On Friday, June 14, PNWU hosted the retirement party of Dr. Robert Sutton. The celebration succeeded in essentially bringing together the living history of our university, as PNWU community members — both past and present — celebrated Dr. Sutton’s 12 years of unparalleled service to PNWU, and honored his lifetime commitment to the health and well-being of rural communities throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Based solely on the representative turnout at his retirement celebration -- which included current and emeritus trustees, current and former employees, as well as Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, who took time to telephone into the event to offer his congratulations -- the impact that Dr. Sutton has had on the people he has touched while at PNWU is unmistakable, remarkable and truly inspiring.
Complementing the celebration, Dr. Sutton's ongoing dedication to health was commemorated with a stone on the "Sutton Trail," honoring his commitment to making every step count. The stone is located to the west of Project Next.
"Dr. Sutton’s footprint is woven into so many areas of PNWU," explained Vikki Gore, PNWU Executive Assistant to the President and the Board. "He is the essence of modeling the culture and making sure each step he has taken for PNWU has been purposeful and impactful. In the same way, Dr. Sutton has been an avid Fitbit owner, challenging many of the staff to keep up with his pace of over 15,-18,000 steps a day. When considering the perfect way to remember Dr. Sutton on campus, it only seemed fitting that we erect the rock at the start of the PNWU walking trail in his honor. The rock reads, 'Make every step count,' and Dr. Sutton certainly has lived this."