Letter from the President

Birgitte Ryslinge

Dr. Birgitte Ryslinge, OCCC President

Dear Friends of Oregon Coast Community College,

It has been quite the year at Oregon Coast Community College.  The 20-21 academic year has been memorable for challenges but also for very meaningful achievements.  June 11, 2021, we celebrated the 33rd commencement of Oregon Coast by awarding 41 associate level degrees, 59 certificates, and 9 GED (high school diploma equivalent) completions.

The class of 2021 is particularly important to the leaders, founders, and supporters (like you)  of this college, in that it marks the first ever graduating class whose diplomas read Oregon Coast Community College.  Since the college’s founding in 1987, diplomas have been earned in the name of other, larger, and more distant colleges.  In 2020, after a seven-year journey, OCCC earned independent accreditation. 2021 was our first commencement ceremony as an independent college, and the class of 2021 is in that sense our first graduating class.  We are proud of our graduates, and proud of the leadership, staff and faculty who have fulfilled the promise made in 1987, that the people of Lincoln County would have their own college where people could pursue their dreams in this place they love.

And now finally, our college, county and state are opening up after a very long time of precautions and confinement.  Student Affairs is leading us in providing abundant outreach, open houses, and college fairs. We are doing all we can to attract and entice students back to pursue their college dreams in person, and to provide extensive supports to help them be successful.   Community Education is also open and offering the largest ever line-up of courses this summer (41 different classes). As of today, we will not be requiring face coverings or distancing, confident in the effectiveness and reach of vaccination efforts in Lincoln County and Oregon.

You, the donors, and supporters of Oregon Coast Community College were an important support and beacon to students during the hard times of the past year.  While some decided to step away, the vast majority persevered.  This is due in no small way to the generous scholarships (and last year the Student Pandemic Support Fund for emergency needs) you provide.  I hear from students time and again that while the financial support is very important, the recognition that someone who does not know them nevertheless believes in and supports them,  is also incredibly important and motivating.  Thank you to each of you for the many ways you supported the students and the College in this difficult year.  You continue to touch the future through your giving and vision.

Welcome back!