Eileen Volpatti Rice

Eileen Volpatti Rice

Eileen Volpatti Rice moved to Salinas in 1942 after graduating as class valedictorian from her San Francisco high school in December, 1941.She wanted to attend college to become a teacher, but America had entered WWll and times were tough. Instead, she worked as a secretary in various jobs for twenty years.

When she was 35 years old and between jobs, Eileen decided the time had come to attend college. She graduated from Hartnell College and eventually earned her BA and MA in Business. After finishing school, she joined the faculty of Salinas High School and remained there for the rest of her life. She taught business courses and was later appointed coordinator of the Mission Trails Regional Occupational Program (ROP) and Career Center.

Eileen also earned her CPS (Certified Professional Secretary) certificate and then organized the CPS program at Hartnell College. She always felt that the status of a secretary needed to be elevated to the professional level. Because of this advocacy, a scholarship fund was established in her memory at Hartnell by her husband Elmer Rice.


The Eileen Volpatti Rice Memorial Scholarship was created to support Hartnell College business students’ success.