La Cañada resident and former state Assemblyman Anthony Portantino last week received an honorary Associates Degree from Glendale Community College.

"I am very honored to have received this degree," Portantino stated in a news release. "It's always an amazing experience to be on a college campus and to share in the graduation excitement. To be recognized and awarded during a commencement brings me back to my own graduation and makes today an even more special experience. GCC is one of the premier community colleges in the country and a tremendous asset to students in the foothill communities."

Portantino has been a guest lecturer on the campus and participated in several programs and activities at the college over the years.

"We could think of no better local advocate for our campus and we were proud to extend the degree to Anthony," stated Ann Ransford, president of the GCC Board of Trustees.

Portantino, who was termed out of office last year, has joined the USC Unruh Institute of Politics as a visiting fellow, the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy Advisory Committee, the California Film Commission and the Arroyos and Foothills Conservancy.

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CAROL CORMACI is the managing editor. Email her at carol.cormaci@latimes.com.