Thursday, March 31, 2011

Seattle and SCUP

Me & the Seattle Skyline!

Last week I had the opportunity to attend a conference in Seattle, Washington. It was my first visit to Seattle, which is a beautiful city. I was there for the Society for College and University Planning (SCUP) conference. Since my entrance into the world of higher education, I've had the opportunity to attend several conferences related to my field. Of all of them, I have found the SCUP conference to be the most rewarding. Attendees are facilities planners, community relations executives, architects, community planners, and more. Sessions vary from demonstrations of particularly innovative facilities on campuses around the world to broad-based thinking and strategizing about the future of higher education generally. It was fascinating.

I had the opportunity not just to attend, but also to present. Westminster's recently completed master plan was featured at the conference, and one of the most rewarding aspects for me was learning that Westminster is quite cutting edge in not just thinking about community involvement in campus planning, but also encouraging innovation and out of the box thinking to create an accessible and affordable college experience for a broad range of incoming students - and then doing something about it. Honestly, I'm incredibly proud of the work we are doing here. If you haven't seen our master plan yet, check it out here! Westminster College Master Plan

An added benefit of my trip to Seattle included the opportunity to visit with some of our amazing alumni. I wanted to share their stories:
  • Ray Bradford graduated in 2007, having served as ASWC student body president. He was accepted into Stanford's MBA program, from which he graduated in 2010. He is now working for Amazon in the Seattle area. As you can see, Ray has had amazing success at a very young age. But what I like most about him? His ability to incorporate pop culture and intellect into his off the cuff witty remarks. Honestly - this guy is funny like Dennis Miller used to be 20 years ago . . . I encourage everyone to attend our next Seattle regional event just to get a moment to hear Ray "wax nostalgic and funny" about his Westminster experiences.
  • Roxanne Mennes is an alumna non-grad. Roxanne came to Westminster from California, and attended for four years, leaving her last semester to attend the University of Utah. She was hoping that would give her a leg up in the psychology ph.d. program there, but eventually she ended up in law school. That's where she and I originally met! Roxanne is now working in the law school at Seattle University. We had a lovely time talking about her Westminster experiences - Hogle Hall life, favorite professors, and friends from that late 80's era. We even learned that there is a network of people at Seattle University with connections to Westminster College!
What's next? We need to get Roxanne and Ray in touch. Not only can they enhance their own network of friends and professionals in the Seattle area that way, but they've both indicated a willingness to assist Westminster in our recruiting and admissions process in the Pacific Northwest area. I'm hoping to create a program that will engage our regional alumni in the work of admissions. There are no greater ambassadors for the Westminster experience than our alumni, and we can enhance the overall well being of the college by sharing our stories far and wide, and particularly with our potential students and their families.
Are you an alumnus from out of state? What would you like from the college? How would you like to be involved??? You can always email me at

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