Donor Stories

Veronica Brock


Professor Veronica Brock, who recently marked 20 years of teaching at Clark, didn’t intend to follow in her father’s footsteps, but as it turns out, she did. “I grew up with Penguin blood.”

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2013_Paul Casillas_headshot


As a young boy Paul Casillas was full of curiosity. He enjoyed building mechanical and scientific devices, and even had a rudimentary workshop and laboratory in his parents’ basement by the age of seven.

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Larry and Judy Swatosh


Larry ’57 and Judy ’79 Swatosh

Larry Swatosh ’57 graduated into a very tight construction market after he completed his bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington in 1961 after having transferred from Clark College. Nobody was hiring. His memory is of pounding the pavement in Portland, Ore., every day asking for architectural work. He even applied for jobs outside of his chosen profession, but to no avail.

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Ethel_Reeves


Ethel Reeves ’92

The temperature was hovering just above 70 degrees in Pyatt, Ark., as Ethel Reeves dusted herself off and wiped the beaded sweat from her forehead. As she packed up her tools, she smiled while looking out at the flourishing crops. Another day in paradise. As she began to walk back to the house for supper, her only concern was the many hours of homework she had to complete before Monday.

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President Robert Knight joins Library Dean Michelle Bagley


Michelle Bagley

A dinner party forever changed a seamstress’s life’s trajectory and solidified her love of learning. Today, Clark’s library dean, Michelle Bagley, gives  back because she believes in the power of education in the community.

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Dr. Gary Gilbert

Dr. Gary Gilbert

In his retirement Dr. Gary Gilbert keeps in touch with the community through his photography. And he’s left a a family legacy by donating to Clark College. His gift to Dental Hygiene helps offset some of the financial burden of higher education costs for students, while honoring his family name. Gilbert’s father, Dr. Robert Gilbert, was a professional luminary and community leader for more than 40 years. An optometrist, he ran a small office in downtown Vancouver.

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Greg and Kirsten Wallace


Greg and Kirsten Wallace

“When you travel internationally and are gone as much as I was, you don’t understand or spend the time to think about what makes a local community vibrant. So much value and impact in the community is driven by an institution like Clark College.”

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Jan and Steve Oliva


The Olivas

Steve and Jan Oliva believe in their community. This is evident by their investment of countless volunteer hours, corporate donations and personal contributions to a variety of worthy causes in Southwest Washington.

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Vern Peterson


Vern Peterson

Vern Peterson, CPA, is all about Clark College. He’s a Clark College alumnus, parent of an alumna, former Clark College Foundation board member, current Campaign Leadership Team member and a very generous donor.

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Bill and Jeanne Firstenburg


Bill and Jeanne Firstenburg

“My mother and father loved this community. They also believed strongly in the power of education. Clark College trains our workforce. Clark College educates our leaders. Clark College changes lives.”

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