Evergreen Founding Faculty and Lummi Tribal Elder
First woman faculty hire, Faculty: Native American Studies, Sociology/Social Work, Education
Excerpted from the Olympian, October 25, 1982:
"Noted Educator buried today--
"Noted Native American educator Mary Ellen Hillaire, who died last Thursday (October 21) in St. Peter Hospital, was buried today on the Lummi Indian Reservation.
Ms. Hillaire, 55, joined the faculty of The Evergreen State College in 1972, teaching sociology, social work and Native American studies.
She founded Evergreen's Native American studies program following work as an education specialist for the state Division of Vocational Education.
In 1964, Ms. Hillaire was named "Woman of Achievement" by the Whatcom Chapter of the State Association of the Daughters of the Pioneers of Washington, and in 1970 was named a distinguished alumnus at Western Washington University.
Ms. Hillaire was born to a family of 13 on the Lummi Reservation near Bellingham. she was graduated from Bellingham High School in 1950 and received her bachelor's degrees in sociology and anthropology from Western in 1956. In 1957, she received a second bachelor's degree in social work from the University of British Columbia, and in 1967 received her master's degree in education from Western.
Evergreen Provost Byron Youtz said that with Ms. Hillaire's death 'the college has lost another of its irreplacable treasures.'"