A Once-in-a-lifetime Culinary Experience

Guests dined alfresco under twinkling lights.

“Oooohhh… Aaahhhh… Mmmm… Wow… Delicious!” were heard throughout the evening from the 22 guests who had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to participate in the amazing alumni-coordinated and student-supported Organic Farm Dinner. Top bidders at The Evergreen State College Foundation’s annual Art of Giving Gala & Auction won invitations to the unique culinary experience on September 9, 2017 helping to raise more than $200,000 for scholarships at Evergreen.

Annie Sloan and Archer Hobson-Ritz, who graduated in 2017, spearheaded the unparalleled event that resulted in a heartfelt volunteer capstone project in appreciation of their Evergreen education. In true Greener fashion, Annie and Archer created and designed the menu using an Evergreen education as the theme. Each of the 21 courses were paired with either an alumni-owned beverage or a drink they made themselves, like parsnip milk or bay leaf juice.

Justin Roberts, student and Shellfish Club member, demonstrates how to shuck an oyster.

As the other guests and I arrived at Evergreen’s Organic Farm, we were warmly greeted by students and invited to enjoy a glass of Whitewood dry cider on the porch while the finishing touches were completed for the cocktail hour. We then moved into the Sustainable Agriculture Lab (SAL) and enjoyed music by MonkFlower while sampling a variety of hors’d’oeuvres including Kumamoto oysters donated by Taylor Shellfish, Olykraut tapioca pearl mignonette, cured ham, lamb (grown on the Organic Farm) prosciutto, Sikkim cucumber and geoduck, broccoli leaves with cured egg yolk and cured salmon roe, and sublime chicken stock pie paired with a Salish Sea Hibiscus Liqueur, sage, and egg white cocktail as well as a non-alcoholic sparkling strawberry top shrub.

Glenn Tippy, current student, led a tour of Evergreen’s Organic Farm.

A student-led tour through Evergreen’s Organic Farm transitioned the party from the SAL to the dinner table. Guests popped the largest raspberries ever seen into their mouths as they strolled through the farm. The steamy cup of corn silk and cover crop broth (illustrating how even the parts of the vegetation that would normally be discarded or used in compost can create a nourishing meal) greeted us at the end of the tour. The broth was matched with a rose and shiitake rosé vermouth.

Archer Hobson-Ritz ’17 presents Three Magnets Vanilla Smoked Urban Farmhouse Ale.

We dined alfresco with centerpieces of candles and potted flowers and twinkling white lights, and dried herbs decorating the canopy. Before I go into the main courses of the dinner I want to remind you that everything, e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g, was prepared completely from scratch by recent Evergreen alums.

Annie Sloan ’17 serves gourmet pizza during the “Freshman Year” course.

Beginning with “Freshman Year,” lamb tongue pizza with truffles and nasturtium was distributed in a cardboard pizza box and paired with Three Magnets Smoked Urban Farmhouse Ale while Pink Floyd played in the background with a lava lamp illuminating the darkness. Then an array of delicious bites—sourdough fried mushrooms with lavage, fried eggplant with honey, fried Olykraut, candied hemp, and hazelnut butter wrapped in beet (to mimic a peanut butter and jelly sandwich) plated on cedar rounds. Each bite was more delicious than the last. “Freshman Year” was also paired with Iggy’s kombucha.

Guests read their original poetry during “Seminar.”

The next course was “Seminar.” Served on edible paper with original student poetry and three different perspectives on tomatoes. We were encouraged to discuss our poems, use the edible paper to eat the tomatoes, and share our thoughts on each of the tomato varieties. This dish was paired with Mercer Viognier Culloden Vineyard 2015.

Bonnie Zion learned to make Sichuan buttons while studying abroad and she prepared individual bites of lamb broth Sichuan buttons that burst with flavor in our mouths. This course was matched with COR Alba Gewürztraminer or Pinot Gris Celilo Vineyard 2014. Next up was freshly baked bread with seasoned lardo, pickles, and bay leaf juice.

The Longhouse-inspired course was served on compostable palm plates and consisted of Ozette potatoes, smoked sockeye salmon, greens from the Longhouse Ethnobotanical Garden, and paired with Mercer Reserve Chardonnay Zephyr Ridge Vineyard 2014. Armando DeLao ’17 caught the wild salmon as well as the salmon roe served during the cocktail hour.

Next up was “Fall Quarter” where lamb sausage (remember, made by scratch!) was paired with charred pear, served on burnt leaves, and paired with Mercer Mourvedre Horse Heaven Hills 2013.

“Winter Quarter” was a delicate parmesan and white sweet potato cappelletti with hazelnut snow and pine oil coupled with parsnip milk. The creamy white parsnip milk was refreshing and mildly sweet.

“Spring Quarter” was a delicate plate of light pink rose granite and pea tendril yogurt served with fermented honey and pineapple weed juice.

Guests were delighted to discover the flower pots were filled with cookie toppings!

“Week Ten” was full of surprises—just like life at Evergreen! As a dish of ice cream was served to each guest, we were informed the dirt in the flowerpots in front of us was actually squid ink and chocolate cookie toppings for the ice cream! Squeals of delight burst out at this revelation—those who had been inspecting the flowerpots earlier had exclaimed, “I know that’s dirt!” We didn’t know what “woodruff” was, is that an ice cream brand we asked? No. Woodruff is a flowering perennial plant that was harvested from the Evergreen forest and used to make the ice cream. The final touch to this incredible dessert was coconut sugar caramel to pour on top. Three Magnets Vanilla Tompkins Stout was served with this dish.

The lead chefs were Bonnie Zion, a current student, and Daniel Saunders ’16.

For “Evaluation,” we walked along a path lit-up with tea lights to the rustic Farmhouse dining room, where we enjoyed anise pinwheels, raspberry and lemon verbena pavlova, and, drumroll please, lamb bacon donuts with rosemary and black pepper! For nightcaps, Salish Sea Honeybush Liqueur and Batdorf & Bronson coffee were offered.

Gathered around the farmhouse table, with Paul Simon’s Graceland in the background, participants were presented with gift bags including a wall hanging of the menu with original student artwork, sweet pea and angelica seeds, raspberry jam from the Organic Farm, pouches of dried pepper and lavender, and two small decorative stones.

Those of us who were lucky enough to indulge in this incomparable feast will treasure the experience for years to come. Annie and Archer, along with all of the supporting volunteers and alums, appreciated their ability to give back to Evergreen by supporting scholarships for future generations of Evergreen students. If you’re interested in helping coordinate next year’s Organic Farm Dinner, feel free to contact me at wonderwm@evergreen.edu. In the meantime, save the date for the next Art of Giving Gala & Auction—you are sure to be inspired—March 10, 2018.

Throwback Thursday

Fun at the Formal

An Evergreen formal in 1975

The minimal accompanying caption for this image left me wondering, what formal happened at Evergreen in 1972? Did you attend this dance or do you know the fancy folks in this photo? I would love to hear from you!

2/1/2016 Update: We had a great response from our Facebook community and a comment from the man pictured! Hap Freund wrote, “Yes, of course that is me and my lovely wife of 36+ years, Claudia Chotzen. I think this was taken in 1975. I came to Evergreen in the fall of 1973, met Claudia in 1974. The other person is Claudia’s life-long friend Diane Berger (was Diane Hucks). The ‘occasion’ was an Evergreen prom. Probably the only time I wore a suit during my time at Evergreen!”

Next month you can don your best threads and join us at The Art of Living on February 20th from 5:30pm-9:00pm at The Hotel Murano in Downtown Tacoma. Proceeds from the evening will benefit the Annual Scholarship Fund to support Evergreen students in pursuing their dreams and create opportunities for those without means.

Click here to register today!


Lecture Hall renovation update from Project Manager, Tim Byrne

I want to thank Tim Byrne for generously writing this article about the Lecture Hall renovation project . I hope you all enjoy!


Original Construction of Lecture Hall, 1971

Many of you know the Lecture Hall, and most other building on campus, were built in  the 70’s during a time when many public buildings were built in the architectural style of Brutalism. The Lecture Hall itself is what I would consider an extreme version of brutalism. There have been various “trends” in styles of architecture over recent time. There was the Craftsman Style (which I’m very fond of), Post Modernism, Modernism, Deconstructionism, and Brutalism to name a few. Deconstructionism was mostly developed as a philosophy movement. But some architects got into it in thinking it as a way to move on from Modernism and Post Modernism. I was taught that Brutalism was formed on a new-found respect for its socialist principals and was also a celebration of raw concrete. There are good and bad design examples of Brutalism, as well as other architectural styles. Yet Brutalism became very popular from the mid-50’s to the mid-70’s and now is considered to be one of the most vilified architectural styles of last century.

I found an interesting article in The Seattle Times regarding the old Nuclear Reactor building at the University of Washington, which is an example of Brutalism. Some people consider it to be a truly, truly ugly structure. Within this article I discovered that a local architecture critic, Larry Cheek, advocates for keeping the structure saying, “We need to save a handful of Brutalist-style buildings to remind us how bad they were and we don’t do that ever again. They are cold, ugly, inhumane.” He should come on down to Evergreen to see that we are doing our share of keeping the Brutalist-style alive. I have not seen the building at UW that he referred to, but I assume it is a bad example of Brutalism. I think the original buildings we have on the Evergreen campus are better examples of Brutalism.

Greeners enjoying the sun outside Lecture Hall A

With our Lecture Hall building we are doing a combination of things. We are retaining some of the exterior walls, yet adding a more modern addition to it that will be much more welcoming and properly addressing Red Square. The plan is to clean up the remaining “fluted” concrete walls so they are not so weathered looking. The addition will be more modern in presence being clad in metal wall panels that will in an abstract way replicate the vertical fluted pattern of those original walls.

Concept drawings for the new Lecture Halls



Tim Byrne – Project Manager – Facilities Services

 P.S. Here’s a little Haiku for our Winter Months


It beckons our Winter soon

And creates much mud


Throwback Thursday – Hitting the Gym #tbt

Students in the gym. 1974.

Students in the gym 1974

Did you make a fitness related New Year’s Resolution for 2016? Have you been thinking, “Running outdoors in February sounds fun!”? Join me for the Geoduck Gallop on Saturday, February 6th! Choose between the half marathon or 10K race, and enjoy a jog through the Evergreen campus and picturesque surrounding rural areas.

Throwback Thursday – Snow Day! #tbt

Skiers on Red Square

Winter quarter began with a slushy start on Monday morning after a dusting of snow fell over the weekend. We love this throwback picture from January 1989 with skiers on Red Square enjoying a major snow storm.

Do you have memories of snow days at Evergreen? We would love to hear from you!

A great way to reconnect with past faculty and classmates, or to stay in touch with events at the college is to join The Associated Alumni and Friends of Evergreen. Learn more here!

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.

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