The Edmonds Community College Foundation awarded Dean Echelbarger — a long-time Edmonds resident and business leader — the Cornerstone Award for his distinctive contributions to the college at an event on June 25.
Echelbarger was awarded this honor because of his long-standing devotion and support of Edmonds CC and its Foundation, providing truly significant and meaningful leadership as well as financial and volunteer support. His support has been instrumental in helping make the college and the Foundation what they are today.
Echelbarger, a South Snohomish County native, grew up in Alderwood Manor and graduated from Edmonds High School in 1940. He served in the Army during World War II — both in the Pacific and in Europe — and was among the liberators of Dachau Concentration Camp on April 29, 1945. He retired from the Army Reserves with the rank of major.
Throughout his career in real estate development, Echelbarger was very active in the community — supporting or participating in a number of organizations. He served on the boards of the original Lynnwood Chamber of Commerce, Everett Abstract and Title Company, and Seattle First National Bank. He also served as vice-chairman of Pioneer Bank, chairman of United Good Neighbors (predecessor to United Way), and president of Snohomish County Economic Development Council, among others.
Echelbarger was a founding member of the Edmonds CC Foundation in 1982 and served on the board for 14 years. During that time, he was instrumental in helping to build the Applied Technology Training Center (ATTC) at Paine Field — an early leader in technological training for students. In recognition of his work with the ATTC and the college foundation, the Board of Trustees of Edmonds CC granted Echelbarger the first honorary degree awarded by the college.
The Cornerstone Award honors individuals and organizations that have dedicated significant time, expertise, and financial support to ensure the success of the college and its students and employees. The award is part of Edmonds CC’s Fanfare — an annual event celebrating notable achievements and distinctive contributions at which the college’s awards its highest honors to foundation donors, distinguished alumni, and employees.
“I can’t think of anyone more deserving than Dean Echelbarger to receive our first Cornerstone Award,” said Edmonds CC President Jean Hernandez. “He has been a tireless supporter of the college and the foundation and we wouldn’t be where we are today without his help.”