Outstanding Alumni Award Past Recipients
Tony Bacon Class of 1948 -- Award: June 2004 A Vancouver native and true Clark County booster, Tony's popular publication The Daily Insider--an electronic daily newsletter sent to thousands of subscribers--covers business, politics, and people of Southwest Washington. Tony served on the St. Joseph's Hospital advisory board, was a founding member of the Vancouver Press Club, served on the Northwest Harvest South Board, on the Council for the Homeless, and was a contributor to the YMCA Pool and Building Fund Drive. Tony is a founding member of Identity Clark County and is a co-host of Clark County Focus. He currently serves on the Clark County Skills Center board, the WSU-Vancouver Advisory Council, and co-chairs the Clark County Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Public Relations Committee.
Al Bauer, Jr. Class of 1955 -- Award: June 2000 Crediting his time at Clark College in 1948 and 1954 (which was interspersed with active duty in the Navy during the Korean War) as one of the first building blocks of his success, retired Washington State Senator Al Bauer received a master's in education degree from Oregon State College. He taught in local area schools for over twenty years and served in the Washington State House of Representatives for nine years and ultimately as a Washington State Senator for twenty years. Post retirement, he was named as a Special Assistant for Legislative and Community Affairs at Clark College in 2000. Recognizing his many years of commitment to education, Washington Governor Locke declared him the Education Senator from Washington State in 2000. Bauer Hall, a prominent building on the Clark College campus, was named in his honor in 1988. He received the 2001 First Citizen Award from the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington.
Scott Bieber Class of 1981-- Award: June 2011 Completing his general studies at Clark while running on the cross country team and four-time marathon finisher, Scott is one of many in his family to attend. Other Clark alumni include his sisters, brother, son, daughter, and nieces. Even his mom took a class. He advocates for the college when visiting local high schools and promotes the value of a great education. After Clark he transferred to Portland State University where he earned a bachelor of science in speech communication and a master's in public administration. He then attended the 200th session of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. Scott has served the Vancouver community over 25 years with the police department, and is currently the Technical Services Commander. His beliefs including giving back to this community and doing the right thing, which is visible in the many volunteer activities that range from coaching youth sports to serving on the iQ Credit Union board of directors. He has a supporter of the Clark College Alumni Association and the Penguin Athletic Club.
Richard Blaisdell Class of 1961 -- Award: April 1978 The first American-born and trained chef and pastry chef on the 1972 and 1976 Culinary Olympic teams, held every four years in Frankfurt, Germany, Richard won a gold medal in 1972 and, in recognition of his truly outstanding and spectacular display, was awarded two gold medals in 1976. He was the first chef in a hundred years to receive a second gold medal. A graduate of Clark College, he also attended the Culinary Institute of America. He owned and operated a private pastry institute in New York, where he taught patisserie and other skills he had learned at Clark College. He taught at Seattle Central Community College as well. Now retired from teaching, he continues his creativity through painting and sculpting porcelain and ceramics. He had the honor of exhibiting five of his art pieces at the Puyallup Fair, and his ceramic bowl of flowers won the Best of Category and Best of Show for all ceramics entered. Richard belongs to the Kent Valley Art Club and the Kent Valley Rose Club, and his artwork will soon be available for viewing and purchase via the Internet.
Don Bonker Class of 1962 -- Award: June 1984 A leading authority on international trade, investment, and foreign policy issues, 1962 graduate Don Bonker will be the first to say that his experiences at Clark College provided him a solid foundation for the political and international career he pursued. He is currently executive vice president of APCO Worldwide, a global communication consulting firm, and the president and CEO of the International Management and Development Institute, a nonprofit educational organization that analyzes international economic and trade development. He also serves on the board of the Foundation for U.S.-Russia Business Cooperation. Prior to joining APCO in 1989, Don served for 14 years in the U.S. Congress representing Washington State, where he was a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and chairman of the Subcommittee on International Economic Policy and Trade. He has also distinguished himself as a writer and speaker on trade policy and is the author of the book America's Trade Crisis. Don continues to maintain his ties to Clark College and Vancouver through his involvement in the development of the E. Jane Weber Arboretum, an educational resource that will provide unlimited opportunities for Clark College and the entire community in the years to come.
Roger Daniels Class of 1975 -- Award: June 2005 Often referred to as "Mr. Clark College," Roger's experiences as a student brought him back to Clark to begin his career in 1977 as Assistant to the Director of Adissions, later becoming Coordinator of Admissions and Director of Student Programs. During his 13-year tenure as Director of Athletics and Recruitment, Clark athletic teams captured 28 league championships and five NWAACC championship titles. Roger was named to the Northwest Athletic Association for Community Colleges Hall of Fame in 2002. As Director of Recruitment and Outreach Services, he was instrumental in the start-up of the College's Running Start Program.Roger received the Camas-Washougal Citizen of the Year Award in 2001. He was co-founder of the Washougal Schools Foundaiton in 2000 and currently serves as the community liaison for the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Planning efforts and was appointed by Governor Locke to the statewide Lewis & Clark Advisory Committee.
Steve Dearborn 1984 -- Award: June 2004 (posthumous) Steve attended Clark in 1984. A lifelong Clark County resident, Steve served as executive director of the Vancouver National Historic Reserve Trust's Celebrate Freedom programs. He also served for eight years as vice president of government affairs for the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce and played a major role in the development of Identity Clark County and Leadership Clark County. He was a 1991 recipient of the George C. Marshall award.
Commander Harley H. Hall Class of 1957 -- Award: June 2004 (posthumous) A well-known and popular naval aviator, Harley Hall was leader of the Navy's Blue Angel Demonstration Team, which performed throughout the United States during the early '70s (with a special performance in Vancouver, Washington). In 1970 Harley Hall was named one of the Nation's "Outstanding Young Men" and he was also named as a candidate for the United States Astronaut Program. As the commanding officer of Fighter Squadron 143 onboard the Aircraft Carrier U.S.S. Enterprise, he was leading an attack mission against the North Vietnamese on January 27, 1973, when his aircraft came under attack, was hit, and caught fire. Harley Hall was shot down on the last day of the Vietnam war and was the last American to be classified Prisoner of War. Serving his country well, and being willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for his country was the life Harley Hall was led to when he became the last casualty of the Vietnam War. The HH Hall Building in Hazel Dell Washington is named in Honor of Commander Harley H. Hall.
Denis Hayes Class of 1964 -- Award: April 1978 As coordinator of the first Earth Day, Denis' journey has taken him to the head of Earth Day Network, the role of President and CEO of the Bullitt Foundation, and the position of chairman of the board of the Energy Foundation. A graduate of Clark College, Stanford University, and Stanford Law School, his honors are numerous, including receiving the Jefferson Medal for the greatest public service by an American under 35 and being chosen by the National Audubon Society as one of the 100 most important conservation figures of the 20th Century and by Look magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential Americans of the 20th Century. He has been awarded the highest honors bestowed by the Sierra Club, the National Wildlife Federation, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Humane Society of the United States, the American Solar Energy Society, and the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility.
Colonel (retired) Nancy Wessels Henderson, Ph.D. Class of 1971 -- Award: June 2005 Nancy credits her professional and personal success to the mentorship and experiences received at Clark. While taking a full academic load, she simultaneously worked three part-time jobs, participated in interscholastic sports, coached a girls' softball team and played the euphonium in Clark's orchestra. Entering military service in 1973 with a B.S. in Physical Education, she went on to receive a masters and a Ph.D. in physical therapy and her assignments took her to El Salvador and Columbia. She retired from military service in 2004 as the Chief of Physical Therapy at Madigan Medical Center. Nancy is an active community volunteer and serves as a consultant for the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy Examiners.
Gregg Herrington Class of 1965 -- Award: June 2005 As a Clark College student, Gregg served as sports editor and managing editor of the College's student newspaper. He earned a journalism degree at the University of Washington and was editor of its campus paper, The Daily. After college he worked briefly for The Oregonian and then spent nearly five years with the Associated Press in Washington, D.C. He returned to the Northwest in 1973 as assistant AP bureau chief in Seattle, directing news coverage in Washington and Alaska. Employed by The Columbian for 29 years, he is currently on its "Opionion" staff, writing editorials and columns. Gregg has won several Northwest newspaper-writing awards. He is a member of the Clark Alumni Association Board of Directors and the WSU-Vancouver Foley Institute local advisory panel.
Dennis Huston Class of 1961 -- Award: June 2005 An all-star member of the 1960-61 Penguin basketball team, Denny received his masters degree from Western Washington University in 1965. He then returned to Clark as assistant and subsequently head basketball coach for four years. Future coaching positions took him to the University of Washington, University of Wyoming, and Stanford University. He reitred from coaching as head basketball coach at Weber State in Utah in 1991. Denny was an integral partner in the formation of the Penguin Athletic Club in 1996. He is a former PAC president and currently serves on the Board of Directors for both the PAC and Clark College Foundation. An energetic role model for athletes, Denny is a sought after motivational speaker.
Orv Iverson Class of 1963 -- Award: June 2009 Orv created a legend for himself, his students, and his successors during his 32-year career as a debate coach and communications instructor at Clark College. For more than 20 years he was chair of the speech and theatre department and a member of the faculty senate. Iverson built a reputation for Clark as a dominant community college in the Northwest for forensics. From 1970 to 1998, his debate teams racked up 22 championships in Washington state community college speech/debate competitions, and 15 championships in the Northwest community college regional contests. Iverson estimates that, in the course of his 32 years of teaching, he contributed to the education of more than 10,000 students.
Rodney Jeffrey Class of 1935 -- Award: June 1992 One of two 1935 Clark College graduates, Rodney went on to graduate from the University of Portland. His Navy career included service as a deck officer and as assistant director for the Selective Service. His business career included ownership in a large gold mine in Idaho as well as serving as a purchasing agent for the Oregon Liquor Control Commission and as the director of personnel for Oregon Health Sciences University. Prior to retiring, he was a real estate agent in Central Oregon.
Tom Koenninger Class of 1951 -- Award: June 1990 A 1951 Clark graduate, Tom was appointed by Washington Governor Gary Locke to a four-year term on the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges in 1999 and served as the Board's chairman in 2001-02. He was reelected chairman for 2002-03. The State Board has overall responsibility for the state's 34 community and technical colleges. He retired as editor of The Columbian in 2001. Now as editor emeritus, he writes a weekly column for the newspaper, serves on the editorial board, and works with The Columbian Advisory Council. His extensive list of community involvement includes serving on Vancouver's Celebrate Freedom Committee, the Conservation Land Trust Advisory Board, the Vancouver National Historic Reserve Trust Board and Long Range Committee, the Clark College Alumni Association Board of Directors, the "Festival 150" Planning Committee, and the Lewis and Clark Commemorative Committee.
Betty Mage Class of 1966 -- Award: June 2004 In 1967 Betty Mage was appointed by Governor Dan Evans as a member of the first-ever Clark College Board of Trustees. She served on the board until 1978, six years as board chair. Betty also served as President of the Community College Trustees Association--the first woman to ever serve as President. She accepted a position as founding Executive Director of the Health and Welfare Planning Council of Clark County in 1968 and in 1985 Vancouver Mayor Bryce Seidel appointed her to the five member Vancouver Housing Authority Board of Commissioners. She was reappointed by Mayor Bruce Hagensen and served in this position for a total of ten years. "A citizen activist with a commitment to the quality of our community, Betty Mage dedicated her career and nearly all her waking hours to the citizens of Clark County."
John Marshall Class of 1957 -- Award: June 2005 "Clark College had the finest teaching faculty I encountered in all of my college experience," shares John. A dedicated educator and public servant, John led the way for Vancouver becoming a Sister City with Joyo, Japan. He volunteered as project coordinator of Vancouver's One Place Across Time committee and was influential in the passage of legislation by Congress in 1996 which established the Vancouver National Historic Reserve. John served as the first director of the Historic Reserve Trust. Vancouver's Celebrate Freedom programs were developed through John's efforts. In 1991, he coordinated the Medal of Honor Convention and brought General Colin Powell to Vancouver to deliver the Marshall Lecture. This led to John receiving the Congressional Medal of Honor Society Award. He was named Vancouver's "First Citizen" in 1999.
Daniel Morasch, D.D.S. Class of 1956 -- Award: June 2004 Clark County Dental Society member Daniel Morasch, D.D.S. was involved in the research, promotion, planning and implementation of the Clark College Dental Hygiene program. He graduated from the University of Washington Dental School and practiced dentistry in Clark County for 41 years until his retirement in 2003. He has served on the Clark College Foundation Board of Directors and the Clark College Alumni Association Board, as well as the Southwest Washington Hospital Foundation Board. Morasch is a staunch supporter of the Clark College Penguin Athletic Club, which is not surprising given his dedication to other athletic groups. In 1983 he co-founded the Clark County Youth Football Association. He has coached both football and basketball. In addition, he was honored by the National Football Foundation of the NFL in 1999. The previous year, he received the Nike Co-Coach of the Year Award from the NBA Portland Trail Blazers.
Randy Myers Class of 1983 -- Award: June 1991 A star pitcher for the Penguin baseball team during his years at Clark, Randy has earned significant honors in major league baseball. Starting his career in Triple-A ball, he moved on to the New York Mets as a relief pitcher, was purchased by the Cincinnati Reds in 1989 and was named the National League Co-MVP as a member of the World Series Reds team. Randy's interest in athletics at Clark College is evident through his years of involvement as an assistant coach for Clark's women's basketball teams.
Dr. Lawrence Rakestraw Class of 1935 -- Award: June 1992 The only student to enroll on the first day of registration for Vancouver Junior College in 1933, Larry was also the only student who lived in the Hidden House, site of the College from 1933 to 1937. He is recognized as the Clark student responsible for "Oswald," the penguin being named as the official Clark College mascot. Larry served as the editor of the school paper and went on to earn a Ph.D. and enjoy a long career as a university professor. Larry passed away on May 25, 1992, shortly after learning that he would be receiving recognition as a Clark College Outstanding Alumni.
Robert M. Schaefer Class of 1950 -- Award: April 2006 Robert M. "Bob" Schaefer, who served eight years in the Washington Legislature, with two of those as Speaker of the House, is an exemplary representation of the far reaching impact that comes from the high-quality, innovative education provided by Clark College. Schaefer never hesitates to praise the College, noting, "Clark College had the best teachers and professors that I encountered in getting my college education. Their pride in the institution and the product they were turning out meant that Clark's students were as well-trained or better trained than others at four year institutions." In addition to his service in the Legislature, Schaefer has served on numerous boards, including the Columbia River Economic Development Council, the Southwest Washington Medical Center and Foundation boards, and the Washington State High Technology Coordinating Board. In 1972 Schaefer helped found HOSTS (Help One Student to Succeed), an organization that has aided in tutoring more than 1 million students since its inception. He also established a committee in 1983 that developed the plan for the creation of WSU Vancouver. Schaefer attributes much of his success to the education he received at Clark, "The professors at Clark College have always showed a great interest in all of the students. They really helped me to make important decisions in my life. They were also some of the finest teachers I had the good fortune to have."
Rico Selga Class of 1998 -- Award: June 2010 After coming to the United States from the Philippines at age 15, Rico Selga graduated from Clark College in 1998, earning his associate degree in nursing. While at Clark, Selga served as vice president of activities for the Associated Students of Clark College and participated in the Model United Nations program. After Clark, Selga furthered his education, earning a bachelor’s degree in nursing, a master’s degree in human relations, and he is currently working on his doctoral studies.
Currently, Rico works as the charge nurse at Cascade Park Care Center overseeing the care of 30 patients. He has traveled the world providing medical care and humanitarian aid in areas devastated by disaster, conflict, and poverty. Rico’s experiences in classes at Clark College served as stepping stones for his life’s work. Class discussions about international aid and travel with professors at Clark helped to expand his knowledge of the world and have since played a pivotal role in his professional decisions.
Dr. Frances Storlie Class of 1962 -- Award: April 1978 Graduating in the first Clark Nursing class, Frances went on to earn her BSN and MSN from the University of Oregon and her Ph.D. in Urban Studies from Portland State University. The author of five health care books and more than 120 published health care articles, Frances was named the Northwest District Charter Member of the American Academy of Nursing in 1973. She served as the nurse-editor for Heart and Lung Journal during its inaugural year in 1976. Now retired from the nursing profession, she has traveled to Central and South America on more than 20 medical mission trips.
Larry Swatosh Class of 1957 -- Award: April 2008 Vancouver architect Larry Swatosh is one of the most civic-minded citizens in Southwest Washington. Practically a native of Vancouver (he moved here with his family as a young boy), Swatosh entered Clark College with the idea of becoming a commercial artist in advertising. He changed his mind, but found that many of the art and math credits he had earned were a good fit for an architecture degree. That quest took him to the University of Washington, and eventually into a partnership and his own firm, DSP Architecture. In the mid-seventies, he became the youngest appointee to the Vancouver Planning Commission. Since then, he has served on over a dozen boards and committees including the Vancouver Board of Adjustment, Vancouver Project Review Board, Vancouver Shore Lines Ordinance Task Force, Clark County Boundary Review Board, Vancouver Cultural Commission Ordinances Task Force, Vancouver Cultural Commission, Columbia Non-Profit Housing, American Red Cross Board, Friends of the Arts, Chinook Trail Association Board, Friends of Vancouver Tennis Center, Clark College Alumni Association Board, and the American Institute of Architects. Larry is a 23-year member of the Rotary Club of Vancouver.
Doris Groth Troxel Class of 1942 -- Award: April 2007 Doris Groth Troxel graduated from Clark in the early years of World War II. After earning her bachelor's degree in business from Washington State University in Pullman, she was recruited by Dean Lewis Cannell to return to Clark as an employee and played a pivotal role in getting the College up and running following its brief closure during the war. She served Clark College and its students for more than 30 years before retiring from the position of assistant registrar in 1976. A professional all of her adult years, Doris has set an important example for younger generations of female students. Her continuing support for Clark College includes an endowed scholarship for business students. An additional enduring legacy is the Groth Nature Preserve in north Clark County, 28 acres set aside for public use as an education resource. Doris has served in leadership positions with, among other organizations, the American Association of University Women and the Association of Retired School Employees. She is active in numerous community organizations.
Dr. Patricia Wirth Class of 1968 -- Award: June 1991 Patricia "Pat" L. Wirth, a 1968 Clark graduate, worked through six years of night school to earn her GED certificate. Then after completing her two-year degree at Clark, she transferred to Portland State University, earning a bachelor's and master's degree in business administration. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Idaho with a major in education. Pat served as chief fiscal officer and as a vice president at Clark College and as dean of administration at Yakima Valley College. She also taught accounting at Mt. Hood Community College and Clark College. She served as Dean of Instruction in Modesto, California, from 1982 to 1984, and then was appointed superintendent/president of the Yuba College District in Marysville, California, where she served until her retirement in 1994.