EUGENE, Ore. - Dr. Mary Spilde, president of Lane Community College since 2001, won the Howard Cherry Award for Outstanding Administrator at the 2016 Oregon Community College Association annual conference on Nov. 4. The announcement brought attendees to their feet with whoops, cheers and a long round of affirming applause.
The Howard Cherry Award is given annually to an outstanding administrator, advocate, and board member. The awards are named for the late Dr. Howard Cherry, a lifelong advocate and leader in the community college movement.
Also at the conference, Lane Board of Education Chair Sharon Stiles and member Gary LeClair received 2016 Dedicated Service Awards for eight years of service each on Lane’s board.
Stiles said Spilde has “proven herself as a leader who can get things done with vision and compassion” throughout her 37-year career in education, including the last 15 as Lane’s president.
“Mary earned this award many times over, both in terms of what she has accomplished at Lane Community College and even more so for what she has accomplished and contributed to all of us as a collective of community colleges,” wrote Presidents Greg Hamann of Linn-Benton Community College and Camille Preus Blue Mountain Community College, in a joint nomination letter. They added, “As sterling as her educational and employment credentials are, they don’t describe the enormous impact Mary has had on community colleges within Oregon and across the nation. Nearly every important activity involving higher education and workforce policy in the past two decades has her name associated as a participant, speaker, facilitator, or leader.”
In a brief acceptance comment, Spilde said her upcoming retirement in June won’t end her advocacy for community colleges, but she hopes it will temper her 365-24-7 schedule.
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