Page 14 - 2016-2017 LWTech Student Handbook
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Celebrated Donors: Bob & Linda Tjossem
Each year, the Foundation provides hundreds of merit and need-based scholarships for our students. Without the contributions from generous donors, like Bob and Linda Tjossem these scholarships would not be possible.
“LWTech is incredibly fortunate to have the support of
the Tjossems. They care deeply about students receiving
a quality education that leads to family wage job employment. As a result of their leadership and generosity, our community will gain countless highly-skilled workers in the fields of welding, machine technology, electronics and computer security network technology,” said Elisabeth Sorensen, executive director of the Foundation.
Mr. Tjossem’s involvement in workforce education began nearly 50 years ago, when he was an Assistant Attorney General for the state of Washington, working in the Education Division. He quickly distinguished himself in this role, rising to the head of the division and representing the State Board of Community Colleges and the Community College System. Following this success, Mr. Tjossem went into private practice in Kirkland, Wash. where he was a partner in the Livengood firm for over 30 years. There, he served as general counsel for the Lake Washington School District during the time when the school district owned and operated the “Voc-Tec,” which would later become LWTech.
As a true community leader, Mr. Tjossem was deeply involved in the effort to establish Cascadia College.
He served on two committees selected by the State Board, successfully lobbied through legislation to create Cascadia Community College, and was appointed to
their first Board of Trustees. Upon retiring, Mr. Tjossem moved to North Bend, requiring him to resign from the Board. However, his strong interest in supporting higher education continued.
“I was becoming increasingly concerned about the lack of emphasis on vocational education, particularly at many
of the state’s community colleges. I was seeing other colleges dropping their vocational programs,” said Mr. Tjossem. He pointed out that LWTech was the exception. “The reason Linda and I turned to LWTech was that other colleges didn’t offer these hard-core vocational programs.”
In an effort to support workforce education and bring
more attention to it, the Tjossems then reached out to the Foundation about creating a new scholarship program. In the spring of 2016, they established the Tjossem Family Endowed Scholarship Fund with a generous donation
of $125,000. This endowment provides two $1,000 scholarships annually to assist students enrolled in an eligible vocational program with their educational expenses, such as tuition, textbooks, and supplies. Since 2016, the Tjossems have continued to donate to this fund, bringing the current endowment to $250,000, and increasing the number of annually awarded scholarships to ten.
“I truly believe that education is a great equalizer,” said Mr. Tjossem. “If somebody wants to work hard, I’m willing to support them, and help get them a job.” This support will change the lives of countless LWTech students, and through the ripple effect of education, positively affect our community for many years to come.

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