MHCC Announces Patron Saint and Community Partnership Awards

Posted June 20, 2012


Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC) announces the 2012 recipients of the College’s two most prestigious awards, the Community Partnership and Patron Saint awards.

The awards are a long-standing tradition in which MHCC recognizes individuals and organizations for their continued support of the College and its students. Boeing and Gresham Ford have been selected to receive the Community Partnership Award for 2012. The Patron Saint recipient is Vivian Murhammer. Dave Shields, Board Chair MHCC District Board of Education, presented the awards at a reception June 13 at the College.

A word about the naming of the Patron Saint Award: MHCC’s mascot is Barney the St. Bernard, a breed of dog known for its steadfast bravery and dedication to helping people especially during dire and adverse conditions. The Patron Saint Award recognizes individuals who have—metaphorically speaking—braved the elements to support their favorite college, MHCC.

Vivian Murhammer donated a house to the MHCC Foundation in 2006 and the proceeds established the Raymond and Vivian Murhammer scholarship fund and a board-designated fund for greatest need.

Several years ago, Murhammer spoke with a student in the Transitions program who had persevered to overcome great odds to achieve a college education. Murhammer was impressed by the student’s story and wanted to do all she could to give these hard-working students a helping hand. In fact, she was so impressed, she made a sizable donation to the Transitions program in 2006 and the program received another sizable donation recently through her estate.

Sadly, Murhammer passed away Feb. 16, 2012, preceded in death by her husband of 62 years, Raymond Murhammer. An MHCC Foundation newsletter ran the following quote from her in 2006, “I know Raymond would have been delighted with my donations, he was a wonderful man.”

And, MHCC and the Foundation know that Mrs. Murhammer was a wonderful woman! Both Murhammers were firm believers in the power of education and the great opportunities a degree or certificate can bring to one’s life and career.

MHCC bestowed the Patron Saint award posthumously to Murhammer in gratitude for her generous and committed support to Mt. Hood Community College.

The Boeing Company, the world’s largest aerospace company and manufacturer of commercial jetliners, was selected as a recipient of this year’s Community Partnership Award.

MHCC’s long-term and hugely successful collaboration with Boeing Portland means good jobs and bright futures and is one of the most valuable ways the College serves the needs of the community.

Boeing has donated equipment and helped create an Associate of Applied Science degree in Industrial Mechanics and Maintenance Technology. Students now have the ability to move on from MHCC and pursue a Bachelor’s degree at Oregon Institute of Technology.

Today, there are more than 70 Boeing industrial skill courses transcripted at MHCC. The College assigns three full-time employees to work on-site at Boeing in professional career counseling and advising for Boeing employees. Just in the last couple of years, seven MHCC machining students have found employment at Boeing after serving internships at the company.

Gresham Ford was selected as a recipient of this year’s Community Partnership Award.

Gresham Ford is strongly committed to working with youth, low-income students, military students and non-traditional students in Automotive Technology. Gresham Ford offers dealership experiences for MHCC students to help prepare them for careers in the industry. In 1985 Gresham Ford helped launch the Ford ASSET program, the oldest cooperative work experience program in the Automotive Technology department at MHCC.

With Gresham Ford’s constant support and commitment, MHCC students not only have the ability to broaden their skills in Automotive Technology, but receive hands-on experience working alongside Ford employees.

Whether it’s preparing students for future work, providing hands-on experience for Automotive Technology or encouraging the importance of community, Boeing and Gresham Ford are vital community partners to MHCC, and Murhammer, our newest Patron Saint, is indeed, a shining star!


Dave Shields, MHCC District Board chair, Lorianne Fiedler and
Joe Fiedler, grandchildren of Vivian Murhammer, the Patron
Saint award recipient; Sharon Birge and Perry Moore, from Boeing,
a Community Partnership award recipient; and Bess Wills and Bob
Avila (far right), from Gresham Ford, a Community Partnership
award recipient; and Mike Hay (second from right) MHCC president

By Amber Patton
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 Last Modified: 7/27/2012 07:19:19 AM