Dozens of American River College faculty, staff and students came to former ARC interim President Pam Walker’s retirement party July 30.
Walker, who has held numerous positions in her years at ARC, is moving on to work in the state chancellor’s office. Los Rios Community College District Chancellor Brian King said that she “embodies so many of the characteristics representative of the great people at American River College and in the Los Rios District.”
“I can’t think of a better person to take the mantle as [ARC interim] president during this transition period,” King said. “No one cares more about students than Pam does. This is not a goodbye, this is a celebration of a wonderful life.”
Attendees were invited to go to the podium and share their experiences of Walker. Pastries and punch were also provided.
After those experiences were shared, LRCCD Chancellor King provided Walker with an honorary degree from ARC.
Walker was lauded in glowing terms by her family and friends, who also gave her gifts of wine and a $1,000 gift certificate at the Evergreen Lodge at Yosemite.
Los Rios student trustee Omba Kipuke said that Walker helped him become better as a student leader.
“Pam Walker has inspired me to be a better leader and student advocate. I’m sad to see her leave, but I congratulate her success.”
In keeping with the aquatic theme of the party, Walker was also gifted with a giant plastic fish with the signatures of the guests, in lieu of a guest book.
“She’s been a great administrator, a personal friend and kind of a mentor for me,” outreach specialist Jeri Marshall said. “I want to wish her well in her endeavors. I hope she’s catching some fish.”
Walker was very grateful for the turnout at the retirement party.
“One of the things that’s important about AR is that we can bring people together to celebrate together and help each other,” she said. “It happens to reflect on me today, but so many people have been involved in what I’ve been a part of.”
In a speech at the party, Walker said that working in education was about changing the world.
“We can change the world of ours one person at a time,” she said. “I’ve spent my career doing that. If we do that every day, we will change this incredible, wonderful world we live in.”