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

Calendar of Events

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

April 18: Spring Job Fair


April 23: Annual Foundation Gala


May 14: Y.E.L.L. Female Summit


June 16: Commencement


June 17: T-Bird Golf Tournament


Annual Golf Tournament

The 2016 T-Bird Classic

It’s that time again! Get your alumni golf group together for this fun day of golf, food, beverages and prizes! Not to mention you will be supporting one of the premier athletic organizations in the PNW! This is also a terrific opportunity to advertise your business through sponsorship; we encourage alumni-owned businesses to become a part of the tradition! For information on playing in or sponsoring the tournament contact Athletic Director John Dunn:

When: June 17, 2016
Where: Twin Lakes Golf and Country Club, Federal Way
To Benefit: Thunderbird Athletics

For more information: Thunderbird Athletics

Alumni Trivia Challenge


The skeleton of what species of whale is on permanent display at the MaST Center?


A.  Orca Whale

B.  Humpback Whale

C.  Gray Whale

D.  Minke Whale


see below for correct answer

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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 Laura Rosa:


Highline College was founded in 1961 as the first community college in King County. With approximately 17,000 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).

MaST Alumni: Where Are They Now? 


Matt McDaniel had been out of school for 15 years when he decided to pursue his passion: working with and studying our local fish populations. In 2003 he began volunteering at the Marine Science and Technology Center (MaST) and eventually became a student worker. Matt started with just one class at Highline, Oceanography, with instructor Rus Higley. To this day he credits Higley for not letting him give up. After Highline, Matt went on to earn a degree at the University of Washington in Aquatic Fishery Science. He now works as the manager of the White Rivery Hatchery in Auburn, and along with day-to-day operations of the facility, he is also involved in the long-term recovery plan for the White River. Matt is still involved with the MaST as a volunteer and ultimately followed in his mentor's footsteps and finds time to teach a Fish Indentification and Habitat class at Green River College. His advice to those who are thinking of following a dream, "If you are serious about it, volunteer, get involved."




Lila Jones: Marine biologist, activist, business owner and MERMAID!  Lila was extremely active with the MaST as a student and volunteer while earning her associates degree in 2010. She then attended Hawaii Pacific University on Oahu and earned a bachelor's degree in Marine Biology. She traveled extensively with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) conducting research and developing a passion and plan for activism. Hawaii is home to several resorts that use captive dolphins as an attraction for tourists. Lila is strongly against the practice and would like to see the tourism industry embrace excursions to see dolphins in the wild instead. She has spearheaded a petition to prevent the creation of any new captive-dolphin-based resorts in Hawaii and is hoping to cross the threshhold of 100,000 signatures, which would then automatically forward the petition to the White House. Lila also opened a small business last year, The Light of Lumuria Retreats on the island of Maui. It is a Mermaid school where she teaches island visitors of all ages about the ocean and ecology through fun and adventure.

New Alumni Association Membership BENEFITS! 


Visit our updated BENEFITS page to access exclusive membership benefits and discounts. Keep checking in, we are committed to serving our alumni!

  • Highline Alumni Association members have a discounted entry to all home Thunderbird sporting events.
  • Receive a 15% discount on Highline College gear and memorabilia from our campus Bookstore. Offer is valid both in store by presenting your Alumni Membership card or online with the access code ALUM. Go T-Birds! 
  • Please see our Benefits page for other offers, resources and discounts!
Protecting the Giants of the Puget Sound
The MaST Center fosters a culture of marine stewardship by engaging our community through interactive learning, personal relations and exploration. 

Trivia Answer: Although all the listed whale species can be found in the Puget Sound, the skeleton on display is a C. Gray Whale


The whale died of unknown causes and washed up on Arroyo Beach, just south of the Fauntleroy Ferry in West Seattle in spring of 2010.

Photo Credit: Sarah Alston 


Highline College and the MaST Center worked with Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to get permission to display. Preserving and preparing the 38-foot skeleton was a true labor of love as 100 volunteers worked over 3,000 hours in the painstaking process. Visitors can see the skeleton on display during public open hours: Saturdays 10 a.m.-2 p.m. or during special events.


For information about upcoming MaST events or to volunteer: Marine Science and Technology Center