The day started out quietly at the Glendale Ranch on Friday. Miss Jenny was out on travels to Viet Nam, along with our favorite hotelier and ice cream maker, Howard Johnson. Standing in for Miss Jenny was that ol’ former president himself, Jimmy “Da Man” Zidar!
Jimmy opened up the meeting with the ding of the bell and a story about Joe Paterno, the Hall of Fame football coach from Penn State. Jimmy reported he had heard that Joe Paterno was soon to retire and was looking at moving to Seattle or Pullman. It seems he wants to get as far away from football as he can when he retires! (Ba dum bump! A groan was noted from the audience by this reporter.)
Mark Mason provided the BBRC attendees the invocation and led the Pledge. Rick Klobucher introduced guests and visiting Rotarians. Rick’s question of the day was: Which team will win the UW-Notre Dame game this weekend? Frequent visitor and faux member Frank Young, did not have a prediction to offer but did, instead, say he was looking forward to the last game of the season!
Larry May introduced our Student of the Month, Mr. David Ker of Bellevue Christian. In the audience was David’s Principal, Bill Safestrom, and his father, Glen Ker.
David has a 3.9 grade point average and is an outstanding computer science student. He told us that for the past two years, during spring break, he and his fellow students have been traveling to Mississippi to assist in classrooms and to work on a farm. David co-leads a small group from the technology honor society which deploys refurbished computers to some impoverished schools. David said two years ago their primary project was to bring internet to schools; however, they discovered at one school that the school’s DSL line was only connected to the Principal’s computer. The students then extended the Internet access to the rest of the building.
David said that by working in a “… seemingly third-world location in our own country …” he realized there was much to be done closer to home, and the experience gave him the passion to help others, especially with technology.
David is off to the University of Washington this fall.
Jimmy introduced one of our leaders, Cary Kopczynski, to talk about the Rotary Foundation. Cary opened his talk about the focus Rotary has sustained for 20 years on eradicating Polio. Right now there are only four countries left in the world where Polio has not been eliminated — good news for the world, yet still a challenge for Rotary, the Rotary Foundation, and all of us.
Cary told us that November will be Foundation Month, and each member is being asked to make a commitment to contribute $100 per year to the Rotary Foundation. The Club’s goals in this regard are “Every Rotarian Every Year,” with a club average of $300 per member.
The fund raising effort will swing into high gear in November, and then on December 12th, some awards and prizes will be given to those members who have stepped up to make the commitment to the Rotary Foundation.
Dick Brown came forward and offered awards and recognition to the following members:
• Tom Harrelson received the Paul Harris Award for his contribution of his first $1,000 to the Foundation.
• Steve Roberts received a 4-sapphire pin recognizing a total donation of $5,000.
• John Martinka received a 5-sapphire pin for a total donation of $6,000.
• Cary Kopczynski was honored with a 3-ruby pin representing his financial commitment to Rotary Foundation of $9,000!
At the end of the ceremony Jim Zidar noted that BBRC is one of the leaders in financial contributions, as well as in active participation in Foundation projects around the world. We should give ourselves a pat on the back! (Yeehaw!)
Acting President Jim invited Kevin Jewell up to talk about Rotary First Harvest. Kevin told us that RFH started about 25 years ago in District 5030, and it is being copied throughout the nation by other clubs!
Kevin let us know that the BBRC commitment is for $6,000 to RFH this Rotary year, and that forms are available to make added donations.
As Kevin ended his talk, Jim Z reminded us that with the challenges in today’s economy, increased demand is expected on Rotary First Harvest and that our money and support are really important.
Next on the docket was our dear friend Steve Lingenbrink! Steve talked about the upcoming Anniversary Dinner — The Red Dress Dinner — scheduled for the Bellevue Hyatt on Friday, November 7th. However, Jim Zidar really threw all of us for a loop when he introduced Steve saying, “Think Salsa Dancer …” Huh? We were caught off guard with that depiction of Steve and, in fact, Steve said to all of us, “Well, that finally got me speechless!" From the floor was a comment: “Which is hard to believe for a lawyer!”
Steve provided details and told us of the plans for a wonderful time, salsa dance lessons, etc. Steve even started to tell us that Miss Jenny set aside some extra funds for the party. What? What was that sound from the floor? It was Mitch chanting, “A-I-G, A-I-G, A-I-G, A-I-G ...” Mitch, how could you even think that extra funds from Miss Jenny had anything to do with today’s financial crisis? Steve was speechless —AGAIN!
Finally, Steve recognized members of the Fellowship Committee helping to put on this gala: Sayoko Kuwahara, Chris Rasmussen, Ron Black, and Ron's wife Stella.
So, remember: wear something RED to the party and THERE IS NO MORNING MEETING ON NOVEMBER 7th.
Speaking of speechless, our Surgeon at Harms, David Bolson, announced he had no business for the club on Friday! Miss Jenny, we need you back to help get us out of our doldrums!
John Martinka mentioned that he is applying for some outside money for computers and the Dictionary Project for a visit to Antigua in the future. If anyone is interested in providing financial support, computers, computer peripherals, etc., please contact John Martinka.
Jim reminded us that next week’s speaker is Mr. Jeff Brotman, CEO & Founder of Costco.
Rourke O’Brien – graduate of Notre Dame – took the podium to introduce Friday's speaker, Dr. Elson Floyd, the 10th President of Washington State University (WSU). A North Carolina native and University of North Carolina graduate, Dr.. Floyd was most recently the President at the University of Missouri.
An imposing individual with a distinguished presence., Dr. Floyd opened his comments with commendations to Rotary for its efforts to improve society and the world. He wryly mentioned that he really doesn't want to talk about football and is looking forward to the basketball season. Dr. Floyd did have a story from last year’s basketball season that was quite funny.
When he first arrived at WSU, Horizon Airlines approached WSU and asked permission to paint one of their aircraft with WSU logos and colors. They were doing this as part of a campaign to paint four aircraft representing the four major universities in Washington and Oregon.
Well, last year there was a very close, hard-fought basketball game between the Huskies and Cougars, with the Cougars winning in overtime — barely. After the game ended, the Huskies had to fly home in a Horizon aircraft painted with the WSU colors! Adding shame upon shame!
One key point of Dr. Floyd’s talk was the importance of collaboration between WSU and the University of Washington (UW). This is especially true because, with the UW focused on human medicine and WSU focused on veterinary medicine, and because about 70% of human diseases originate in animals, there is so much need for cross-talk and collaboration between the two schools to ensure that solutions are holistic and take advantage of this knowledge.
WSU is Washington’s only land grant university. Therefore, WSU has a presence in every county in Washington and is engaging with local communities to provide educational presence, economic development, and agricultural support.
Dr. Floyd reminded us of the challenging economic times for Universities. He mentioned that for all the programs at WSU, he expects each program to satisfy three key standards. First, there must be a demonstrated market for any program placed at regional campuses. Secondly, they must have a business plan. And thirdly, they must eliminate something being done previously or some other underutilized program — because they do not have unlimited resources
He even noted that the state Legislature will only provide base or core funding to WSU or UW. Therefore, to provide the best programs to the students, what is really needed is private giving and philanthropy. Therefore, to make the best university, we need private funding and contribution.
Some other key points noted by Dr. Floyd were:
• WSU needs to reallocate the resources to place them in the right areas. Upon his arrival, WSU was not focused on the appropriate priorities. For example, agriculture was not part of core work. However, agri-business is a huge business affecting the world, so WSU needs to focus on agri-business and veterinary science.
•The world-recognized Edward R. Murrow School of Communications was recently elevated to college status to provide dedicated faculty.
• Academic prioritization — the WSU team is looking at every major, every course, and has embarked on a plan to eliminate those classes and majors that no longer have priority or need in today’s WSU core competence. For example, as part of reallocation, the forestry program will be closed. WSU only has six students in each class; small group of professors; and is not at critical mass. But UW has 400 students, 60 faculty. A fundamental question is: why should WSU and UW compete in this area?
• Organization of WSU is a people-intensive business. Some 70% of the budget is associated with personnel. Hence, when the governor asks for a reduction, people are affected directly —especially in a college town like Pullman.
• Last February, WSU slowed administrative hiring because it was predicted there would be an economic slowdown. When the governor announced that WSU was going to need to repay $6M to the State, WSU was not only ready, but they have repaid $3M already without affecting any head count.
In closing, Dr. Floyd spoke about the “assets” in the state of Washington: our intellectual capacity and our public school quality. Dr. Floyd sees the public schools as a barometer of our future competitiveness. He is worried that today’s students don’t recognize that their competition is overseas, and that we need to engage enthusiastically with the work of school boards, principals, etc., to get our public schools to train students who can compete globally. Don’t pay twice — first for high school and then second for retraining so the individual can get a job.
Questions from the floor ranged from how WSU is working with vo-tech schools to helping with qualified construction workers; the WASL; the lack of awareness by students and citizens about economics; teacher pay for performance; and finally, what it would take to get the Cougars back in the Rose Bowl!
Acting President/Former President/Da Man Jimmy Z presented Dr. Floyd with a Polio Plus pin and thanked him for his excellent talk.
Courtesy of Wally Mahoney
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