College dedicated board room to first president

December 15, 2018

VICTORY TWP. — One of the founders of West Shore Community College was honored Wednesday during a ceremony dedicating the board room in the administrative conference center to the first president of the college, Dr. John Eaton.

The John M. Eaton Board Room was dedicated during the college’s Christmas luncheon.

Faculty and staff members, students, emeritus professors and community members came out for the dedication, along with two of Eaton’s successors — Dr. Bill Anderson and Scott Ward, current college president.

Both Anderson and Ward addressed the audience, praising Eaton — who was at the college’s helm from 1967 to 1983 — for his leadership during the early years of the institution.

“It’s appropriate that we dedicate this room to our founding president in recognition of his meritorious service and his pivotal role in the building and early growth of the college,” Ward said. “This building was constructed during Dr. Eaton’s administration in 1968 and was the first building on the West Shore Community College campus.”

Ward said the building’s structure, layout and atmosphere represent the “village” feel of the campus today, and influenced the additions to and expansions of the campus in subsequent years.

Anderson, who began his tenure as president just after Eaton in 1983, commended his predecessor’s vision and ingenuity in both planning and implementation of architectural ideas that showed “wisdom,” according to Anderson.

“I had the privilege of following Dr. John Eaton at West Shore Community College (and) I found a tremendous foundation to build upon,” Anderson said. “I believe this campus is at least as beautiful as any community college in Michigan … and John led the way to building this campus.”

Anderson also praised Eaton’s foresight in hiring promising professors to teach at the college, as well as his professionalism regarding communication and collaboration with faculty and board members at the college.

“Dr. Eaton accomplished — and I inherited — a strong relationship between the board of trustees and the president of the college,” he said. “Dr. Eaton assembled an excellent faculty ... and faculty is central to any institution.”

Ward spoke about Eaton’s influence in laying the groundwork for the college’s community-focused approach to its service area, which includes Mason, Manistee, Lake and Oceana counties.

“The legacy is really not in the buildings — it’s in the role of the college in the community,” he said.

Read the full story in the print and e-Edition of Friday’s Ludington Daily News.

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