Evergreen recognizes outstanding alumni, welcomes friends at “Return to Evergreen”

The printmaking workshop from the 2017 Return to Evergreen event

As Evergreen welcomes an incoming class, the “Return to Evergreen” weekend event on Oct. 20 and 21 will bring back alumni, family and friends to campus to strengthen connections and recognize two who embody the Evergreen spirit with the Joseph Albert Dear Distinguished Alumni award.

The award will be presented to Yuh-Line Niou, class of ’04 and Ron Charles, class of ’97, who represent a proud tradition of Greeners in public service.

Joe Dear was a graduate of Evergreen and spent his life making a difference in public service before passing away in 2014. Among his accomplishments, Dear restored the California Public Employees’ Retirement System to solvency after the fiscal crisis of 2008 using the skills and knowledge developed when he led Washington state’s public pension fund. He led OSHA under President Clinton and served as chief of staff to Gov. Gary Locke.

Niou navigated her way from working in Evergreen’s housing program to an internship at Olympia’s State Capitol, then grabbing the win as the first Asian-American to represent New York’s 65th district and Chinatown in the New York State Legislature. The Evergreen alumna has been profiled in many media, including Vogue magazine.

Charles, a Navy vet, worked in federal and tribal appointments over a span of 50 years, serving as chair of the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe during a pivotal period of transformation after the Boldt decision of 1974. Charles helped safeguard the tribe’s treaty rights and was instrumental in diversifying the tribe’s economy through the development of a casino, hotel and other business ventures.

“This weekend will be an inspiring series of learning and conversations with alumni and community about their Evergreen experience and how the college is renewing itself to serve students better,” said Director of Alumni Programs Abby Kelso.

Saturday and Sunday will draw more than 400 attendees and be packed with forums, interactive events, lunch and a social hour for alumni, family and friends featuring beverages produced by alumni entrepreneurs. The event will take place on the Olympia and Tacoma campuses, with a field trip to Mt. St. Helens. For more information visit Return to Evergreen.