Dr. Mary F. T. Spilde

Mary F. T. Spilde

Lane Community College
Eugene, Oregon
Award Winner

2017 District VIII Leadership Award Recipient

Dr. Mary F. T. Spilde is the 2017 recipient of the CASE District VIII Leadership Award. This award recognizes a CASE District VIII member institution president or head, chancellor, educational system head or CEO for outstanding efforts to promote the understanding and support of education.

Now in her 16th year as president of Lane Community College in Eugene, Ore., Dr. Spilde, who recently won the 2016 Howard Cherry Award for Outstanding Administrator from the Oregon Community College Association, has been a tireless champion for community colleges throughout her illustrious 37-year career.

"Dr. Spilde has set a standard for development and alumni relations work at Lane that is respected by the college's donors, graduates and community members," says Rosemary Pryor, a member of the Lane Community College Board of Education. "I'm proud to say that under her leadership, Lane's accomplishments are recognized as exemplary by higher education institutions across the country."

Unafraid to think innovatively, Dr. Spilde's vision of community college education as a vehicle for transformation and empowerment has been a driving force for her region. Focused on the role community colleges can play in sustaining healthy communities, her influence has helped grow Lane and revitalize the City of Eugene.

"Mary's spirit of adventure threads the community, creating and supporting a platform for ideas to emerge and grow," says Jon Ruiz, Eugene City Manager. "She asks new questions to old problems, invites all voices into the conversation, and digs into the intersections between disciplines to find new solutions."

Dr. Spilde was instrumental in leading the college through its first, highly successful fundraising campaign, which raised $29 million for capital projects, students and faculty. She joined forces with the City of Eugene to build a new Downtown Campus, improving the college's ability to reach people where they are and sparking private investment into downtown Eugene.

"Mary's dedication has supported Lane Community College and the community's ability to thrive," says Ruiz.

Some of Dr. Spilde's other accolades include the 2013 National Council for Continuing Education and Training National Leadership Award, the 2013 U.S. Green Building Council Center for Green Schools President's Award, the 2012 American Association for Women in Community Colleges Woman of the Year Award and the 2011 Association of Community College Trustees CEO of the Year Award.

In 2014, the City of Eugene's Human Rights Commission recognized her contributions with its Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Leadership Award.

Dr. Splide received the CASE District VIII Leadership Award at the district conference in Seattle in February.