Dear College Community,
Today I celebrate my 12th anniversary at College of Marin. It’s truly hard for me to believe. If I had any advice for my younger self, it would relate to how time goes by more quickly as each year passes. When I was hired in 2010, I quipped in jest that I wanted to be the “centennial president” and for COM to be my final stop in higher education - despite the odds against it at the time. As it turns out, the latter will come to be, but instead, I’ll hold the title of “president emeritus” during the centennial celebrations in 2026.
After 45 years of continuous employment, 33 years as an administrator in higher education, and nearly 18 years as a president or superintendent/president, I’ve made the decision to step back and live life with a bit less responsibility and stress, and perhaps fewer sleepless nights. To be fully transparent, the events of the past nearly three years took a greater toll on me than I realized as we were working through it all in real-time. I know that I’m not alone in this regard.
The Board of Trustees and I have agreed that I will continue in my current role through December 2023, six months beyond my current contract period. While I’m confident the Board would allow me to continue on beyond this period, I believe this to be the right timing for me and the District.
I’ve truly had a great run and defied the longevity odds as a CEO with the California Community Colleges at both COM and Evergreen Valley College. I have been fortunate to be in a profession with a mission of social justice and where we have the opportunity each day to transform the lives of all individuals, families, communities, and society through the power of education. And I’ve been so humbled, motivated, and inspired by the many students I’ve had the honor of knowing and advocating on behalf of over the years.
One of the values instilled upon me early in my life – is that when possible – one should leave something in a better place or in better condition than when they came upon it. While there’s never an ideal time to move on as the job is never done, I’ll be leaving with the solace of knowing that I’ve done what I could to leave COM in a better place than when I arrived in 2010. I also consider myself fortunate to have been able to collaborate with so many talented and dedicated faculty, staff, and administrators on the front line serving our students and community and have appreciated the steadfast support from the Board I’ve had over the years. Together, there is much we can celebrate and be proud of!
I look forward to our continued work over the next 13 months as I endeavor to finish strong and as we continue to fulfill the vision, mission, and values of the College. I also look forward to celebrating you as I bring this particular chapter to a close and prepare for the next one.
With respect, gratitude, and yes - love!
David Wain Coon, Ed.D.
College of Marin