Celebrating Clackamas Community College's 50th Anniversary

my whole family took classes up here my two kids and my wife and I all took classes we all had fantastic experiences Clackamas Community College has really been a highlight for Oregon City and I think it's brought development and it's brought ideas here when I was at CCC I learned how to be a student CCC really made me and encouraged me to to be a life learner there's something about a community college that makes you better and by making you better makes your community better that's the whole point of it it's to improve all of us together by investing in who we are where we are I think as as an instructor at Clackamas Community College I've had a great blessing and a great opportunity and I wouldn't trade that for anything I think CCC gave me a life and also is my life as a president in the early days we really had a great community and it was small and everybody knew each other many of us were in our 20s and early 30s and there were many students coming back from Vietnam so there wasn't much age difference with a lot of faculty and students then was an interesting time the college came into being and at a very tenuous time so those early pioneers of the college were very good at talking with people their neighbors and friends and people in various community groups about what we were trying to do up here and I think that that started to unleash this energy of support I tried to put together a history of the college and I call it transforming lives because to me that was that was the most fundamentally important theme that I saw it transformed my life but I could see how it transformed so many student lives and lives of others who are connected in the process whether they're on the teaching side or the learning side what I think it really has to do with is an atmosphere and that atmosphere is set by the people that were here before me transmitting that knowledge to the people that are here and in those people transmitting that knowledge to the people that come after them and that's really what it's all about the experience here at Clackamas I think mirrors what all community colleges were designed to do I think at Clackamas our focus on welcoming and our focus on connecting with individuals are focused on remembering people's names those are things that perhaps make us stand out in our delivery of education our community everything we do we work with other departments one of the students for his capstone spilt took a 1920 wind turbine and went over to automotive and automotive helped them paint it he went to our composite guys and he helped them build the blades we went to electronics and electronics helped them test the motors out you can't get everything done by yourself have to be a team player at Clackamas I think we're all in it together and that's where we get our energy and when we come together and we bring that energy together that's what makes us Clackamas the value of Clackamas Community College is it's where you get to start being the best version of you and finding the best version of you you might not want to spend 20 30 40 50 thousand dollars on that first phase when no one is even going to recognize your face in your name together anyway you might want to start in a place where people want to see you and see you grow you might want to start by figuring out what you love in our classes where our classrooms hold 24 34 40 students and there's an instructor that's talking to you on a regular basis and checking in with you and seeing how you're doing that instructor student connection is so much stronger than what you get at the University because when you're in a class that's got 350 people no one feels special no one feels like they have to be at class the main reason why I was very successful at Clackamas and I think that overall within my college years is because of the sense of community I built with in Clackamas they really made it so that I felt comfortable the class size was small enough where I felt like I could ask questions and I felt like I mattered I was really involved within the student body as a student leader so it really felt like I had the resources to to excel and to do what I needed to do CCC really allowed me to see myself in places I never imagined in a sense I think it taught me to dream big being an alumni is something that I carry with me every moment as I'm carrying out my responsibilities as a president I represented all of us who have potential and the ability to come in and just be able to say I think I have potential and somebody's saying you do and then being able to access that potential and actually make it real is powerful and it's a big responsibility to make sure that whatever I experienced others experience so that that happens for them if you care about your future your society's future your children's future your own well-being you know you have to contribute to this sort of education education is sort of key to all of these things I know a Clackamas Community College has has had wonderful support and wonderful donors and I encourage people to continue to do that because it can become more and more important as time goes on Clackamas was built on a notion of being in your backyard being welcoming and being important to the community for the community's future that's not going to change and so for the next 50 years well you may see different buildings different equipment different faces the next president whatever the one thing that won't change is Clackamas is always here for the community you

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