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Marking a milestone

Written by Whitney Keyes
June 29, 2010

Marie Miller and Louise Niemi were filled with memories at the College of Education’s 75th Anniversary this month. The two friends attended the college back in the 1950s, received Bachelor of Arts in Education degrees and taught in the Seattle Public School District. They were among the more than 200 people who attended the June 18 event, a culmination of over a year’s worth of celebrating the college’s alumni and professors with 1,000-plus participants. Thanks to the generosity of many donors, the college announced new scholarship efforts in the college’s Masters in Teaching, Educational Administration, and Counseling and Educational Doctoral Leadership programs.

“It was wonderful to hear the stories from the alumni about the incredible education they received and the impact they have had on their communities,” said Dean Sue Schmitt. “Graduates of the seven K-12 programs alone have impacted the lives of over 5 million children and youth. Graduates from the programs serving adults have impacted thousands more. It is humbling to think of the impact future graduates will have and the systemic changes they will influence in their quest to create a more just and humane world.”

As part of its mission to empower reflective leaders in the community, the College of Education invited Calen Pick and his mother, Jessie Close, to serve as keynote speakers. Jessie and her sister, actress Glenn Close, co-founded BringChange2Mind.org, a not-for-profit organization that helps raise awareness of the stigma of mental illness. Pick and Close shared their personal stories of living with mental illness, including schizophrenia and bipolar disease. Pick emphasized the critical role of family members and community support from educators and mental health experts. 

“With the help of friends, family and appropriate medication, those with mental illness can often lead fulfilling lives, said Pick. “Recovery is a possibility.”

For more information about the college’s 75th Anniversary or to see images from the event, please visit the college’s Facebook page at:  http://www.facebook.com/SUCollegeOfEd?ref=ts.