About Nate Bernitz

Proud 2014 graduate of The Evergreen State College. Working to engage alumni and future alumni as an Alumni Programs Officer.

Evergreen’s Founding President Charles McCann Dies at 89

Barbara and Charles McCann are photographed at their home in Tumwater, Washington, on Tuesday, January 15, 2008.

Barbara and Charles McCann are photographed at their home in Tumwater, Washington, on Tuesday, January 15, 2008.

On Wednesday, July 8, founding president of The Evergreen State College Charles McCann passed away at his home in Olympia. He was 89 years old.

McCann was appointed to the Evergreen presidency by the college’s Board of Trustees in 1968 after the Washington State Legislature passed a bill in 1967 authorizing the college. He served as Evergreen’s president until 1977, when he stepped down to join the faculty and turn over the presidency to former Washington Governor, Daniel J. Evans. McCann continued to be involved with Evergreen after he retired from the faculty in 1991, teaching classes and establishing an endowed scholarship at the college, the Barbara and Charles McCann Scholarship.

Prior to working at Evergreen, McCann earned a Ph.D. in English from Yale University. He first joined the faculty at Central Washington State College (now Central Washington University) in 1956, where he progressed from an associate professorship to chairman of the Department of English. He became assistant to the president in 1965 and later, Dean of Faculty.Credited with leading the design of Evergreen’s unique educational model, McCann also hired founding faculty, oversaw the campus’ construction, opened the campus and graduated the first class of 21 students. Under his watch, Evergreen achieved accreditation one year ahead of schedule.

According to Evergreen’s Board of Trustees’ chair Fred Goldberg, who knew McCann from the time he took the lead to establish the college, “he had a wonderful sense of humor and he never veered from his goal.”

In 1996, McCann received an honorary Masters of Public Administration from Evergreen. In the faculty petition for the degree, S.R. (Rudy) Martin, Ph.D., described McCann as a visionary. “He specifically articulated his vision of what the college would become…” Martin went on to write, “During the McCann presidency, Evergreen became… a widely acknowledged leader in American innovative higher education.”

Tom Anderson, a graduate of Evergreen’s very first class, who now sits on the college Foundation’s Board of Governors, remembers McCann’s early years. “We would have potlucks (in the dorms) and it was not uncommon for Charlie to drop by for dinner. He was one of the most accessible ‘executives’ I ever met. To a 20 year old in 1971, he was talking my language.”

Washington State governor Jay Inslee made a statement on the passing of McCann. “Washington State lost an education pioneer with the passing of Charles McCann, the founding president of The Evergreen State College. Mr. McCann helped us all imagine a different sort of college that would allow students to learn in a new way. Evergreen likes to say that Geoducks do things a little bit better, or smarter, or just differently. They do. And that stems in large part from Mr. McCann’s vision of a place in the woods where a diverse faculty would teach diverse students through interdisciplinary, collaborative and team-taught programs. Trudi and I join Greeners everywhere in sending our condolences to Mr. McCann’s family and friends.”

The Olympian also provided coverage.

The college will raise a black flag as a sign of respect and mourning.

A private service is planned by his family.


Links from the Evergreen Archives

Institutional Goals/Statement of Purpose

This link will have the first year catalog’s message to students from President McCann in it at the beginning.  If you go to the same page where this link originates you can also get the other six catalogs and the President’s messages for each of the years that Charlie was president.

McCann’s Capital City Press Club speech on student unrest.  On the same page where this link is found are links to McCann’s Presidential correspondence indexes (though there are problems with the presentation, evidently glitches in the OCR when they were originally scanned).

A Supreme Week for Evergreen Faculty Stephanie Coontz

Stephanie Coontz, Faculty member. Photo by Tao Ruspoli

Stephanie Coontz. Photo by Tao Ruspoli

An historic decision by the United States Supreme Court on Friday, June 26 established that the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the majority in the ruling, directly citing Evergreen faculty emerita Stephanie Coontz twice in the groundbreaking opinion.

Seattle Times editorial columnist Danny Westneat uncovered the story, investigating the unlikely front and center role Coontz’s work played in swaying the Reagan-appointed swing vote.

Westneat ends with a nod to Evergreen:

Evergreen’s alternative style was crucial to developing all this, Coontz says. It’s not a traditional research university. For example, she said, “They insist you talk about your work extensively with your students. So the students have contributed to a lot of my thinking over the years.”

Coontz, 70, is semiretired from Evergreen now. But she plans to teach her seminar, “American Families: Historical and Sociological Perspectives,” there next spring. That’s going to be one sought-after class, I’d guess.

I still sometimes hear people deride Evergreen as “too weird” to be a public college that gets taxpayer money.”Well, Geoducks, you showed them. Weird made history.

An Unusual Path to Professional Racing for Boo-Shoot Gardens Founder Jackie Heinricher ’86

Jackie Heinricher and GRC Race Car

Jackie Heinricher, pictured at Watkins Glen International with her #57 Car. Source – @Racer_Jackie

Throughout years of research and development in the labs of Boo-Shoot Gardens in Mount Vernon, Washington, Jackie Heinricher ’86 was convinced the company’s research greenhouses were the hottest office spaces she would ever have. After more than 15 years as chief executive officer of the biotechnology company now called Provitro Biosciences, “Racer Jackie” stepped into an even hotter office, the inside of an unventilated race car in the Ferrari Challenge North America Series. Continue reading

Emeritus Status Conferred for Eight Members of the Faculty

On Thursday, June 11th, the Board of Trustees convened to confer emeritus status on eight members of the faculty. Evergreen’s newest emeritus faculty were invited to make some brief remarks, while a reception celebrated the service of all the retiring faculty. The Board of Trustees conferred emeritus status upon the following faculty: Michelle Aguilar-Wells, Jeff Antonelis-Lapp, Clyde Barlow, Judy Cushing, John Filmer, Jean Mandeberg, Larry Mosqueda and Sarah Pedersen. Read on for selections from the trustee’s resolutions.

Michelle Aguilar-Wells:

IN RECOGNITION of her dedicated service to The Evergreen State College as a Member of the Faculty from 1997 to 2015; of her contributions to the curriculum in the areas of public administration, Native American studies and art; of her major governance work as well as her many years of service as Co-Director and then Director of the Reservation-Based Community Determined Program; and
IN APPRECIATION of her mentorship of both faculty and students; of her work to remove obstacles to student success; of her unique ability to take students from a place of anxiety to confidence; of her work to recruit and teach students who are now alumni holding important tribal leadership positions; of her ability to convey both the academic and artistic side of learning; and of her deep and enduring commitment to tribal communities;

Jeff Antonelis-Lapp:

IN RECOGNITION of his dedicated service to The Evergreen State College as a Member of the Faculty from 1998 to 2015; of his contributions to the curriculum in the area of environmental education; of his major governance work as well as his service as Co-Director of the Reservation-Based Community Determined Program and as Academic Dean; and

IN APPRECIATION of his respectful leadership and teaching that earned him the designation si?yaya, or friend of the people, from the Muckleshoot Tribe; of his finely honed active listening skills; of his work with students to make the impossible possible; of his contagious love for and teaching about the natural history of Mount Rainier; of his adoption of the wilderness as a classroom for a multitude of disciplines; of his ability to make students immediately feel part of his programs; and of his genuine and welcoming smile;

Clyde Barlow:

In recognition of his dedicated service to The Evergreen State College as a Member of the Faculty from 1981 to 2015; of his contributions to the curriculum in the areas of chemistry and instrumental analysis; of his major governance work including service on the Agenda Committee and as Area Convener for Science, Technology and Health; of his use of his many bioanalytical chemistry research and instrumentation grants through the National Institute of Health as a vehicle for undergraduate student research; of his ongoing support of high school science teachers’ summer lab research, funded by the Murdock Charitable Trust; and
In appreciation of his sponsorship of over 60 undergraduate biochemical and biophysical researchers in his lab; of his publication record of over 100 papers; of his highly approachable and enthusiastic teaching of all students; of his grant writing mentorship of younger faculty; and of his love for working in the lab;

Judy Cushing:

In recognition of her dedicated service to The Evergreen State College as a Member of the Faculty from 1982 to 2014; of her founding and sustained contributions to the computer science curriculum; of her college governance work; of her active research agenda resulting in the award of over five million dollars of National Science Foundation and other grant funds; and
In appreciation of her emphasis on both theoretical and applied knowledge, creating programs that focus on real world needs; of her active pursuit of interdisciplinary connections for computer science, including teaching and scholarship on technology for scientists, natural resource managers and ecologists; of her support of her colleagues; of her promotion of research opportunities for women and minorities; of her breadth of interests; and of her contagious enthusiasm and deep care for student learning;

John Filmer:

In recognition of his dedicated service to The Evergreen State College as a Member of the Faculty from 1972 to 2014; of his contributions to the curriculum in applied science and technology, maritime studies, international trade, and organizational and business management; of his contributions to college governance work including as area convener of both Environmental Studies and Management in the Public Interest; of his deep connections with the Port of Seattle and other maritime trade and business associations that provided rich learning experiences for students; and
In appreciation of his teaching at the juncture between professional studies and the liberal arts that included a multi-year project to build a 38-foot sailing craft, the SeaWulff; of his interdisciplinary lectures; of his wide-ranging subject matter expertise; of his no-nonsense nature; and of his deep understanding of the Puget Sound maritime economy;

Jean Mandeberg:

In recognition of her dedicated service to The Evergreen State College as a Member of the Faculty from 1978 to 2015; of her contributions to the curriculum in visual art and metalsmithing; of her college governance work including as Convener of the Expressive Arts Specialty Group, service on the Faculty Hiring DTF as well as her service as a Faculty Advisor; of her contributions to the artistic life of the region and state, including her service as chair of the Washington State Arts Commission and the Olympia Arts Commission; and
In appreciation of her comprehensive program planning; of her positive energy and humor while seriously considering student work at all levels and abilities; of her obvious pleasure in her students’ success; of the sheer quantity of her useful ideas on artistic process; of her exemplary combination of artistic and professional achievements; and of her collegiality and wise counsel;

Larry Mosqueda:

In recognition of his dedicated service to The Evergreen State College as a Member of the Faculty from 1989 to 2015; of his contributions to the curriculum in the area of political economy; of his governance work including service on the Faculty Agenda Committee and Provost’s Search and Faculty Hiring DTFs; of his wide-ranging community work, focused on social justice, that enriches his teaching and provides ongoing opportunities for students; and
In appreciation of his work with students to be critical thinkers through the careful analysis of texts; of his ability to explain thought-provoking political economy concepts in an accessible manner; of his commitment to both theory and practice, as particularly evidenced by his expertise on the history, politics and culture of El Salvador along with his enduring commitment to volunteering for Salvadoran popular movements during its civil war and after as an international election observer; and of his selflessness;

Sarah Pedersen

In recognition of her dedicated service to The Evergreen State College, including as a Member of the Faculty from 1986 to 2015; of her contributions to the curriculum in the areas of maritime studies and English literature; of her deep and far-reaching engagement in the governance of the College, including as Dean of Library and Media Services (twice), Academic Dean for Budget and Space, Chair of the Presidential Search DTF and on the Re-Accreditation DTF (three times) and; of her deep knowledge of sailing and the sea that she’s used as a vehicle for serious research and study; and
In appreciation of her optimism, good humor and clarity about what’s important; of her intense intellectual interests; of her detailed feedback on student writing; of her multicultural literacy; of her years of experience as a ship’s captain, both metaphorical and literal; and of her integrity and kindness;

May’s Big Idea Strikes The Right Chord

Group applause for Nancy Koppelman's talk

Group applause for Nancy Koppelman’s talk

“What Are Families For?” That’s the question that sparked May’s Big Idea, which brought together an exciting combination of thoughtful minds, relevant conversation, and good food and drinks together for a truly memorable and fun evening at Three Magnets Brewing Company in downtown Olympia. The star of the evening was faculty guest speaker Nancy Koppelman ’88, who had a lively crowd of Greeners alternating between laughter, asking questions and examining assumptions for upwards of an hour after a relaxed social hour in the restaurant’s Barrel Room. Once guests had drinks in hand, food ordered, friends made, and old friends greeted, we slid the rustic sliding doors closed and initiated a conversation that unquestionably had everyone’s full attention. Continue reading

Alumni and Community Members Help Make Evergreen Entrepreneurs Symposium a Success

Evergreen Entrepreneurs Symposium May 5 Digital FlyerNearly 90 Evergreen students, alumni, faculty, staff and community members explored the role of civic engagement, opportunity and an Evergreen education in entrepreneurial success on Tuesday, May 5 at The Evergreen Entrepreneurs Symposium. The event celebrated the ongoing success of Evergreen students and alumni in entrepreneurial ventures, including non-profits, for-profits and cooperatives, along with the valuable connections and networking that comes from bringing the broader learning community together. Continue reading

Portland Greeners In The News

Two stories have come across the wires the past couple weeks about Evergreen alumni in Portland, Oregon making news.

Nancy Haque ’96 was named co-director of Basic Rights Oregon, the state’s largest nonprofit gay and transgender advocacy group.

Nancy Haque '96 (left) and Jeana Frazzini (right). Photo Credit: LGBT Weekly

Nancy Haque ’96 (left) and Jeana Frazzini (right). Photo Credit: LGBT Weekly

According to LGBT Weekly, “Nancy Haque joins the Basic Rights staff after serving on the Basic Rights Board for three years and serving as a consultant on the organization’s strategic planning process this past year… Haque has more than 18 years of professional experience, including seven years as the Building Political Power Director at Western States Center, where she led a voter organizing training and empowerment project and managed the 2013 Racial Equity Report Card for Oregon. Haque also spent eight years working on economic justice issues, including stints with Portland and National Jobs with Justice and with AFL-CIO. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Evergreen State College and a Master’s of Public Policy and Administration from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.”

Lauren Hall-Behrens. Photo Credit: Joshua McCullough, Portland Monthly

Lauren Hall-Behrens ’94. Photo Credit: Joshua McCullough, Portland Monthly

Lauren Hall-Behrens ’94, owner of Lilyvilla Gardens, a landscape design company in Portland, was featured in Portland Monthly.

In the piece, Hall-Behrens talks about her path to landscape design after Evergreen and  inspiring ideas for spring gardening and the perspectives that make her successful. Finally, she gives her top picks for planting this year, including Fairy wings and Korean feather reed grass. Enjoy this fascinating glimpse into the mind of a Greener landscape designer.

What stories from Evergreen alumni in Portland did I miss? Share your stories in the comments section.

Speakers and Events on Campus, 5/4 – 5/8

We are pleased to welcome several esteemed speakers to our campus in Olympia next week. We hope you will join us.

Elaine Scarry will speak on Monday, May 4 from 5:30 – 7:00 pm in Lecture Hall 1. Professor Scarry will speak at Convocation next fall, and incoming students will read her book Thinking in an Emergency as part of their orientation to Evergreen and to self-reflective thinking and learning.

Dr. Cornel West speaks on Monday, May 4 from 7:00 – 9:30 pm in the Constantino Recreation Center. Doors open at 6:00 pm, and the event starts at 7:00 pm. Students and Faculty pay $7 in advance, $10 at the door. General Admission is $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Tickets are available through Rainy Day Records, Greener Store, Tacoma Program, Quality Food Centers (QFC’s) and TicketsWest.com, as well as at the door.

Alumni including Eben Greene ’91 and Sash Sunday ’09 will speak at the Evergreen Entrepreneurs Symposium on Tuesday, May 5 from 4:00 – 7:00 pm in the Communications Building. Find out more about the speakers and participating organizations on the event website. Admission is $5 at the door for alumni and community members and free with an Evergreen ID.

Native American feminist scholar and activist Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz will speak on Tuesday, May 5 from 7:00 – 10:00 pm in the Evergreen Longhouse.

Video and performance artist Kim Miller will speak on Wednesday, May 6 from 11:30 – 1:00 pm in Lecture Hall 1.

Comment if you are planning to attend any of these events, or if you know about other events on campus next week.

The Greeners Behind Our Cities Gather in Seattle

Jennifer Gerend Ph.D AICP welcomes alumni and friends

Jennifer Gerend welcomes alumni and friends

On April 18, 2015, Evergreen faculty member Jennifer Gerend Ph.D AICP hosted a gathering of The Greeners Behind Our Cities: alumni, friends, and several of her most promising urban planning students. Over thirty attended the event at the Tap House Grill, located within walking distance of the American Planning Association’s national conference at the Washington State Convention Center.

Alumni and friends enjoying remarks from one of Jennifer Gerend's urban planning students

Alumni and friends enjoying remarks from one of Jennifer Gerend’s urban planning students

About an hour into the event, the clink of a glass drew Greener’s attention away from small group conversation, steak skewers, crab cakes, 14 Hands wine and other delectable appetizers and drinks to Jennifer’s opening remarks. She shared a multitude of exciting field trips, class readings and guest speakers her planning programs have experienced over the years, since joining Evergreen’s faculty in 2008, and introduced several of her recent and current students:

Acacia Weeks, Carlos Gemora '15, Alex Shields and Shira Moch '14

Acacia Weeks, Carlos Gemora ’15, Alex Shields and Shira Moch ’14

– Shira Moch ’14 studied with Jennifer and Ralph Murphy before being accepted into the first year of Evergreen’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship program, doing research for the same faculty in 2013. Shira, who is currently a session aid to Washington State Senator and Evergreen Adjunct Faculty Karen Fraser, announced that she will begin graduate school at UCLA in urban planning this coming fall.
– Carlos Gemora ’15 also studied with Jennifer and Ralph, during which time he also started a planning internship with the City of Tumwater. When his internship ended, Carlos was offered a full time position in planning with the city, which he continues to hold today. Carlos will begin graduate school at Cornell University in urban planning this fall.
– Will Hamlin also studied with Jennifer, and while still a current undergraduate student,  he has begun a full-time position with Pacific County as one of their two staff planners.

Gil Kelley '79 begins introductions

Gil Kelley ’79 begins introductions

Following those special introductions, Jennifer asked everyone in attendance to introduce themselves and what brought them to the event , which encouraged some of the evening’s many highlights. Introductions started with Gil Kelley ’79, Director of Citywide Planning for the City of San Francisco. Gil noted the strange circumstance that the latest Evergreen Magazine, stacked on the table behind him, bared him on its cover. A former classmate of Kelley’s, Michael Bergstrom ’75, was also in attendance. They reminisced on the paths they’ve taken since doing the same life-changing planning internship as Evergreen students in the 1970s.

There were also several graduates of Evergreen’s Masters in Public Administration (MPA) program in attendance: Rita Robison ’75 MPA ’91 and Lynn Scroggins MPA ’97. Rita has since retired, and was joined by fellow retiree and long-time Olympia City Council member Holly Gadbaw, while Lynn works for the Nisqually Indian Tribe.

There were several Greeners new to the planning and development world, including Lynn Schneider ’88 and husband/wife David Wagner ’90 and Ann Marie Crane ’00. Lynn has just started a job with King County, while David and Ann are new to the Seattle real estate industry. As developers, David and Ann were well received by the lively group of planners.

Alayna Rose Leibman, Alex Shields and Acacia Weeks talk about Evergreen's new urban planning student club

Alayna Rose Leibman, Alex Shields and Acacia Weeks talk about Evergreen’s new urban planning student club

There were countless other stories from the group, and their conversations will undoubtedly continue, both professionally and personally. It was a memorable evening of engaging conversation, new friends, and great connections among students and alumni, colleagues, and old classmates. Some alumni will go on to serve as mentors, internship sponsors and employers of the students and recent graduates in the room. Some will rekindle friendships, and others will use new connections in their professional lives.

Jennifer Gerend Ph.D AICP

Jennifer Gerend Ph.D AICP

All in all, it was a celebratory evening for The Greeners Behind Our Cities and the passionate, systems and interdisciplinary thinking they bring to their work. A very special thank you to Jennifer Gerend, not only for her collaboration in planning the event but for carrying on Evergreen’s evident legacy of educating future planners.