Leadership and commitment to regional post-secondary education is being recognized with the addition of two new Lifetime Members on the Selkirk College Board of Governors.
Former board chairs Bruce Morrison and Sharel Wallace provided vital guidance to Selkirk College for almost a decade. Joining eight other community members who have previously sat at the board table, Lifetime Members are pantheon of respected leaders who have helped move regional post-secondary forward since the college first opened its doors in 1966.
Sharel Wallace (left) at the annual Selkirk College Gala at Nelson’s Tenth Street Campus in 2016 with college president Angus Graeme (right) and Contemporary Music & Technology Program alumna Kiesza. The former Board of Governors chair has been given the honour of Lifetime Member for her years of service to regional post-secondary.
“The Board of Governors provides the college with an essential link to the community and helps guide governance of the institution,” says Selkirk College President Angus Graeme. “In their roles as board members and as board chairs, both Sharel and Bruce were key contributors who worked extremely hard to ensure that our learners are provided the education they need for success. We felt it important to recognize their respective contributions and effective governance leadership at Selkirk College.”
Appointed by the Provincial Government, members of the Selkirk College Board of Governors play a key role in their responsibility as trustees of the public interest. Joining elected students and staff, the eight external board members arrive to their post from various sectors in local communities and help guide the college through policy, approval of budgets, strategic foresight, monitoring of performance of key areas and outreach. Though management of the day-to-day operations is carried out by college administration, the board is essential to success of post-secondary in the region.
Morrison: A Gateway to Strengthening the Region
A resident of Nelson since moving to the West Kootenay in 1981, Morrison’s diverse resume of community leadership landed him a seat at the Selkirk College Board of Governor’s table in 2009. Now retired after a 33-year career with the Investors Group, Morrison says Selkirk College plays a critical role in the region by providing a myriad of opportunities for both locals and out-of-region learners.
“Selkirk College provides a local gateway to so many,” says Morrison, who is originally from Sudbury, Ontario. “For some it’s finishing their Grade 12 diploma, others it’s getting a trade, while still others need it as a stepping stone to further advanced education. Selkirk College keeps people working in the region they grew up in, through many varied disciplines. Employers value the homegrown talent and know they are here to stay. They grew up here or chose to move here, so they love it here and when they graduate are very likely to be great long-term employees.”
Bruce Morrison (left) at the annual Selkirk College Convocation ceremony on the Castlegar Campus in 2014 with valedictorian Hart Joron. The former Board of Governors chair has been given the honour of Lifetime Member for his years of service to regional post-secondary.
Morrison became the chair of the board in 2011 and cites leadership at all levels of the college for the success he witnessed while serving four years in the position. Under Morrison’s leadership, Selkirk College secured the funding and began a $23 million refresh of the Silver King Campus in Nelson.
“It is very humbling to be recognized in this way,” Morrison says. “As I look at the list of current lifetime board members, I realize these are people who contributed greatly to what Selkirk College has become. To be counted in their midst is a truly great honour that is hard to grasp.”
Wallace: Focus on the Whole Student
A chartered accountant, Wallace was raised in Castlegar and after graduating from Stanley Humphries started her educational journey in Calgary and Vancouver. Moving back to the West Kootenay in 1989 to raise a family, she got involved in the Selkirk College board in 2013 at the urging of her colleagues at Yule Anderson Chartered Accountants.
“Selkirk College not only offers outstanding programs for students, it focuses on student success by ensuring the supports are in place to help learners achieve their goals,” Wallace says of the regional post-secondary. “At Selkirk College, there is a whole student focus that includes mental and physical wellbeing, not just the educational component.”
Both Sharel Wallace and Bruce Morrison played important roles in the $23 million refresh of the Silver King Campus in Nelson. Wallace (in the front row) took part in the official groundbreaking ceremony in 2016. The project is now complete and a beautiful new building stands where the group once did.
Wallace became the board chair in 2016, a position she held for three years. She helped guide the college through an increase in international enrolments and the growing importance of the Applied Research & Innovation Centre (ARIC) that provides both learners and the community with tangible outcomes that benefit the region as a whole.
“Being a board member at Selkirk College was an extremely rewarding experience,” says Wallace, who watched her daughter graduate from the Business Administration Program while sitting on the board. “The staff and faculty bring so much excitement and energy to their work. They have a sincere passion for students. It was a privilege to have the opportunity to share their experiences.”
Morrison and Wallace join other Lifetime Members that include Ron Anderson, Dr. Jack Colbert, Elizabeth Fleet, Rick Georgetti, John Higginson, Audrey Moore, Maxine Ruzicka and Christian Schadendorf.