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The Rio Waves Story

When choosing its first-ever mascot in 2015, Rio Salado College wanted to make sure the winning concept embraced the college’s commitment to its vision, mission and values. That’s why the Rio Waves made the final cut.

"The Rio Waves perfectly tells our story," said Rio Salado President Chris Bustamante. "Just like the water of the Salt River, it represents how the college cuts through barriers and navigates around obstacles in order to find innovative ways to serve students."

In 1978, the Maricopa County Community College District governing board embraced a bold new concept proposed by then Chancellor Paul Elsner-- a college without walls.

Rio Salado College was created to serve students in a distance learning format, a precursor to today’s world of online learning. The college has been making waves in higher education ever since. Rio Salado is consistently recognized as a national leader in online learning for its innovative programs and sustainable practices.

"We look beyond traditional approaches to education while focusing on meeting the needs of today’s students," Bustamante said.

Together, the members of the Rio Salado Community - the students, faculty and staff – are the Rio Waves, navigating the world of education for better future.