedicated herself to nursing education, earning the title of full professor during her tenure. Her profound influence extended beyond the classroom, as she served as nursing department chair and played a pivotal role in establishing partnerships with institutions like California State Northridge to facilitate RCC students' pursuit of advanced degrees. Marie's passion for her students was palpable, evidenced by her efforts to support them in every possible way.

Meriel Anderson-McDade, CTE Placement Coordinator, expressed her gratitude for the donation, remarking, "That is so sweet, and I feel very honored and thankful to her and her family for thinking of our Career Closet. She sounds like a very special lady who, even in spirit, is still supporting our students."

The Career Closet serves as a resource for students navigating the transition into professional life. It provides students with access to new or gently used professional attire, empowering them to pursue career opportunities confidently. The new additions to the Career Closet will bless even more students.

The encounter between Meriel and Dr. Colucci was marked by a sense of connection and shared purpose. Dr. Colucci, accompanied by family friend Julie Salzman, delivered a truckload of meticulously curated attire that once belonged to Marie and her son, Michael Colucci, who also served as an adjunct faculty member at RCC. Dr. Colucci's joy in contributing to the Career Closet was representative of Marie's legacy of compassion and generosity towards RCC and its students.

In 2009, RCC witnessed the establishment of the Dr. Marie Colucci Endowed Nursing Scholarship. The scholarship supports continuing Registered Nursing students who share Marie's passion for education and excellence.

Tammy Vanthul, the School of Nursing Dean, reflected on Marie's profound impact, stating, "This is exactly what Marie would have wanted. She loved RCC and she loved our nursing students. Many of the faculty, myself included, were touched by her care."

During the drop-off, Dr. Colucci shared the story of his recent eye surgery encounter with an RCC Nursing Alumni, who was a recipient of the Marie Colucci Scholarship—a full circle for the benefits Dr. Marie Colucci continues to make.

RCC is thankful to the Colucci’s for their continued support of Tiger Students.