Celebrating Excellence: PVCC Announces 2024 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year

Wednesday, May 22, 2024
Celebrating Excellence: PVCC Announces 2024 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year

Paradise Valley Community College (PVCC) recently announced its selection for the 2024 Distinguished Alumnus of the Year – Darin Hood, a 1994 PVCC graduate who was honored at this month’s Puma Choice Awards.

As a junior in high school, his sights were set on serving his country, having committed to the United States Marine Corps. However, after receiving a cancer diagnosis, Hood was forced to shift gears. In order to maintain medical insurance under his parents, Darin enrolled in night classes at PVCC while working days. 

“PVCC allowed me to explore education on my own terms,” Hood said. “The environment fostered a love of learning I had never felt prior.”

After earning enough credits, Hood transferred to ASU, and completed his bachelors, while serving as a Phoenix police officer. He would finish his career there, after 23 years, retiring as a sergeant. During this time, he also earned a master’s degree from A.T. Still University. After retiring from the police force, Hood transitioned into financial services and is currently a financial advisor with Principal Financial Group.

Hood’s outstanding achievement and commitment to giving his time, talent, and treasure to PVCC is indisputable. Reconnecting with PVCC this past year, he has given back in multiple ways including participating in the community project Ben’s Bells ‘BE KIND’ mural, volunteering as an alumni panelist for the Business, Entrepreneurialism and Management Career Panel, and serving hundreds of families at the Palomino Easter Festival. Darin also makes regular donations to PVCC’s Be a Student’s Hero Giving Campaign

His journey underscores the invaluable role of community colleges as catalysts for change, providing opportunities for individuals to transcend circumstances and pursue their dreams