Yesterday, March 8th, Dr. Jill Purdy and I were honored to accept on behalf of UW Tacoma the 2018 Golden Shovel Award during the Economic Development Board of Tacoma & Pierce County annual meeting.
The award recognizes organizations or individuals that have made a significant contribution to the economic well-being of Tacoma and Pierce County. Previous recipients have included Point Ruston and the Northwest Seaport Alliance.
Although we happened to be the ones on the stage to receive the applause from the audience of 550 community leaders, it is not our award. It is a testament to the hard work of a crowd of people that couldn’t even fit into the Tacoma Dome: 800 current faculty and staff, 5,185 current students, 20,150 alumni, countless thousands of former students, faculty and staff, and donors and community supporters. All these people believe in the transformative impact higher education can have on the region and in the world.
The impact of what we are doing here on our 46 acres in downtown Tacoma goes way beyond a set of geographic boundaries. We are changing society because we are providing access to a high-quality education, and because we are bringing together the people who are equipped to make a difference. Let us take that golden shovel we just earned and use it to do even more.