The LCCF Alumni of the Year award is to acknowledge Lower Columbia College alumni who have made significant contributions to the community, and whose accomplishments, relationships, and careers have exemplified the legacy of excellence at LCC.
Mark graduated Kelso High School in 1974 and began attending LCC in the fall. He successfully completed his first year at LCC. Without enough money to attend the second year, he went to work for Longview Fibre to earn and save enough money to return to school. Eventually, Mark was accepted into Fibre’s maintenance program as a pipefitter where Dick Martinsen, the Mechanical Department superintendent, encouraged him to continue his education. Fibre offered a tuition reimbursement program for employees which provided the catalyst to return to school taking one or two classes at a time. With perseverance, Mark earned his first LCC degree in Industrial Maintenance in 1983 and graduated side-by-side with his wife, Theresa, who at the same time earned her Nursing degree from LCC. When the Multi-Craft Technology program was launched at LCC, Mark recognized this program as a stepping stone for his career and re-enrolled. He earned this second degree from LCC in 1989. Mark credits his career and public service accomplishments to the educational foundation he received from LCC.
During the course of Mark’s career at Fibre, he also became very involved in public service, including serving on the Mint Valley Golf Course Advisory Board; the Longview City Council as councilman, Mayor Pro Tem, and Mayor; Cowlitz Transit Authority Board; Western Youth Baseball Board; Kelso-Longview Chamber of Commerce Board; KLTV Board; Cowlitz County PUD Commissioner; and Longview Yacht Club Board. Mark is also a recipient of the RA Long Historical Preservation Award.
In 1981, Mark married Theresa (Schuh) and together they have two children and three grandchildren. Mark and his family remain actively involved at LCC. The McCrady family’s educational legacy at LCC continues with nine members of the McCrady family obtaining a total of 12 associate degrees since the 1970s. In 2007, his family was an integral supporter in the efforts of three nursing program alumni who wanted to establish an endowed scholarship for nursing students. After matching what the nursing alumni raised, a total of $27,000 was invested to establish the Lower Columbia College Nursing Alumni Scholarship as an endowment. Over time, the LCC Nursing faculty joined in the efforts to continue building the scholarship principal. The endowment’s earnings now provide annual scholarship awards that will educate future generations of nurses in our community into perpetuity. Mark shares, “To me, the lesson is a simple one. If we all do a little, big things happen.”
Upon retirement, Mark continues to serve the community in meaningful ways. In 2015, Mark collaborated with his brothers Dave, Dennis, and Brian McCrady and their families to honor and memorialize their parents, Roy and Colleen McCrady, through a scholarship endowment and naming in the newly constructed LCC Health & Science Building, the Roy and Colleen McCrady Nursing Lounge. Mark continues to support The Daily News fundraising efforts during the annual Students in Need campaign, and led the efforts to restore the downtown Longview Commerce Avenue Pedestal Clock, originally installed in 1926, in honor of the Chilson family. Mark is filled with community and LCC pride, which are rooted in his motivation to help others become the best people they can be.
Mark was humbled to learn he was named LCC’s Alumnus of the Year. When asked to share LCC’s impact on his life and for others, Mark responded “Thanks to LCC’s flexibility and dedicated faculty, students can attend school while working, which results in more people being able to prepare for and advance their careers.” Mark’s philanthropic support and investment in the future of LCC includes the LCC Athletic Excellence Fund, LCC Booster Club, the LCC Nursing Alumni Scholarship, the McCrady Family Endowed Scholarship, and the Student Success Fund.
“I can’t think of a better example of someone who used their gifts to benefit an entire community. Mark’s level of service to the Lower Columbia Region is unparalleled. We are honored to present Mark McCrady as LCC’s 2022 Alumnus of the Year,” said LCC President Chris Bailey.
For more information about the LCC Foundation, LCC Alumni or to join the LCC Foundation Alumni Association, visit lowercolumbia.edu/foundation.
For more information, please contact Kendra Sprague, (360) 442-2121 or email@example.com