Lake Washington Institute of Technology president Dr. Amy Morrison. Courtesy photo

Lake Washington Institute of Technology president Dr. Amy Morrison. Courtesy photo

The true meaning of community | Guest editorial

LWTech president Dr. Amy Morrison reflects on how the COVID-19 outbreak has brought the community together.

  • Wednesday, April 22, 2020 3:15pm
  • Opinion

By Dr. Amy Morrison

Special to the Reporter

A lot has changed since the end of February, when Lake Washington Institute of Technology (LWTech) and the city of Kirkland found ourselves in the epicenter of the COVID-19 crisis in the United States. We are certainly navigating in uncharted territory in many ways, but while we are all adjusting to our new normal, some things remain unchanged, like the resolve, strength, perseverance and collaborative nature that is at the core of our Kirkland community, and who we are as a college.

Going into this crisis, I knew that the college had strong community support, but I didn’t know just how strong, until we faced this crisis, together.

After our initial emergency of supporting 17 students and faculty who were exposed at Life Care Center during their clinical training, I’ve thought a lot about our community, where my family and I live and work, along with many of our faculty, staff, and students — some of whom don’t live here, but choose to go to school and work here — and what our community means to them.

For more than 70 years, LWTech has trained students to be successful and thrive in their careers. We’ve done this with the unwavering support of local community members, business leaders, and organizations like EvergreenHealth, Ford of Kirkland, and Microsoft, who work with our students, and the college, to ensure our workforce stays strong.

More than 400 community members serve on our advisory committees, mentor and hire our students, provide internships and clinical opportunities for future nurses, physical therapist assistants, welders, game designers, auto repair technicians and computer software developers.

Over the years, you’ve supported our students by generously donating to the LWTech Foundation, providing scholarships, and program support, for our students. You’ve attended our annual spring plant sale, eaten in our student-run restaurant, picked-up baked goods from our bakery and visited our dental clinic.

When we asked for help supporting our students during this COVID-19 crisis, we had donors like James Kinsella and Robert McNeal offer to provide a challenge grant of $25,000 to set up a special student emergency fund to support students. Because of the generosity of many, we have matched their grant, and then some, raising thousands of dollars for our students. Our community rallied when our students needed help, the most.

And, when we found ourselves in the middle of this crisis, right alongside the city of Kirkland, our elected and professional city leaders were right there with us, providing incredible support. They have been the epitome of thoughtful, calm, and dependable leadership.

Like most businesses, we’ve had to pivot during this crisis. We took our college online to ensure our students stay the course and meet their educational goals. This has made us even stronger, and better positioned, to serve our community. We are now firmly in our new normal and we are already responding and retraining those who may not be able to return to work in the same capacity as before.

During this crisis, you, our community, stood up and supported us in ways I couldn’t even imagine. I want you to know that we are here to support you, in the days, weeks and months ahead. This is the true meaning of community.

Through this, we have all been challenged and I truly believe we will be stronger for it. We are filled with gratitude and ready to serve you and yours in the challenging weeks and months ahead. You are our community and we are YOUR LWTech.

Dr. Amy Morrison is the president of Lake Washington Institute of Technology.

In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Opinion

Jayendrina Singha Ray is a PhD (ABD) in English, with a research focus on the works of the South African Nobel Laureate John Maxwell Coetzee. She teaches English Composition and Research Writing at Highline College, WA, and has previously taught English at colleges in India.
Asian women and racial violence in the aftermath of Atlanta | Guest column

In her famous essay “The Laugh of the Medusa,” Hélène Cixous resurrects… Continue reading

Comment: Transportation plan puts a focus on equity for all

The House Democrats’ plan will help direct contracts to women- and minority-owned companies.

Stock photo
The right to vote helps rehumanize incarcerated people | Guest column

By Kim Bogucki, For The Reporter In 2008, I began asking incarcerated… Continue reading

Courtesy image
Thoughts on police reform and public trust | Guest column

By Steven D. Strachan, Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs The… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact
A legislative session like no other we’ve seen | Roegner

In even numbered years such as 2020, the legislative session is only… Continue reading

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact
Time to predict November’s election winners | Roegner

A look at statewide offices in Washington.

Cartoon by Frank Shiers
Editorial: Let’s clear the air on wildfires, climate change

Agreement and commitment is needed to address the causes of wildfires and climate change.

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact
Republican’s write-in campaign highlights post-primary intrigue | Roegner

Can former Bothell mayor beat two Democrats for lieutenant governor post?

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact
What does it mean to violate the Hatch Act? | Roegner

The federal law was established in 1939.

Washington State Capitol Building in Olympia. File photo
Editorial: State lawmakers shouldn’t wait to start budget work

Making tough choices on cuts and revenue can’t wait until next year and hopes for better news.

Rico Thomas, left, has been a clerk in the Fuel Center/Mini Mart at Safeway in Federal Way for the past 5 years. Kyong Barry, right, has been with Albertsons for 18 years and is a front end supervisor in Auburn. Both are active members of UFCW 21. Courtesy photos
Grocery store workers deserve respect and hazard pay | Guest column

As grocery store workers in King County, we experience the hard, cold… Continue reading

Face masks save lives and jobs across Washington
Face masks save lives and jobs across Washington

Wearing a mask saves lives and saves jobs. And all across the… Continue reading