EVERETT— David Beyer, the longest-serving president in Everett Community College’s 77-year history, plans to retire in June.
Beyer, 69, announced his intentions Monday at the conclusion of an annual state of the college address. More than 250 college employees attended the event, which marks the beginning of the academic year. Classes start Monday.
“I’ve had the good fortune to meet a lot of talented and good people, who shared a vision to make some things happen here,” Beyer said.
“Together we were able to do the work. I’ll miss it, and on the other hand there are other people that need to take it from here,” he said.
Beyer will retire with more than 40 years of experience in higher education, including 13 as EvCC’s president.
During his tenure, the college underwent a significant expansion, investing more than $150 million in new construction.
Three new academic buildings – Gray Wolf Hall, Liberty Hall and the Walt Price Student Fitness Center — were built. An existing building was renovated to house EvCC’s Advanced Manufacturing Training & Education Center. The manufacturing center, a hub for workforce training and development, opened in 2014.
“This college has demonstrated to me the importance of two-year institutions in fostering opportunity for many people to aspire and secure economic mobility in this rapidly changing world,” Beyer wrote in a letter to the Board of Trustees. “The dedicated and talented people who work here have made this final chapter very special and fulfilling.”
As president, Beyer sought to make a college education accessible to everyone, including communities that may have been previously overlooked. To further that goal, he created the position of chief diversity and equity officer and hired Maria Peña to fill the new position.
“I think this college is really focused on doing the right things on equity and social justice, and getting people to degree completion,” he said Monday.
This year Beyer received the Henry M. Jackson award from Economic Alliance Snohomish County.
In 2016, he was selected as The Herald Business Journal’s Snohomish County Executive of the Year. He earned the KSER Voice of the Community award in 2011.
“We’re fortunate to have had Dr. Beyer at the helm during a time of significant growth and expansion of opportunities for students in the region,” said Mike Deller, chairman of the EvCC Board of Trustees. “His work here has had a positive impact not only on the lives of the students, but the region’s economy as well.”
Reflecting on the last 12 years, Beyer said “It’s something I’ll treasure for a long time.”
For now, he doesn’t have any post-retirement plans. “We’re taking it slow,” he said.
The college currently serves about 19,350 students in its credit, non-credit, pre-college and other programs.
In 2005-2006, around the time that Beyer took the helm, EvCC served 17,862 students.
Beyer worked as a consultant for Boise State University in Idaho prior to becoming EvCC’s 15th president.
EvCC trustees are working to establish a timeline for hiring the next president.
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