Evergreen Has Extraordinary Influence on Puget Sound Region

I announced recently that I will retire from Evergreen in the summer of 2015, after I complete my 15th year as president. The trustees will soon start the search for a new president and it will be an exciting time of transition at the college.

Les PurceAs I approach my final year as president, I remain strongly optimistic about Evergreen’s future. When I see the talents and energy of current students, staff, and faculty, and the extraordinary achievements of our alumni, I am reminded of the unique power this college has to change lives and influence society.

Alumni and friends of the college play a critical role for Evergreen. Whether you are bolstering recruitment by sharing your Evergreen experience with prospective students and their parents, demonstrating the value of your education through your work or community service, or supporting the college directly with time or contributions, you are making a real difference. Thank you for all you do.

Thinking of friends, this May we lost a great man who profoundly influenced our nation’s understanding of Native sovereignty, and who helped guide Evergreen for many years. Billy Frank, Jr., a trustee for the college from 1996 to 2003, was a Native American environmental leader and treaty rights activist who spent much of his life advocating for human rights for all. Even after his time as a trustee, Billy continued to serve as an advisor to the college and as personal counsel to me until his death. His legacy will live on in better environmental protection, healthier salmon runs, and guaranteed fishing rights for tribal nations.

In this issue, we are focusing on alumni who contribute to the economy, culture, environment, leadership, and sense of place along the Puget Sound. This unique region has 2,500 miles of shoreline, 211 fish species, 4.3 million people and generates about $20 billion of economic activity annually. Thousands of Evergreen alumni are making Puget Sound a better place, as champions, stewards, entrepreneurs, and innovators, now and for generations to come.

The alumni in these stories farm remote tidelands, guide great cities, study giant whales, reveal microscopic marine life, grow native plants, and joyfully preserve Native culture. I invite you to read about fellow Greeners who, like you, care deeply about the place we call home.

Les Purce’s signature

Thomas L. Purce