President Dow's Thank You

This is the last guest column President Dow wrote for the Herald and News. It appeared on page A6 of the Wednesday, Sept. 26, edition.

A thank you from the president

By MARTHA ANNE DOW President, Oregon Institute of Technology

Thank you. Those two words can be the most meaningful you can hear, but they can also feel inadequate when trying to express one's sense of extreme gratitude.

I struggle with how to articulate my appreciation to the Klamath area. Everyone has provided such outstanding support during my illness, but the kindness and support began long before I fell ill.

When Gary and I first arrived in Klamath Falls we knew the community was one we would call our own. There were so many other people from Montana - it was as if there was a direct pipeline between the two states. Our agricultural and educational roots helped us easily assimilate into the Klamath Basin, but it was the kindness of the local residents that made us feel at home.

Joining OIT
I began my stay at Oregon Tech as its provost. The work was rewarding and meaningful; I had no idea I would eventually become president. Members of the Oregon Tech Foundation and the President's Advisory Council helped me learn my presidential duties and encouraged my understanding of furthering the work of Oregon Tech beyond Oregon's borders.

So many individuals have helped shape my career and my life. I will not list names, as I will undoubtedly forget someone. Let's just say it takes a village to raise a child and a region to educate a president. I've long known the importance of what others have given me. However, I never realized that in turn I was affecting others.

As an educator you spend your life teaching in buildings named for other people. I never expected the Oregon Center for Health Professions building to be named for me. It was beyond my wildest dream, and the gratitude I feel finds me at a loss for words.

The opening of the Center was the most perfect day I can remember in the last few months. That seems like a considerable understatement knowing I've undergone treatment for breast cancer during the last six months. The reality is that one can never underestimate the influence of personal contributions pooled for a greater cause.

High-water mark
On Sept. 12 the Klamath community provided me with a high-water mark in my life and career. My family was amazed at the work I had done here, with the support and partnership of the local community. Gary and I make it a point not to talk shop at home. Even if we did, I would never take credit for this great accomplishment. The Center is a testament to the drive and determination of the people of the Klamath Basin.

I was especially pleased that my two granddaughters were in attendance for the Center's opening. The eldest is considering Oregon Tech when she graduates from high school. All of my family members were treated so well by our friends and supporters from the community. I hope you all know how meaningful your concern and well wishes were to us all.

Though the words seem inadequate, all I can offer is "thank you." My life was better having had this opportunity. I wish you all well.