WINCHESTER — Umpqua Community College inducted Vic Bridges, Perry Murray and Danny Lang into the Spirit of Umpqua Hall of Fame and honored numerous staff members for their dedication during Monday’s Employee Service Awards ceremony at Jacoby Auditorium.

UCC President Debra Thatcher said the men were nominated for a variety of reasons such as talent, dedication and educational advocacy.

Bridges, Murray and Lang will join 23 other UCC Hall of Famers who have plaques displayed in the Jacoby Auditorium Lobby.

Bridges received the award posthumously and his wife, Louise Bridges, accepted on his behalf. Bridges was instrumental in getting the Toyota T-Ten program started at the college and came out of retirement in 2005 to help rebuild the program.

“He’s my hero, he’s who I strive to be,” Automotive Coordinator John Blakely said in a video montage. “I hope I lived up to a small portion of his legacy.”

Murray is known for his civic engagement, including his help with the women’s basketball team and contributing financially to the college.

“There is no task too small (for Murray),” Athletic Director Craig Jackson said in a video montage.

Murray said he was in the first class at UCC, back when it was still Umpqua College Late Afternoon.

“Why wouldn’t I give my time back?” Murray asked. “(The college has) had a huge impact on my family and we’re deeply appreciative.”

Murray and Lang are both part of the UCC Foundation.

Lang was instrumental in getting a paralegal program on campus, as well as donating funds for the event center now named the Danny Lang Teaching, Learning and Event Center.

Lang said he was humbled by the honor and that because life had been good to him he felt a duty to give back.

“It’s my duty to give light to others as I travel upon life’s pathways,” Lang said, adding that his contributions were not about buildings or money but about human capital.

UCC Board Chair Steve Loosley thanked the inductees for their generosity and for the example they have shown.

The college also recognized the retirements of Bart Copeland, Gloria Walkemeyer and Paula Ursey.

Copeland, who had been the full-time mail clerk for 16 years and part-time for 14 years, received a standing ovation as he made his way to the stage.

Tony Molitor was named the outstanding classified employee and Mike Matteo the outstanding full-time faculty member.

Mary Waechter, Crystal Sullivan, Kelli Macha, Cathy Adkins, and Robin Walker-Parker were recognized for 10 years of service to the college, while librarian Kristin Moser has been with the college for 20 years.

There were also 10 part-time faculty members who were recognized for their 10-year tenure at UCC and four employees who’ve worked for 20 years at the college.

Nominations for the Hall of Fame, which was established in 1994, are made once every five years.

Sanne Godfrey can be reached at or 541-957-4203. Follow her on Twitter @sannegodfrey.

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Education Reporter

Sanne Godfrey is the education reporter for The News-Review.

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