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Jeremy Brown’s summer tour takes PCC by storm
Photos and Story by James Hill
Talk about making the most of your first day on the job.
On Monday, July 1, new Portland Community College President Jeremy Brown climbed into one of PCC’s eco-friendly Bio Diesel shuttles and was whisked away on a tour of the college district. In total, Brown visited 10 locations, starting with the Sylvania Campus and later the Newberg Center and then finishing up at the Downtown and CLIMB centers. It was a way for the new PCC leader to get a feel for the college and the diversity of its campuses and centers.
“What a fun way to launch my first day at Portland Community College,” Brown said. “Over the course of nearly 10 hours I had the good fortune of visiting PCC’s many campuses and centers and chatting with a variety of administrators, faculty, staff and students.”
The welcoming parties at each campus were fun and full of excitement. The day kicked off with a 3-D gift handed to him by a robot at the Sylvania Campus and concluded with a variety of stress-relieving gifts at the CLIMB Center. In between, there were visits to the Newberg, Hillsboro, Willow Creek, Metro, and Downtown centers as well as stopovers to the Rock Creek, Cascade and Southeast campuses. From walking tours about the sustainability of PCC buildings to operating a Caterpillar excavator to riding Max for the first time to competing in a raucous jump-shooting competition to simply shaking hands and chatting with people, Brown got to experience the college at its finest.
“As a result of the tour, I have an even greater appreciation of all you do that makes PCC a special place,” he said. “It meant a lot to me that you took time out from your busy days to welcome me to the PCC fold.”
If you missed the bus tour, there are more opportunities to meet Jeremy Brown. Meet and greets with the president include – Noon to 12:30 p.m., Thursday, July 11, Sylvania Summer Luau, Performing Arts Center; 2:15-3 p.m., Monday, July 15, Rock Creek’s Aviation Hanger; 3-4 p.m., Wednesday, July 24, CLIMB Center; noon to 1 p.m., Monday, July 29, Cascade Cafeteria; and 4-5 p.m., Wednesday July 31, Southeast Center’s Community Hall.
On the July 1 bus tour, some of the campus leadership weren’t happy to just welcome Brown to the college, but were enthusiastic to put him through challenges. At Cascade, Campus President Algie Gatewood competed against Brown in that aforementioned jump-shooting competition in the Cascade gymnasium. The two had 90 seconds to make baskets from various locations around the key. It was a best two-out-of-three competition that Brown won by a whisker in front of a big and energetic crowd.
“Dr. Brown exemplified good sportsmanship in the basketball free throw shoot around with me,” Gatewood said. “I think we both enjoyed the shoot around as much as the students, faculty and staff enjoyed cheering us on.”
At the Rock Creek Campus, Brown was allowed to operate one of the Think Big Program’s large Caterpillar excavators out in the shop courtyard of Building 2. Students, faculty and staff of the Rock Creek Campus and the Hillsboro Center were impressed he made a personal visit to see them, said Birgitte Ryslinge, interim Rock Creek president.
“The visit showed Dr. Brown has a great sense of humor and is also very open and versatile,” Ryslinge said. “At Rock Creek, he handled an giant excavator and an ice cream scoop with equal dexterity, and didn’t mind being asked to do either of those things. Many commented afterwards that they found him to be down to earth and interested in learning about them. From my campus president perspective, it was wonderful to observe Dr. Brown having such positive and well informed conversations on his first day with a range of stakeholders that included a city councilor from Hillsboro, PCC Board members, students, faculty and staff.”
A big part of his day was telling the crowds that he wants to hear from them. Brown made a point that he would love to hear their ideas and encouraged them to get in touch with him personally via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
“This is not a one-person operation,” Brown said to the crowd at Southeast Center. “It’s a place where everyone has a chance to give input. I do want for us to interact in a way that is transparent, has mutual respect and has open lines of communications.”
Brown will take the summer to meet with community leaders with whom the college partners and spend time in the many communities PCC serves. He’s scheduled to participate in special summer events, festivals and much more. However, if you do talk with PCC’s new leader be sure to call him by the right name.
“I’m a low key person,” Brown said. “Just say, ‘Hi, Jeremy.’ I’ve been called a lot of names in the past, but ‘Jeremy’ is the preferred one. I’m looking forward to many great years ahead of us. I’m looking for a great start.”