In 1965 astronaut Ed White, on the Gemini 4 mission, became the first American to conduct a spacewalk. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and over 2,500 others were arrested in Selma, Alabama, during demonstrations against voter-registration rules. The last link was placed in the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri. And here in Iowa, the Herbert Hoover National Historic Site was established and Marilyn Walker was hired as an office professional with ISU Extension and Outreach in Monroe County. Essentially, Marilyn’s career has spanned nearly half of our organization’s existence and she will be recognized for her 50 years of service during our ISU Extension and Outreach Awards Ceremony and Reception March 8. We’ll be honoring Marilyn along with other extension professionals who have reached the 40, 35, 30, 25, 20, 15, 10, and 5 years-of-service milestones. What a tremendous legacy of service for our fellow Iowans.
People sometimes ask me what I’m proud of in ISU Extension and Outreach. Well, I’m proud that we have dedicated faculty and staff throughout the state – like Marilyn and all the others being recognized for their length of service. I’m proud that people are committed to ISU Extension and Outreach for the long haul, and I’m proud that new people continue to join the ranks of our extension professionals. I’m also proud of the faculty, staff, and council members who will be receiving awards for their programming, partnerships, innovation, creativity, scholarship, engagement, achievement, and impact – and for demonstrating the Spirit of Cy. But here’s the nugget of pride for me: I’m proud to be part of an organization full of people who daily choose to see possibility rather than just succumbing to the status quo. People who are eager to explore ways to serve their fellow Iowans and ensure our state and communities are able to sustain and thrive.
Most of all, I’m proud of the work that we all do together in ISU Extension and Outreach, because I’ve seen firsthand the impact on the communities and people of Iowa. I’m enormously proud to be part of an institution that values this work for the public good and sees its role as fulfilling a partnership with our citizens. We all can be proud that together we are building a strong Iowa. See you there.
P.S. The ISU Extension and Outreach Awards Ceremony and Reception will begin at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 8 at the Gateway Hotel and Conference Center. You can follow me on Twitter @cathannkress.