Bob Silverman left Gresham six years ago, but his presence is still felt — primarily by people who never knew him.

Silverman, who was president of Mt. Hood Community College from 2001 to 2007, died in California this week at the too-young age of 64.

Of all the Mt. Hood presidents who’ve served since Paul Kreider left the college in 1996 up until now, Silverman has the lengthiest list of accomplishments. Because of his efforts, students at Mt. Hood have greater opportunities than they did before.

Achievements that Silverman will be remembered for include:

n Establishing dual-enrollment programs with Eastern Oregon University and other four-year institutions. As a result, students in East Multnomah County can obtain bachelor’s degrees without ever leaving their community.

n Working with donors Fred and Brandace Bruning to create the Bruning Center for Allied Health at Gresham’s Center for Advanced Learning. The Bruning Center houses MHCC’s nursing program in a state-of-the-art facility.

n Making long-overdue improvements to the college’s aquatic center, including a dome for the outdoor pool to enable year-round use and events.

n Starting to reverse the trend of deferred maintenance and lack of investment in college facilities. Under Silverman’s leadership — and despite a shortage of money — the college revamped the library and other buildings on campus.

n Maintaining a collaborative relationship with the college faculty. No strikes were threatened during Silverman’s tenure.

It’s also worth noting that the college also was able to get a majority of voters to approve a bond measure while Silverman was president. However, due to double-majority election rules in force at the time, the bond failed when voter turnout fell below 50 percent.

Silverman wasn’t an overly flashy personality, and could even be a bit of a lovable curmudgeon. But his legacy at MHCC clearly demonstrates his interest in placing students first. Now, students from East Multnomah County can get four-year degrees without having to move or commute great distances. They have better options for training in the growing field of health care. And while college facilities still need improvement, they are better than they once were.

Those students likely don’t know who Bob Silverman was, but they owe him a debt of gratitude.

Contract Publishing

Go to top
Template by JoomlaShine