Friday Letter, 6-19-15

Graduation Day 2015.  Cheers.

We’ve had some successes this year.  Putting together a Bachelor’s degree, implementing a Human Rights Awareness Week, awarding tenure, launching a campus wide diversity initiative…those are just a few and I’m sure the list goes on and on.  Each department has shown success at helping our learning environment be continually vibrant.

In the back of the house, we achieved a clean audit thanks to the diligence of our finance and payroll staff, the Foundation has been reworked and a business plan will be presented to the Trustees this September, and we enjoyed (yes actually enjoyed) our accreditation visit.

We’ve also engaged each other often.  TED Talks with the classified staff, opportunities to dance, task forces on a number of topics, and (of course) a coffee house.  Thanks to the 45 folks who showed up last Tuesday.

There is no doubt that we’ve helped students achieve.  Our international program has reached its enrollment goal, our transgender students have helped to shape our culture, Cascadia was invited to send students to a UWB sponsored business leadership program, and we had hundreds of students earn academic honors this year.

As today plays out, remember that these graduating students achieved their goal today because we put them first.  We teach and we serve so that our students can become more educated and better citizens.

Faculty and staff also performed well.  The following letter was received by Katie Headlee this week.  I didn’t ask for permission to reprint it…I hope she won’t mind.  I just thought it captured such wonderful sentiments:

I wanted to say Thank you to the Foundation for the Exempt Service award I received this past Friday.  I certainly could not do the type of work I do without the amazing support systems and processes we have in place at Cascadia.  While I appreciate being recognized, it really does take a group commitment from so many folks to be of service to students, staff, and faculty.

Eric asked those of us who had been here 15 years to say what we thought had changed…and I thought about it over the weekend.   I actually thought about what has stayed the same. Change is and has been constant. And students being at the center of our every change has been the focus for all these years- since day one.  This has been a good thing!  Our reputation shines because of it.

I appreciate the fact that one cannot be in this environment without growing personally and professionally; that part I will miss when I retire in the near future.  My overall experience here has been a joyful one and has added a richness to my life.

Thank you again to the Foundation for this honor,

In addition to Katie, Vickie Ashe, Jessica Ketcham, and Anne Tuominen received service awards.

I appreciate Cascadia so much.  I wish I could help your senses appreciate what I feel as I write this.  If you like coffee, and you walk into a coffee house…the aromas in the air bring peace, familiarity, and a sense of belonging.  That’s how I feel every morning when I step onto campus.

I look forward to celebrating with you today.  Have a great weekend.

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