CONNECTING WITH OUR COMMUNITY:
THE 2007 STATE OF THE COLLEGE ADDRESS
A strong institution succeeds because of the commitment, hard work and accomplishments of every person. That was the message from Clark College interim President Robert K. Knight in his 2007 State of the College address, “Connecting with Our Community.”
At the event, held on January 31, Knight spoke to an audience that included members of the college community and the community at large. Attending dignitaries included former State Representative Val Ogden; Tom Koenninger, a member of the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges; and Jim Jacks, Southwest Washington representative for Governor Chris Gregoire.
Knight opened the address by focusing recent news stories about the popularity of penguins. He noted that one important penguin had not been mentioned in those stories and, to great applause, introduced the Clark College mascot, Oswald.
Knight described 2006 as “an excellent year for Clark College.” He cited accomplishments such as the opening of Clark College at WSU Vancouver, a new co-admission agreement with Concordia University, and the opening of the college’s new Welcome Center. A highlight of the year, Knight said, was the college’s 2006 commencement, featuring Washington Governor Chris Gregoire as keynote speaker. Knight also cited dozens of accomplishments by faculty, staff and students at the college.
|Above left (left to right): Clark College trustee Rhona Sen Hoss greets ASCC president Amanda Mayoral and Jim Jacks, Southwest Washington representative for Governor Chris Gregoire. Mayoral gave the introduction to the State of the College address. Above right (left to right): Clark College Foundation president Lisa Gibert, Clark College Interim Director of Community Education Tracy Reilly-Kelly, and architect Timothy Buckley, who spearheaded the Clark College at WSU Vancouver project.|
Knight told the audience that “Our students are at the heart of everything we do. We need to reflect that in the way we operate and manage the college.” Knight noted that more than 1,100 men and women earned degrees and certificates from Clark College during the 2005-2006 academic year.
Above left (left to right): Health Services Officer Mary Deal, Running Start Manager Linda Calvert, Eligibility Programs and Advising Support Manager Becky Merritt and Director of Athletics Lisa Quednow-Bickler. Above right (left to right): Billie Garner of Plant Services, Eugene Carroll of Financial Aid, and Thor Tesdale of Plant Services.
Knight cited the college’s progress in supporting its strategic plan. “Our strategic plan helps us stay on track through successes, challenges and even changes in leadership,” Knight said. He added, “Again, students are at the heart of it. If we’re doing things that don’t support our six mission imperatives – doing things that don’t support our students – we need to ask ourselves why we’re doing them.”
|Above left: Dan Ogden and former state representative Val Ogden. Above right: Clark College trustee Sherry Parker (left) and Clark College Foundation Board Chair Jan Oliva.|
In looking ahead to 2007, Knight cited highlights including the ongoing renovation of Gaiser Hall, the addition of new “smart classrooms” featuring the latest in technology to support faculty and students, and anticipated funding from the Washington State Legislature for Clark College at Columbia Tech Center. That new facility “will offer general education classes, professional and technical training, basic skills classes, workforce development and personal enrichment courses and will allow us to better serve the eastern portion of our service district,” Knight said. Groundbreaking is scheduled to take place this summer.
|Above left: Interim Dean of Instructional Operations Sylvia Thornburg (left) and Executive Dean of Planning and Advancement Candy Bennett. Above right: Bob Knight is congratulated following the State of the College address.|
Knight also announced a new main address for the college: 1933 Fort Vancouver Way. The 1933 number honors the year the college was founded.
|State of the College celebrations were also held at Clark College at Town Plaza Center (above) and Clark College at WSU Vancouver.|
Knight cited nearly a dozen examples of ways in which Clark College has changed lives and forged connections at the college and in the community.
He concluded by noting, “It has been said that success is the difference between where you are and where you want to be. Since 1933, Clark College has truly been ‘The Next Step’ on that journey for the community that we serve.”
Clark-Vancouver Television (CVTV) recorded the address and will air it during the early part of February. The address is already available on the CVTV Web site.
Learn about other Clark highlights.