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Tradition Rocks: Third Student Senate President and Co-Creator of the Rock Visits Campus

Vince Rice with Rock
Vince Rice '72 stands with "Ol Spart" also known as "The Rock."

During the week celebrating the 50th Anniversary, York College was visited by alumnus Vince Rice ’72. Vince, who served as the third Student Senate president and was a part of one of the first graduating classes from York College of Pennsylvania, has seen York College from its beginning. While visiting, he had the opportunity to tour campus, meet with the Student Senate executive board, attend a Student Senate meeting, enjoy dinner with Student Alumni Ambassadors, and share his York College story.

Originally from the small nearby town of Birdsboro, Vince graduated high school with roughly 200 fellow students. In deciding where to attend college, he explored multiple options but felt that the small community of York College provided a sense of comfort. He also felt that York College offered opportunities for students like him who had previously struggled academically.

Coming to York College, Vince wasted no time in getting involved. In an effort to inspire spirit for the College and bolster support for athletics, Vince and a group of fellow students founded Tau Sigma Sigma fraternity in 1969. When the fraternity was notified by Student Senate that they were not a sanctioned student organization, he decided to “infiltrate” by serving as a freshman senator. Little did he know he would serve as president his junior year.  Through this experience, he said, “I learned as much being involved in Student Senate as I did in the classroom.”

While Vince served as Senator and Ways and Means Committee Chair, he and Terry Lieb ’72, President of Student Senate at that time, came together in hopes of establishing a campus tradition. Since York College was such a young institution, there were lots of opportunities to start something new. They received approval from Dr. Miller, then President of York College, to place a large rock on campus that each graduating class would sign. With a simple idea and a large rock from a local quarry, these two students began a tradition that still exists at York College nearly 50 years later. When asked what the continued tradition of signing the rock means to him now as an alumnus, Vince became emotional when he said, “I left my mark.”

Looking back at his time as a student, and how it shaped who he is today, Vince shared, “You can do anything you wanted to here. You could go as far as you wanted to. It was limitless.” It was that environment that encouraged him to quit his job at an engineering consulting company and become an entrepreneur. Vince now owns two construction companies and employs between 80-100 people. In an effort to share the lessons he learned at York College, he encourages current students to listen and be open to differing points of view; get involved to make change and accomplish something; and set goals for yourself so that you can achieve them.

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