Who benefits from your gift?
Our students are not the only ones who benefit from the generosity of our community. Our donors find great satisfaction in offering the vital support that transforms lives.
Earl Settlemyer: A donor’s perspective
A Life of Philanthropy:
The Lasting Legacy of Earl Settlemyer
Earl Settlemyer was an exceptionally generous partner of Bellingham Technical College. His philosophy can inspire each of us. Earl spent his life in full appreciation of the transformative power of art, music, nature and education. He believed in philanthropy, and lived by the Rotarian motto of “service above self.”
After a successful finance career, Earl was drawn to Bellingham’s appealing natural, educational and cultural environment. He retired here, and soon became a well-known fixture at arts and music events, as well as on non-profit boards—including the BTC Foundation Board of Directors.
Through his expertise and financial support, Earl gave of himself to several local educational institutions: he established scholarships at BTC, Western Washington University, Whatcom Community College and the Whatcom Community Foundation’s Bellingham Dollars for Scholars program.
Through the life-changing power of education for everyone, Earl Settlemyer left a legacy of excellence, and an invitation to follow his lead in helping raise our community to its highest purpose.
Earl Settlemyer passed away after a brief illness in May 2010. But his inspiring message will live on, through students whose lives are transformed every year by the power of education, made possible by the generosity of the Settlemyer Family Endowment.
Lori Barclay: A student’s success story
“BTC did a great job of helping me to get into the workforce. The education, the experience and the support was awesome. I gained knowledge and confidence, while getting to learn an interesting field.”
--Lori Barclay, BTC Surgical Technology Graduate & Peacehealth Employee
Lori Barclay graduated from BTC in 2011 with an AAS in Surgical Technology. And although Lori continues to excel forward as a fulltime employee in a PeaceHealth hospital, she frequently gains her focus and perspective from looking back. “One of my BTC instructors said something on the first day of class that I have never forgotten. She told us to ‘always look back from where you came.’”
That mantra continues to be a source of strength for Lori, and it has become just one of many memorable contributions from BTC instructors in Lori’s life. “The staff at BTC is so supportive and interested in us,” she recalls. “BTC did a great job of helping me to get top-level skills, and to get into the workforce. The education, the experience and the support was awesome. I gained knowledge and confidence, while getting to learn an interesting field.”
As Lori’s BTC instructors continued to invest themselves into Lori’s education and future career; Lori found the confidence, as well as the competence, to transition into her exciting current role as a surgical technologist on the childbirth floor of a Bellingham hospital—a role that she values for its excitement and diversity.
“We never know what’s going to happen on our floor on any given day. The variety and the unpredictability make my job an exciting place to be.” Lori credits her education at BTC for this chance to find a career that is challenging and rewarding.
Bellingham Technical College engages itself in the process of helping students discover what it is they love to do. The dedicated faculty then goes beyond that process, to provide the skills and industry-knowledge that is crucial for success in the workplace. The confidence provided from a high-level, technical education from BTC is a vital element in the transformational process of its students. It is a process by which hope is instilled in graduates like Lori. A hope that keeps them looking forward to their next goal; which for Lori, will be a full certification in her field. But also, hope that gains its strength and draws its confidence from “always looking back from where you came.”