UCC Announces 2017 Commencement Speaker

Max Williams

Long-time Oregon communities leader chosen as keynote commencement speaker.

ROSEBURG, Oregon – Max Williams, the president and CEO of the Oregon Community Foundation (OCF), has been selected to give the keynote address at Umpqua Community College’s commencement ceremony on Friday, June 16.

Williams was born and raised in Bend. He started his academic journey at Central Oregon Community College, and later received a law degree at Lewis & Clark College. He joined OCF as its leader in 2012.

“When the commencement planning committee came up with criteria for a speaker, Max fit the mold perfectly,” Susan Taylor, UCC Foundation Executive Director, said. “We wanted an inspiring speaker, someone who knows Oregon and understands our rural communities, and someone who gets the value of community college education.”

“I chose to start my higher education experience at a community college because it fit my needs,” Williams said. “I ended up with one particular instructor who is the best overall educator I had in all my college and law school experiences. He was an amazing teacher who opened my eyes to a new level of learning. Even more importantly, he cared about his students. The community college experience was exactly what I needed—when I needed it.”

Williams has spent the past 20 years working and volunteering to improve the state he loves. Along with serving on a number of nonprofit boards, he has practiced law, served in the Oregon Legislative Assembly, and was appointed by Governor Ted Kulongoski to lead the Department of Corrections; one of Oregon’s largest state agencies.

OCF has one of the largest scholarship programs of its kind in the country. The nonprofit organization has awarded Oregon students more than $9 million in scholarships for higher education and training. In 2009, the organization also awarded UCC with a grant to help start its Practical Nursing Program.

About Umpqua Community College

Nestled in the beautiful North Umpqua River Valley, Umpqua Community College is the regional center for higher education in Douglas County, Oregon. UCC provides high quality college degree programs, workforce development, and community learning opportunities.

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