Outstanding Alumni and Rising Stars for 2018 unveiled
New York Times bestselling author, 17-year volunteer and four others join the ranks of top alumni for 2018
Clark College Foundation announces its Outstanding Alumni awardees for 2018. They are Marie Bostwick ’80, Marva Edwards ’90, Patrick Ginn ’00 and George Welsh ’67. The Rising Star awardees are brothers Cameron ’12 and Blake ’10 Huegel.
Marie Bostwick ’80
Bostwick is a USA Today and New York Times bestselling author whose books always end on an uplifting note. “My rule is that life is hard and fiction doesn’t have to be,” she said. Her popular books include two series, “Cobbled Court Quilt” and “Too Much, Texas.” Bostwick crafts strong female characters who feel like friends to her readers, bringing messages of hope and encouragement.
Bostwick lives in Oregon with her husband of 35 years, Brad Skinner. She travels extensively, speaking at libraries, bookstores, quilt guilds and shows. She has been a featured speaker at the Paducah Quilt Festival and the Houston International Quilt Festival and has given keynote addresses at the Florida Writers Association and La Jolla Writers conferences. She and Skinner provided Clark College Foundation with a gift in 2018 that recognizes exceptional student talent in creative writing at Clark. The Bostwick Gallivan Award is awarded biannually as part of the college’s Student Writing Awards. Read more about Bostwick or listen to a podcast with her.
Marva Edwards ’90
Edwards, of Vancouver, is former president of the Vancouver chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and a YWCA Clark County board member. She is a 2010 Woman of Achievement recipient and was one of 40 trailblazer women featured in the portrait exhibition “Founding Mothers: Portraits of Progress” in 2016. “People feel a sense of ease coming to me. Mainly, I listen and show empathy and compassion—and I don’t judge them, because we all make mistakes. I try to treat people as I’d want to be treated,” she said.
Edwards established the New Life African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church (AME) in Vancouver, and served as board chair for Christian education in the congregation. Additionally she served as chief operating officer for the African American Rites of Passage cultural immersion program. Before retiring, Edwards worked with domestic violence survivors and perpetrators through the YWCA’s hate incidents/hate crimes group. A voice against domestic violence, she regularly spoke at conferences, workshops, agencies, community centers and churches.
Patrick Ginn ’00
In the last 10 years, Ginn has built a local residential real estate brokerage and land development firm that has closed nearly $1 billion in real estate. Ginn Realty and Development Group has developed approximately 1,000 lots in Vancouver, with plans to develop another 1,500 over the next five years. Ginn’s separate construction company provides high-quality new homes for entry-level buyers, investors and those aged 55 and older.
“The knowledge I gained at Clark College has been invaluable in my journey and where I’ve arrived at today as an entrepreneur,” said the Vancouver resident. He now provides valuable insight as an alumnus, donor and business owner as a member of Clark College Foundation’s Board of Directors.
George Welsh ’67
Welsh, of Vancouver, is as devoted to Clark College as a person can be. As a student during the tumultuous 1960s, Welsh was excited and inspired by his Clark experience. As he built his residential design business in the 1970s—Living Design—Welsh began his lifelong dedication to serving to others. This year marks the 17th year Welsh has volunteered at Clark, having served on the alumni board since 2001 and as president for more than 10 years. Today, Welsh is still on that board, as well as Clark College Foundation’s Board of Directors.
Likewise, Welsh served 17 years on the board of Specialized Housing Inc., a housing agency for people with a range of developmental and physical challenges. The Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, Lions Club, Downtown Rotary and Pearson Field Airport and Museum are some of the other organizations that have benefitted from Welsh’s loyalty to the community.
Welsh and his wife Carol Curtis, a Clark alumna, have given generously to Clark for 25 years. One of their gifts—the George Welsh Scholarship—supports individuals returning to college who are exploring available career pathways.
Cameron ’12 and Blake ’10 Huegel
Cameron and Blake Huegel are former Running Start students at Clark who bought their first property at ages 17 and 19, respectively. Today, Cameron, 23, and Blake, 25, run an eldercare residential home business and own several properties. Premier Residential Living are adult family homecare facilities located in Vancouver, Battle Ground and Brush Prairie that house up to six residents each. Their clients’ needs range from independent living to assisted living for those with dementia to end-of-life hospice care. Every day the brothers are reminded why they chose this line of work: they love family and these intimate homes allow them to get to know each resident personally.
As donors to Clark, the Huegel brothers have made a point of giving back to their alma mater. They are helping to educate the next generation of small business owners by participating in Clark’s Entrepreneur Club.
Outstanding Alumni Award recipients demonstrate exemplary service to the community and Clark College, as well as personal and professional achievements. The Rising Star Award recognizes alumni who are aged 35 or younger who deliver exemplary service to the community and Clark College, and exhibit personal and professional achievements.
The group will be recognized during an Alumni Awards luncheon on November 14, 2018, and at Clark College Foundation’s annual gala, Savoring Excellence, on November 15. Tickets will be available for purchase online in September. The Alumni awards are a collaboration with Clark’s Alumni Board, Clark College and Clark College Foundation.
Reprinted with permission from Clark College Foundation.