A woman who has been an advocate for minority-owned small businesses and who helped raise millions of dollars for Orange Coast College will be honored by the college this month as an outstanding citizen.
OCC President David A. Grant and his Cabinet selected Patricia A. Krone to receive the award, which will be presented May 26 at graduation ceremonies.
"She's really played a major role over the past decades in this community and for Orange Coast College," said Jim Carnett, one of the 10 Cabinet members. The Cabinet is made up of Grant, academic deans and campus administrators.
Krone, a Newport Beach resident, graduated from OCC in 1968 when she was a working mother. This month's graduation will be her first; she was too busy to attend the ceremony 26 years ago, she told Carnett. More than 2,000 students will be honored at this month's ceremony, Carnett said; 1,415 students will get associates of arts degrees, and 604 will get certificates of study.
Krone has been a board member of OCC's fund-raising foundation for eight years and worked as president of the organization for the past two years. Last year, the foundation set a school record by raising nearly $2.6 million in cash and gifts, Carnett said.
Krone was the first woman to serve as chair, in 1989, of the Orange County Chamber of Commerce & Industry. She founded the Orange County Minority Business Council in 1988 and was recognized in 1989 as the national small-business minority advocate of the year by the federal Small Business Administration. She has received many other county awards for her work in behalf of race relations and community activities.
Krone was not available for comment Monday, but in a statement to the college she said she was overwhelmed and humbled by her selection as the Outstanding Citizen of the Year.