An e-newsletter for friends and alumni of Highline College.

Table of Contents

In Memorium

2014 Alumni Reception

Celebrate 50 Years of Nursing

Highline Campus Turns 50

Student-Athlete Awards

Highline Wins Diversity Award

Help Drive Away Hunger in Our Area

2014 Alumni Service Challenge

Calendar of Events

What’s happening? Below is a partial list of upcoming events. Check here for the full schedule.

Take Advantage of Free Seminars

Did you know Highline hosts a wide range of free seminars for the community? Learn about everything from octopuses to seaplanes.

See the “Recurring Events” section of our online calendar for history seminars, art exhibits, science seminars and more.

Giving Goes Global: Join In Locally

Join us for #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. You can be part of the worldwide event on Tuesday, December 2, 2014, as charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.

Your gift locally to the Highline Foundation on #GivingTuesday will help us raise funds for student scholarships and emergency funds and launches our Annual Fund Drive where we’ll ask you to “Pick Your Passion.” As a bonus, the first $2,500 in donations made on December 2 will be matched by an anonymous donor. It’s an easy way to double your donation.

Wish to increase the value of your donation even more? Many employers offer matching funds, so check with your Human Resources department. Learn more and donate at Pick Your Passion.

Sponsorship Opportunities Available for Alumni Reception


Is your company searching for way to connect with potential clients? Consider sponsorship for the 2014 Highline Alumni Reception!

As a sponsor, your organization will be featured at the event and in promotional efforts targeted to our thousands of alumni. Help Highline College stay connected to our alumni while connecting them to your organization and serving our region! For details or questions, please contact Madison Gridley at

Save the Date!

Plan to join us at Cedarbrook Lodge for our annual Gala on April 18, 2015.  Reception begins at 5 p.m. 

Purchase tickets before February 1, 2015, and pay last year’s price of $125. But hurry, after that date tickets go up to $150. Buy your tickets early at or call (206) 870-3774.

New Highline Alumni Council needs YOU!

Last month, the Highline College Foundation voted in the inaugural Highline College Alumni Council. The council will serve under the Highline College Foundation and act as leaders of the Highline College Alumni Association by assisting with programming and providing a voice to members.

Virg Staiger, a member of one of Highline’s first graduating classes, was named as the council chair. Staiger started the movement for an alumni council in 1990, when he served as the college’s Public Information Officer. Duncan Taylor, ’03, will serve as the vice chair. Other council members include Tierney Kuhn, ’09; Janica Lockhart, ’02; Choklate Moore, ’05, and Emma Shasha, ’12.

The council is seeking additional members to be a part of this exciting new venture. Highline alumni who have completed 45 credits are eligible to hold a position on the council. Contact Madison Gridley at if you are interested in learning more.

Find Career Help and More

Get free help finding a new career with Career Coach. Now with a new career assessment feature, Career Coach helps you explore your ideal career by matching your skills and talents. This online tool is easy to use and provides current local data on wages, employment and job postings. It also provides a tool for building a professional resume. Get started today with Career Coach.

Dollars Add Up, Thanks to You!

More than 60 supporters of the Highline Foundation helped raise $274.55 over the summer through the Fred Meyer Community Rewards Program. These funds will go directly to students through scholarships.

Do you shop at Fred Meyer? Sign up for the Rewards Program and link your card to Highline College at Search for us by name or by nonprofit number (87125). You’ll earn donations for Highline and earn Rewards Points, Fuel Points, and Rebates for yourself.

In Memorium 

Melanie Wroe, a former Director of Nursing Education at Highline, died on October 27, 2014, from non-small cell lung cancer. Wroe, 63, began at the college in 1978, working in the Nursing department for more than 10 years before retiring to raise her children and pursue other interests, including being a barbershop performer, judge and coach. We extend our sincere condolences to her family.

About This Newsletter

Highline Connections will be published electronically four times a year in February, May, August and November for friends and alumni of Highline. Do you have questions or comments? Email Madison Gridley:

Highline College was founded in 1961 as the first community college in King County. With approximately 15,000 annual students and 350,000 alumni, it is one of the state’s largest institutions of higher education.

DISCLAIMER: Highline College provides equal opportunity in education and employment and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, creed, religion, or status as a veteran of war. Prohibited sex discrimination includes sexual harassment (unwelcome sexual conduct of various types).

Calling All Alumni

Join Us for the Annual Highline

Alumni Reception on Dec. 16

Article ImageWhether you’ve been out of college for one year or too many to count, we’re celebrating you at the annual Highline College Alumni Reception, set for Tuesday, December 16,
6–8 p.m.
Return to campus and reconnect with classmates, retirees, faculty and staff during an evening of memories, games, prizes, food and fun in the beautiful Highline Student Union (Building 8).

Tickets are only $10 per person and include dinner, beer, wine and nonalcoholic beverages. Guests are welcome.

R.S.V.P. and purchase tickets online at by Friday, December 12. Tickets will also be available at the door. Questions? Contact Madison Gridley at or (206) 592-3312.

Celebrate 50 Years of Successful 

Nursing Students: Dec. 13


Congratulations to all of Highline’s nursing students and instructors, both past and present. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Highline’s Nursing program. While the uniforms have changed, the caliber of instruction has remained consistently high. The college has long been recognized for producing high quality nursing graduates who go on to work in hospitals, clinics and offices throughout the area.

Article ImageAll are welcome to join us for the celebration, scheduled for Saturday, December 13, in the Highline Student Union (Building 8). The event includes an open house and tours from 1 to 5 p.m. and the celebratory reception and dinner from 5 to 7 p.m. You’ll have the chance to connect with current and former students, faculty, staff and community partners and see how the program has grown through the decades.

Tickets are only $10 per person and include dinner, beer, wine and nonalcoholic beverages. R.S.V.P. and purchase tickets online at by Monday, December 8. Tickets will also be available at the door. Questions? Contact Madison Gridley at or (206) 592-3312.

Special thanks to our event sponsors: CHI Franciscan Health Services and the Trillo family.

Campus Connections

Highline campus turns 50

Highline College’s permanent campus in Des Moines opened in fall of 1964 with 16 buildings, but due to a variety of delays, not all were complete in time for the start of classes.

For its first three academic years—1961–62, 1962–63 and 1963–64—the college was housed on a temporary basis at Glacier High School, about 100 blocks north of the present-day Des Moines campus. Highline’s campus now includes 30 buildings on its 80-acre site.

Student-Athletes Excel  

on and off the Field

Article Image

Highline College Athletics was honored as one of the top five schools in the 2014 Northwest Athletic Conference (NWAC) Academic President’s Cup for academic performances of student-athletes and third amongst colleges with eight or more teams. Additionally, 10 Highline second-year student-athletes were named to the Fall NWAC All-Academic Team.

The student-athletes named to the Fall NWAC All-Academic Team for earning a 3.25 GPA or higher were:

Megan Smith, Maple Valley, Wash.
Danielle Tabor, Olympia, Wash.
Leone Tanielu, Kent, Wash.
Alexandria Toth, Beaverton, Ore.

Men's Soccer
Armando Castillo, Des Moines, Wash.
Matthew Cruz, Kent, Wash.
Kloh Phillips, Kent, Wash.

Women's Soccer
Adrianna McMahon, Auburn, Wash.
Madissen Ostergaard, Sutter Creek, Calif.

Cross Country
Joseph "Joey" Walker, West Seattle, Wash.

The awards are both based on credit and GPAs from the 2013-2014 academic year. Student-athletes named to the Winter and Spring All-Academic Teams will be announced in January 2015.

In addition to the outstanding academic performance of the Highline student-athletes this fall, all teams have been bringing home titles on the field as well. Both men's and women's soccer finished the regular season tied for first place in the NWAC West Division with Peninsula College. Men's soccer then went on the win the NWAC Championship.

Women's volleyball finished the regular season in 2nd place in the NWAC West Division, and playoffs begin this weekend. Highline cross-country runner Endalkachew Abebaw finished first at the 2014 NWAC Northwest Region Cross-Country Championships, with three of his teammates also finishing in the top 20.

These rankings do not include the Highline men’s wrestling team that competes in the National Junior College Athletic Association and was ranked number one in the nation for its academics for the 2013-2014 academic year.

For more information on Highline College Athletics, visit

Highline Earns Excellence

in Diversity Honors

For the second straight year, Highline received the Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award, a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion. Given by Insight into Diversity, the largest and oldest diversity magazine and website in higher education, the 2014 HEED Award was presented to only 82 institutions across the nation.

Highline was the only community college recipient from Washington state and one of the very few from the West Coast. To learn more and read other campus news, visit Highline’s news site.

Help Drive Away Hunger in Our Area 

In December 2013, Highline faculty, staff and community members donated more than 800 pounds of food and $2,000 to the Des Moines Food Bank. With your help, we can beat that amount during the upcoming holiday season.

Wish to participate? Here’s how:

  • Drop off your donation at any campus donation bin (many will be scattered across Highline’s main campus).
  • Make a monetary donation by writing a check to the Highline College Foundation or by using your credit card online at or by phone at (206) 870-3774.
  • Help with decorating, deploying and retrieving collection barrels around campus. For details, contact Amy Lanser: (206) 592-3010,

Donations will be accepted through December 11. Help us help those in need this holiday season. Donate today!

Your Interests Can Help Others 

The 2014 Alumni Service Challenge is winding down. But it’s not too late to share your interests and skills while making a difference in your community. Join other Highline alumni and participate in the challenge. Here are just a few of the opportunities you can choose from:

  • Highline's Paralegal program is in need of volunteer jurors for a mock trial on Wednesday, Nov. 26, from 12:10-2:20pm. It's jury duty without the weeks of commitment!
  • Are you interested in marine life and the environment? Volunteer at Highline's Marine Science and Technology Center! There's no experience necessary to join. All training will be offered onsite.
  • Help make the upcoming Highline Alumni Reception the best one yet by volunteering! We're seeking volunteers to assist with planning and setting up.

The program’s goal is to recruit Highline alumni to serve 2,014 hours of community service, find 14 new mentors and identify four new work-based learning sites this year. We are so close, with only 40 hours left until we reach our goal! To sign up email Madison Gridley at or learn more on the Alumni Relations website.