Thank you Dr. Walstrum.
That simple sentiment was relayed time and again at Clover Park Technical College’s McGavick Student Center on Wednesday, August 28, at the occasion of Dr. Walstrum’s retirement and farewell reception. After seven years, John and wife Penny will be returning to their east coast roots of Maryland to enjoy a well earned rest.
From the stream of speakers at the reception, many memories were shared. A sampling includes:
- “He is the most frugal boss I’ve ever had,” shared Cherie Steele, Executive Assistant to the President, to much laughter.
- “Thank you Penny, for sharing John with us,” commented Marty Brown, Executive Director of the State Board for Community and Technical Colleges.
- “Dr. Walstrum, I will not cal you John, thank you for taking our college to a higher level,” said Mary Moss, CPTC Board of Trustees member.
- “John has been like a teacher to us,” relayed June Stacey-Clemons, CPTC Vice President for Student Services. “After each of our 324 weekly Wednesday morning meetings, John implored us to clean up after ourselves.”
- Dean Lamb, CPTC Architectural Engineering Instructor produced a PowerPoint highlighting John’s time in Lakewood, set to music. At the conclusion, Dean presented John with the “last piece of Building 18’s demolition.”
- Maureen Sparks, CPTC Pharmacy Technician Instructor and Faculty Union President presented John will a brick to “pack in the moving van,” as well as one mounted in the recently constructed outdoor space.
- Representing the community, “quiet and demure” Command Sergeant Major-Retired Herb Schmeling presented John with the U.S. flag he was given at the 2012 Veteran’s Day Ceremony Herb presided over. “On behalf of the 23.2 million living Veterans, thank you for your service.”
Dr. Walstrum capped the evening with a few remarks himself. As Marty Brown relayed, John confirmed after his time in the U.S. Air Force, he didn’t know what to do. While at a Junior College, “there were a few people who saved my life.” That set his life on course.
“Penny and I are truly blessed to have spent the last seven years here in Lakewood and Clover Park Technical College,” said Walstrum. “I’ve had a great run of working with great students and staff these last seven years.”
In conversations over the last week or so, it came up that Lonnie Howard, the incoming CPTC President from Houston, Texas, doesn’t know anyone in Lakewood. “Neither did I when I got here, but I’ve no doubt he’ll be made to feel as welcome as Penny and I.”
It should have been more than apparent to anyone in attendance that Penny played a huge part in John’s success at Clover Park Technical College. For that, we thank you Penny. Best wishes for the future, and please come back and visit.