Hair is big and pants are tight. MTV has just been launched. There’s a lot of available parking at Central Oregon Community College; there’s not enough students to fill classes.
The year is 1981. Lowell Lamberton has just been hired as the head of the business department. He certainly has seen a lot of changes on campus since then. Now Lamberton is stepping down after 30 years as a full time professor in the business department.
At the close of this school year, Lamberton will leave his position of Chair of the Business Department. Currently he teaches Business Human Relations, Business Communication and Introduction to Business.
Lamberton began his educational career in 1968 after receiving his Master’s of English from the University of Nebraska. He began working for COCC in 1981. Although he’s spent his entire COCC career in the business department, Lamberton began as an English teacher. He was hired as the chair of the business department, a position he would continually maintain for the duration of his career. According to
Lamberton, it was a slightly overwhelming change.
“I’d never taught business,” Lamberton said. “And here I was, head of the department.”
Aside from teaching, Lamberton is also the co-author of the best selling textbook, “Human Relations: Strategies for Success,” along with fellow COCC professor Leslie Minor. Originally published in 1994, the textbook is now in its fourth printing.
For two years, Minor and Lamberton communicated via Skype, e-mail and telephone over a 16-hour time difference to complete the book while Minor was in Singapore.
COCC has changed “drastically” over the course of Lamberton’s tenure. For example, while many students lament being waitlisted today, this was not the case 30 years ago.
“We used to agonize over filling classes,” said Lamberton.
The most rewarding part of his career, Lamberton said, is seeing students succeed in business. In particular, he enjoys watching his students prosper as local business owners, flourishing right here in Central Oregon.
Lamberton has accrued many achievements over the years, his proudest being receiving the National Advisor of the Year award in 2002 for his role as faculty advisor of the Delta Fon Pi, an organization supporting the growth of college-level business majors.
If there is one thing Lamberton would change about COCC, he would like to see the college become self-sufficient and free from dependence on the state of Oregon, which reflects the vision of COCC President Jim Middleton.
“I wish we were there right now,” said Lamberton
Although he will be taking time off for a trip to England and Scotland at the beginning of this fall, Lamberton will not be leaving the college completely next year. He will be staying on as an adjunct professor.
Minor said that Lamberton’s retirement would have a noticeable impact around campus, but she hopes he will enjoy his retirement.
“I know he’ll stay busy,” Minor said. “I hope he makes time to be retired.”
Alyssa Wilder can be reached at email@example.com