Washington County lost a dedicated education and community leader this week with the death of Faith Gabelnick, who retired less than a year ago as president of Pacific University in Forest Grove.
Some contributions are measured in time or immenseness.Gabelnick, who joined Pacific University in 1995, worked hard on behalf of the region.
Because much of the attention granted Washington County is on activities, businesses and people in bigger communities such as Hillsboro, Beaverton, Tigard or Tualatin
, the general public might not have recognized Gabelnick
Although somewhat removed from the din, clutter and congestion of Eastern Washington County, Gabelnick
,s accomplishments and contributions were significant and far-reaching.She
reconnected Pacific University
and the Forest Grove community, restoring a partnership and neighborliness that boosted each,s success.Gabelnick
carried that belief in many ways, including her
personal involvement that was seen beyond the boundaries of Pacific University
and Forest Grove.,Faith took great delight in bringing people from many communities together and in uniting them toward one goal,, said Tim O,Malley, vice president for Pacific University Relations. ,She served Pacific with joy and was always willing to share her ideas, plans and hopes with students and colleagues as she made connections with those in the University family and far beyond.,Gabelnick
served on many local, regional and community boards.She
helped form the county Vision Action Network, an organization that helps bring citizens, non-profits, governments and businesses together to better serve their needs.She was vice president of the Northwest Health Foundation and worked nationally and internationally as a consultant and director for institutes studying political and racial aspects of leadership.Gabelnick
,s arrival in the mid-1990s and her
efforts to push the university beyond its own campus boundaries came at an important time and just before the recent economic downturn.She
worked to link community, businesses and the university long before other such efforts , including the westside economic study by the Westside Economic Alliance
.The study found that a healthy economy and strong education institutions and programs were required partners to ensure healthy, livable and sustainable communities.
We suspect that many will remember Faith Gabelnick
for helping to the take the wraps off Pacific University
and letting the world discover one of Washington County,s best-kept secrets.She
was a vibrant, important contributor to her
community, the economy and all of the county.