I am always looking for the reminders of why I like working at Cascadia. Often, students’ stories inspire me. I am also motivated by the successes of our faculty and staff. I get particularly excited by new collaborations with UWB and our community partners.
Last week we hosted a conference for folks in the international student realm and one of our former employees, Chris Thomas, was in attendance. He sent me this letter after the conference.
Hi Eric –
I attended the AWISA conference at Cascadia this morning. It was the first time I had been back since I left nearly 4 years ago, and frankly, I wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of how it would feel being back on campus.
A lot has certainly changed! New buildings, new staff, etc. But as I walked across campus, it felt exactly the same as it did 4 years ago – the same community feel, the same commitment to sustainability, the same focus on students – and I realized that the emotion I was feeling was gratitude. I was thankful to see that while time has passed and much has changed, Cascadia has stayed true to its values. I was thankful to see the International Programs lounge area vibrantly decorated and full of international students interacting with one another. And I was thankful for all the good memories and opportunities I have taken with me from my time there. I think Cascadia will always have a special place in my heart and it makes me really happy to see it doing so well.
My job as President allows me to leave campus, visit other campuses or Olympia, and then return. The feelings expressed by Chris are ones I feel every time I pull back onto campus. Sometimes seeing what else is out there allows one to appreciate what is at home. And I, like Chris, certainly appreciate being at Cascadia. Thanks to Chris for sharing his thoughts.
One of this week’s “big events” was our monthly Board of Trustees meeting. A lot was accomplished, including the Board’s unanimous nomination of a student for the state-wide Transforming Lives award. We saw this student’s story at Convocation; LaShanta Sealy will compete in January against 33 other students for one of five scholarships. Send positive thoughts to the awarding committee in Olympia!
If you keep up with the Board agenda or minutes, you might also know that we received a generous donation from one of our long-time donors who passed away last year. In recognition of the donor’s generosity, the Board is considering naming our Learning Center after this donor. Here is an excerpt from the Board packet:
Shortly after marrying in 1949, John and Margaret Bock moved to the Totem Lake area. John was a salesman and Margaret a homemaker. In the late 1960’s when the extension of Interstate 405 was slated to run through their property, they sold their home and moved east beyond Redmond.
Before John’s death some twenty years ago, the Bocks talked frequently of sharing their good fortune with a student or students seeking a college education. Ms. Bock made a commitment to honor that vision. Although the Bocks did not have children of their own, Ms. Bock decided to establish an endowed scholarship to help Cascadia students reach their dreams. The endowment supports students who demonstrate academic success and are pursuing a degree in the sciences, math, or economics. The endowment has funded multiple scholarships to date.
Ms. Bock established the endowment in 2007 with a gift of $107,000; the first awards were distributed in 2008. Over the last 10 years, Ms. Bock continued to make generous donations. Upon her death last year, a portion of her estate was entrusted to Cascadia. Creating the endowment, especially one of such significant size, has and will fund dozens of student scholarships each year for generations.
In honor of the Bock’s generosity, the college’s executive team and the Foundation Board recommend to the Trustees that, at the November Board meeting, the college name the institution’s learning center (currently located in CC2) as the John & Margaret Bock Learning Center, or simply the Bock Center.
The Bock’s desire to help students learn and achieve their goals is best represented by naming the learning center facility after them. The learning center continues to grow as a vital resource to students’ success with quality professional staff, tutors, and services. It is an integral facility for Cascadia and will continue to grow and expand in importance as the college itself grows.
As I said, I am inspired by our employees, our students, our community partners, and all that we do at Cascadia.
Have a great weekend.