WWU renames building at marine center to honor late president

Western Western Washington University will rename a building at its Shannon Point Marine Center in Anacortes in honor of late President Emeritus Jerry Flora, who died late in 2013 at age 85.

The former Marine Science Education Building will now be known as the Charles J. (Jerry) Flora Marine Education Building. The change was made with a unanimous vote at the board of trustees’ Dec. 12 meeting on campus.

Flora served as Western’s eighth president, from 1967 to 1975. During his tenure, Western’s enrollment grew from 6,240 to 10,000, and four colleges – Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies, Huxley College of the Environment, the College of Business and Economics and the College of Fine and Performing Arts – were established.

“Preserving Jerry’s legacy at Shannon Point will inspire generations of students and educators, and remind us how powerful direct engagement with the environment can be,” said WWU President Bruce Shepard in a press release.

Flora began at Western in 1957 as an assistant professor of biology. He took a leave of absence from Western in 1965 to help develop a biology curriculum at Sri Venkateswara University in southwest India. He served as Western’s academic dean from 1965 to 1967 and as director of the Aquatic Studies Program, which included the Institute for Freshwater Studies and the Sundquist Marine Laboratory at Shannon Point, from 1976 to 1983. He returned to teaching in 1983 and retired from Western as a professor of biology in 1991.