UCC Library Named After Former Chairman Remodeled

Sue Shaffer

An influential and revered former chairman of the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians was honored last month at Umpqua Community College.

The grand re-opening of the Sue Shaffer Learning Commons and Library was held on December 8 following an extensive remodel.

Former Chairman and current Tribal Board Member Dan Courtney spoke about Shaffer’s legacy at the event, as well as Education Coordinator Russ Cox. Cox is part of the Thomason family, of which Chairman Shaffer belonged to. Many more Thomason family members also attended, including her daughter Sherri and grandsons Nick and Gabe.

The library was first named after Chairman Shaffer in 2016.

“I’ve always been grateful for Sue,” Courtney said, telling stories about Chairman Shaffer’s awards and honors over the years. “Her hunger for knowledge was recognized at an early age when she attended Days Creek School, and opted to ride her horse to Tiller every day for a week while her own school was on Christmas vacation.”

Chairman Shaffer was a strong advocate for education at any age. While also serving as Chairman of the Cow Creek Umpqua Tribal Board of Directors, she was also on UCC’s Board of Trustees for 17 years and served as UCC’s first female Chair of the board. She represented UCC at the American Association for  Community Colleges and lobbied Congress on issues affecting community colleges while in that role.

“She as a woman of small stature, but she was one of the best speakers I’ve ever had the pleasure of hearing,” said Cox. “Her voice could cut through glass. I think she would be so proud to have this facility remodeled in this fashion.”

With both open and secluded spaces for students to study, the remodeled library is now equipped with multiple enclosed study pods for group discussions, access to a newly established 24/7 online tutoring center, virtual reality capabilities, family friendly areas, as well as over 30,000 new learning materials available for check-out.

“This remodel is an investment in the future of our students,” said Rachel Pokrandt, President of Umpqua Community College. “It is a commitment to providing spaces that serve all types of learners fostering and environment that encourages exploration collaboration and innovation.”

“Bad libraries build collections. Good libraries build services. Great libraries build communities. Thank you for building a community in this space for all of us,” said Pokrandt.