Evergreen’s new beginning

Join us in celebrating the beginning of a new school year with this special message from the Vice President for Advancement, Amanda Walker.

Monday was the first day of classes at Evergreen.

New and returning students are brimming with excitement for the opportunities that lie ahead in interdisciplinary programs, hands-on experiences, and independent learning contracts. Last week, we joyfully welcomed over 1,200 new students and their families for their first taste of Evergreen. New students expressed great enthusiasm, some wonder, and even a little of the trepidation that sometimes comes with embarking on an unfamiliar path. Families expressed hopefulness for their students’ futures.

This moment in the year is incredibly powerful. Some new students are so eager, they (almost) vibrate with potential. I’m confident in their capacities because I’ve met so many extraordinary, accomplished alumni.

These new students will follow in the footsteps of their predecessors. They will create new organizations, teach, lead, serve others, invent things, and express themselves creatively. They will make our world more just, equitable, and sustainable.

We welcome these future alumni after a notable period in Evergreen’s history, precipitated by events that occurred during Spring quarter. It has been a time of uncertainty for many members of our community and therefore steps are being taken to ensure that all of our students can enjoy an Evergreen education in a safe environment and that staff and faculty can facilitate teaching and learning in settings where diverse thoughts and perspectives are valued and respectfully communicated. This means ensuring our campus is free of behavior that harms, threatens, or harasses; or disrupts classes, programs, or campus operations.

I’m pleased to share a few of the steps we’re taking to safeguard our students and ensure they are at the center of their education including:

  • Supporting students in voicing their concerns. A guide to free speech activity for students has been developed to help students express concerns. Free speech events offer students an opportunity to organize and convey a message. Evergreen provides an education designed to help students change the world. Activism and free speech events are an important element of that work and are welcome at Evergreen. This type of civic action is supported and representatives of the college will continue to engage with participating students to listen, discuss, or respond to the issues raised.
  • Campus safety. Like many campuses across the nation, we are drafting policies that govern the way outside individuals and groups have access to and engage on campus. Although we will not deny access to groups based upon their stated views or beliefs, we are developing specific measures that preserve Evergreen as a designated public forum for the use and educational benefit of the campus community. These measures, in the form of policies governing use of campus public spaces, were enacted on an interim basis prior to the start of fall programs and classes. We have implemented a rule that restricts weapons on campus. Additional measures are being taken to strengthen partnerships with law enforcement and to provide training.
  • Advancing equity and inclusion. On October 2, our new Vice President and Vice Provost for Equity and Inclusion, Dr. Chassity Holliman-Douglas, joins Evergreen. Plans are being developed for a new Equity Center on campus. We’ve renewed our commitment to supporting undocumented students. A few weeks ago, over 100 Native artists came to Evergreen for an international gathering of indigenous artists hosted by our Longhouse Education and Cultural Center. Last week, we hosted welcome receptions for Veterans, students of color and LGBTQQIAA students. There’s more to do to ensure that we can fulfill our promise of an Evergreen education free from discrimination for every student regardless of background. We’re wholeheartedly committed to this goal.

I’m proud of the work we’ve done, and will continue to do, to strengthen the college for the good of future generations of Greeners. I’m also proud that we’re part of the national conversation around equity and inclusion that’s alive on many campuses across the country. In the spirit of our founding, we’re vigorously questioning our approaches and identifying opportunities to lead.

Thank you for being a part of our Evergreen community. Please stay in touch.

Warmest wishes and heartfelt thanks,

Amanda Walker

Vice President for Advancement, The Evergreen State College
Executive Director, The Evergreen State College Foundation

Evergreen, Our Home: Move-In Day

Here at Evergreen, Orientation Week is underway, and campus is swarming with fresh faces. You know what that means! In addition to participating in fun icebreaker campus activities, freshmen experience the exciting chaos of moving into their dorm!

New students scramble to assimilate into Greener life during this exciting week, whether it’s going to a fun event hosted by Geoducks@Nite or doing chores like getting their picture taken for their Student I.D. We look back on this transition week in our own time at Evergreen as one of enthusiasm and anticipation. These new Greeners will join us Alumni in just a few short years.

The Class of 2021 gathers in Red Square during Orientation Week.

So long, summer

Many students opted to have a “Greener Summer” by continuing their studies with a wide variety of summer programs. From harvesting on the farm, to creating neon art, and building robots.

Enjoy the photos and these last few days of summer before we begin a new school year on September 25!

Don’t miss Return to Evergreen November 3-5, 2017!

Edmond Lapine ’08 to be remembered at Return to Evergreen on November 4

Edmond Lapine and his mother Sami Kopelman at his graduation in 2008

Edmond Lapine ’08 was among the 36 people who died in a fire at the Ghost Ship warehouse in Oakland on Dec. 2, 2016, where friends were gathered for a night of music and fun.

Now, fellow musicians and alumni are coming together to help fund a scholarship in Edmond’s name that will provide financial impetus for anyone deserving of a college education, but lacking financial assistance. Calvin Johnson ’85, is a musician, cultural icon, and founder of Olympia’s K Records, where Lapine had interned.

“I really liked him,” says Johnson. “He had a gentle nature, a love of music, and was a snappy dresser. His death was a shock to many here in Olympia. When his mother started the endowment fund for the Edmond William Lapine II Scholarship at The Evergreen State College I wanted to help raise the funds as a tribute to this delightful person who left us much too soon.”

Read more about how Edmond’s friends and family continue to celebrate his life, and join us on November 4th at Return to Evergreen for a special benefit concert for the Edmond Lapine II Scholarship.






Internships Spring Forward at Evergreen

Internships transform classroom learning to experimental learning.

Internships transform classroom learning to experiential learning.

The sun was shining last Monday on the first day of Spring Quarter as students and faculty returned from the break. As the weather warms up, many students’ minds turn towards summer plans and landing an internship. For many, internships form the crucial bridge for transforming classroom learning to experiential learning and ultimately, their first job.

Last spring, Bre Pettis ’95 coordinated with the Alumni Programs Office to offer an exclusive internship opportunity for Evergreen students at his new business venture, Bre & Co. Read more in The Evergreen Magazine.

Bre Pettis ’95, Val Shamma ’16, Frances Lilliston ’17, Nick Boelk ’16, and Keri Carkeek ’92, chair of The Evergreen State College Foundation’s Board of Governors, at the Bre & Co. workshop.

Bre Pettis ’95, Val Shamma ’16, Frances Lilliston ’17, Nick Boelk ’16, and Keri Carkeek ’92, chair of The Evergreen State College Foundation’s Board of Governors, at the Bre & Co. workshop.

If you’d like to enlist help from an Evergreen student intern at your place of work, contact the Assistant Director of Internships and Employer Development, Kevin Andrew at andrewk@evergreen.edu or (360) 867-6189.

Didn’t receive your copy of The Evergreen Magazine? Update your address here and we will make sure to send you one!

Evergreen Celebrates Record-Breaking Art of Giving

“I dream of changing the world. Evergreen has helped me become the kind of person who stands a chance to turn that imagined world into a reality.”

Chelsea Rabourn ’17 – Student and scholarship recipient

Alumni, community partners, and friends of Evergreen gathered at the Hotel Murano in Tacoma on March 4 to celebrate the power of higher education. This year’s Art of Giving Gala and Auction raised a record $200,000, surpassing the goal of $155,000. The Art of Giving is The Evergreen State College Foundation’s largest annual fundraiser, benefiting scholarships and educational opportunities for Evergreen students across Olympia, Tacoma, and Western Washington.

The annual Art of Giving Auction and Gala takes place at the Hotel Murano in Tacoma, WA. on Sat., Mar. 4, 2017. Dr. George S. Bridges.

President George Bridges speaks at Art of Giving on March 4, 2017.

Since 1976, the Foundation has supported student scholarships by raising private gifts from remarkable and generous donors. While individual tuition and public funds maintain the college, private gifts provide an additional margin of excellence through donor-funded scholarships, fellowships, program endowments, and other opportunities that enrich the Evergreen experience.

Learn more about the event here.

Celebrating Evergreen @ 50: Founding Day

Two celebrations on Tuesday marked the 50th anniversary of the legislative signing that would form The Evergreen State College. On campus, students, staff, and faculty gathered to reflect on the history and future of the institution.

Gov. Daniel J. Evans

Governor Daniel J. Evans signs the legislation that would form The Evergreen State College. Evans would later serve as college president.

At the state Capitol, Governor Jay Inslee commended Evergreen’s innovative approach to education and read this proclamation to commemorate the occasion,

“WHEREAS, Evergreen aspires to offer an outstanding education to all Washingtonians, including those with low income, students of color, first-generation baccalaureate earners, veterans, students with a disability, LGBTQ students and those of non-traditional age; and

WHEREAS, Evergreen alumni distinguish themselves at the highest levels in politics, the arts, business, teaching, science and environmental sustainability, contributing to our state’s dynamism and high quality of life;

NOW THEREFORE, I, Jay Inslee, Governor of the state of Washington, do hereby proclaim March 21, 2017 as

Evergreen @ 50: Legislative Launch Day

in Washington, and I urge all people in our state to join me in this special observance.

Signed this 21st day of March, 2017″

Governor Jay Inslee

See photos from the event and share your own memories of Evergreen @ 50 in the comment section below!

The celebration doesn’t stop here, join us at Return to Evergreen November 3-5, 2017 as we look back at 50 years of outstanding education and distinguished alumni.

A Revolution You Can Dance To on April 22

Olympia and Evergreen were at the epicenter of a history-making independent music scene in the 1980s and early 1990s. Whether you performed in a band, did spoken word, were involved with KAOS Olympia Community Radio, recorded music, created a zine, made flyers, attended all-ages shows, documented happenings, or organized shows and festivals, the world took notice. You were participating in and transforming the culture – a revolution was taking place!

You won’t want to miss this limited time exhibit and exclusive alumni event happening on Saturday, April 22!Revolution

We’re thrilled to invite you to the Washington State History Museum to catch up with old friends, view the exhibit, and join former KAOS DJ Diana Arens as she interviews more than a dozen Evergreen alumni who made an impact on the scene.

2-4pm – Diana Arens, BA ’93, MPA ’15, in conversations with:

Steve Fisk, John Foster, Toni Holm, Dave Rauh

Calvin Johnson, Mariella Luz, Lois Maffeo, Tae Won Yu

Pat Castaldo, Pat Maley, Michelle Noel, Kento Oiwa

Nomy Lamm, Slim Moon, Joshua Ploeg, Aaron Tuller, Sarah Utter

4-5pm – An acoustic performance:

Chris “Sandman” Sand in the A Revolution You Can Dance To exhibit.

Buy tickets now to reserve your seat! And learn more about the Revolution You Can Dance To exhibit here.

Greeners Giving Back: Sean Lynch 15′

I recently had the opportunity to interview Evergreen graduate Sean Lynch ’15, the Youth Programs Coordinator for CIELO in Olympia. This nonprofit organization has provided health and educational resources to the underserved Spanish-speaking community in the Puget Sound area for over 20 years.

Sean helping a student work on his reading skills.

Sean helping a student work on his reading skills.

Andrew: How did Evergreen influence the work you are doing at CIELO?

Sean: Evergreen had a huge impact on me; the small classes and collaborative learning environment allowed us to share ideas as well as build relationships. Out in the world, being able to interact and build relationships is key. Evergreen’s approach to education also gave my professors the opportunity to get to know me, examine my learning style, and meet my needs.

Andrew: What were the challenges you faced when you arrived at CIELO, and how had Evergreen prepared you for those challenges?

Sean: The biggest challenge was getting people together to work towards common goals. Evergreen prepared me for this challenge by not only promoting collaborative learning, but by preparing me to work independently as well. It’s a balance.

Sean Promoting CIELO

Sean promoting CIELO.

Andrew: The world of nonprofit work can be very demanding, any advice for current or future Greeners who are interested in pursuing this type of work?

Sean: Expect challenges and don’t be afraid to work through them. Don’t shy away from road blocks and challenges because that is how you’re going to learn and adapt. And most importantly, be yourself. Don’t ever be afraid to be you because people value that.

Andrew: What’s your best CIELO memory?

Sean: My best memory was last year’s winter potluck. It was amazing to see how many students and their families attended. I had the opportunity to speak and thank them for all of their hard work and effort. Afterwards they were all coming up to me and thanking me, it was cool to see that mutual respect we have for each other. The relationships here are mutual as we learn and grow together.

Sean leading the Homework Club

Sean leading the Homework Club.

Entrepreneur Spotlight: Gaelen Fechner ‘95

I hope you enjoy this interview written by current student Andrew Ayala with seasoned Pacific Northwest surfer and entrepreneur Gaelen Fechner 95’ as he shares his Evergreen experience and gives some advice to future Greeners. -Katherine

Gaelen Fechner ‘95 lives by the philosophy, “Do what you love.” Gaelen discovered his passion for surfing by age 9 and now lives in Olympia doing exactly what he loves: surfing and shaping surfboards for his company Machine Surfboards. Gaelen also runs the newly opened Fleurae Floral with his business partner, best friend, and love of his life Carissa Rose Dickson. We had the pleasure of meeting with Gaelen to talk about how Evergreen has influenced his life.

Author Andrew Ayala with his new Machine Surfboard.

Author Andrew Ayala with his new Machine Surfboard.

Andrew: Think back to Gaelen before college. What were you expecting from Evergreen and what were you planning on doing with your life at that point?

Gaelen: Well, I knew from the very beginning I was going to go to Evergreen, no doubt in my mind. My parents were not the conventional type, they always encouraged me to question everything and to think on a deeper level… to never just accept something for what it is. I didn’t even apply to other colleges. When my parents found out I got into Evergreen they were so excited. I knew exactly what to expect from Evergreen, I knew about the open curriculum and the small classes and my family and I just knew it was a perfect fit. When I went to Evergreen I had no idea what I wanted to do so I just went in with an open mind.

Gaelen Fechner enjoying the sunset after a long day of surfing.

Gaelen Fechner enjoying the sunset after a long day of surfing.

Andrew: How did Evergreen shape you as a person, and how did it prepare you to be an entrepreneur?

Gaelen: Evergreen gave me a model for life, and that model was “learn how to learn.”  Evergreen’s open curriculum also taught me how to adapt to life’s changes. While I was at Evergreen I also learned to take risks. How is anybody going to change anything or make things happen without taking risks?

Andrew: Evergreen has a reputation for encouraging cooperation rather than competition. What did you get out of that?

Gaelen: Well, I learned how to communicate and make connections with people. How can you not when you’re in a classroom that only has twenty to forty people in it? This classroom setting really allowed us to learn and exchange knowledge because at the end of the day, we are all different people with different backgrounds and we all have so much to teach each other. Everybody’s insight is valuable.

Another thing is being an artist. The adventure that art can take you on is amazing, you learn about yourself and you get in your zone… but you are by yourself a lot. So the question arises, how do you connect with people and get your art out there? Well, artists depend on each other and on the community to get their work out, and being able to communicate is very important.

Gaelen’s wife Carrisa Rose Dickson(on left) and business partner Iana Marie Franks(right) displaying their flowers for the first time ever outside Filling Station Espresso.

Gaelen’s wife Carrisa Rose Dickson(on left) and business partner Iana Marie Franks(right) displaying their flowers for the first time ever outside Filling Station Espresso.

Andrew: What were you known for around campus?

Gaelen: Oh the surfer kid definitely! I used to pick classes that started later so I could go surf before class. I remember rushing to class tired and cold. It was great to go to school, do my work, and still be able to do what I love.

Andrew: What was your favorite program?

Gaelen: The Mythic Image, I think it was Gordon Beck that taught that one. We traveled through time and explored Greek mythology and other literature.  It was the hardest, but the most rewarding.

Gaelen's workshop covered in snow.

Gaelen’s workshop covered in snow.

Andrew: Is there anybody from Evergreen you would like to thank, anybody that had a profound impact on you?

Gaelen: I would like to thank Mark Papworth. He was a crazy-brilliant human being. He worked on the Evergreen Task Force that helped find the Green River Killer. He was just a body of experience and knowledge. He was also a great storyteller, one of my favorites to listen to. When I started studying surfboard design he was my sponsor and support. Even though it wasn’t in his expertise, he gave me advice and guided me through it.

Gaelen Fencher displaying one of his works of art.

Gaelen Fencher displaying one of his works of art.





Andrew: Any advice for future Greeners?

Gaelen: Well I recently met a girl that is going to Evergreen and she said she had no idea if she was doing well or on the right track because she had no grades to look at.

I just asked her, “Are you excited about what you’re doing; are you passionate about your work?”

A grade is just a number.

Evergreen is a place where people look at you as a human being. Your skills and talents are appreciated. Go with it, create your own adventure.

Written by Andrew Ayala