The Lane Community College Distinguished Alumni Award aims to recognize and celebrate exceptional alumni who embody the college's mission and have made a significant impact in their field or community. Nominees must meet the following criteria:
- Must have been enrolled in a certificate, diploma, or degree program or a non-credit offering at Lane Community College.
- Demonstrated excellence in their professional field or made significant contributions to their community, which aligns with the college's mission.
- Exemplary commitment to lifelong learning, personal development, and enrichment.
- Outstanding leadership, mentorship, or service in their professional or community context.
- Promotes and supports Lane Community College's values of quality, comprehensive, accessible, inclusive, and learning-centered education.
2022: Honorable James Manning, Jr. & Lawanda Manning, Oregon Senate
State Senator James Manning, Jr., and his late-wife Lawanda Manning were recognized for their community service and advocacy for community colleges. The Mannings have a long history of public service and community involvement. Senator Manning has represented District 7, which includes Eugene, in the legislature since 2016. His legislative priorities include quality education, living wage jobs, and safer neighborhoods and communities for all Oregonians. As a U.S. Army veteran, he also advocates strongly for the health and quality of life for veterans.
2021: Honorable Suzanne M. Bonamici, United States Representative
A long-time advocate for equity in education policy and funding, U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.) knows firsthand the importance of access to affordable education. She worked her way through Lane Community College and earned bachelor’s and law degrees at the University of Oregon. In Congress, she serves on the Education and Labor Committee, and chairs the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Human Services. She helped pass the Every Student Succeeds Act (replaced No Child Left Behind) and continues to advocate for affordable higher education, including two years of free community college.
2020: Dr. Patricia M. Scott, President of Southwestern Oregon Community College
Patricia M. Scott grew up in Wallowa and moved to Eugene to study at Lane. She earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Oregon, a master’s degree in College Student Personnel Administration from Bowling Green University in Ohio, and a doctorate of education from Oregon State University. She joined SWOCC in 1993 and held increasingly responsible positions until becoming SWOCC’s sixth president in 2008. She was named community college administrator of the year by the Oregon Community College Association in 2019 and is one of only two college presidents in the nation to serve on the two-year panel for the National College Athletic Association (NCAA).
2019: Honorable Teresa Alonso León, Oregon House of Representatives
Teresa Alonso León was elected to represent House District 22 in November 2016. The daughter of migrant farmworkers and an immigrant to the United States, she grew up in HD 22, attending schools in Gervais and Woodburn. Due to the influence of a dedicated high school counselor, she became the first in her family to attend college, starting at Lane Community College and finishing with a master’s degree in Public Administration from Portland State University. Education was her path to success, and now she is passionate about increasing opportunity and access for Oregon students. León previously worked for the Higher Education Coordinating Commission as the High School equivalency and GED Administrator working to give ensure that every Oregon student has the education that they need to succeed. She also served as a Woodburn City Councilor after being appointed in 2013. León is a tireless advocate for students and hardworking Oregon families.
2018: Mr. Colt Gill, Oregon Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction
Colt Gill discovered his passion for education as a cooperative education student at Lane. He transferred to the University of Oregon where he received his bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in education policy and management. Governor Kate Brown appointed Gill as the state’s Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction in October 2017. He is the prior superintendent of Eugene’s Bethel School District and served as the state’s first Education Innovation Officer.