President Bruce Shepard and his wife, Cyndie Shepard, held an ice cream social to express gratitude toward Western faculty and staff in the Viking Union Multi-Purpose Room on Wednesday, June 1.
“Thank you so much for allowing us the privilege to be a part of Western; we will always be proud Vikings,” Shepard said in his speech at the social.
Shepard said the memories he’ll take with him will be making personalized experiences, not cutting ribbons or building remodels.
Among those experiences, Shepard cited work with student leaders, Western’s Minority Employee Council and the community’s LGBTQ leaders as some of the most memorable.
Shepard announced his plan of retirement at the end of the 2015-2016 academic school year on June 11, 2015. President-elect Sabah Randhawa will begin his term on August 1, 2016.
Shepard addressed the crowd and mingled with the slew of professors, students and faculty members present at the social.
“We’re simply stewards of what people built before us.”
“This was just a way for Bruce and Cyndie to say thank you to the campus community for their eight years here,” Mark Bagley, senior director of stewardship and special events said. Bagley said an invitation to the ice cream social was sent to everyone who works at Western.
Director of Communications Paul Cocke said this was not Shepard’s last public event. Shepard’s final event will be Spring Commencement on Saturday, June 11.
Senior Spencer Gueno, a custodian for University Residences, attended the social because of one of his coworkers asked him to go.
Gueno said his most vivid memory of Shepard during his time as a student at Western was Shepard’s comments regarding the criticism the university faced after deciding to raise professors’ salaries in 2012 despite tough economic times.
In his address at the social, Shepard spoke on Western’s role in the community, and said he believed the university would continue to be successful in its mission to serve the people of Washington, the nation and the world by bringing together individuals of diverse backgrounds and perspectives.
“We’re simply stewards of what people built before us,” Shepard said. “They couldn’t imagine this university 100 years ago and we can’t imagine what this university will be in 100 years, but we know that it will be here.”