College mourns Trustee

Jane Jacobsen
Jane Jacobsen

Today the college community learned that Clark College Trustee Jane Jacobsen had passed away over the weekend.

“Jane became a Clark College trustee in 2016, and throughout her two terms on the Board she was an indefatigable cheerleader for the college,” wrote Clark College President Karin Edwards in an email to the college community announcing the news. “She liked to say that Clark was ‘the community’s college,’ because to her, uplifting and positively impacting the community was the most important and valuable part of our mission.”

A resident of Vancouver for more than 30 years, Jacobsen had profound impact on the region. She served in leadership roles with such organizations and projects as The Columbia Land Trust, the Marshall Lecture Series, the Columbia Gorge Commission, as well as many others.

Of the many achievements in Jacobsen’s life, the one her name is perhaps most closely connected with is Confluence. Jacobsen was the founding executive director of this ambitious nonprofit project to express the history of the Pacific Northwest through art and Indigenous voices. The Vancouver Land Bridge, located within Historic Fort Vancouver, is a Confluence installation.

During her two terms as a trustee at Clark College, Jacobsen served in many roles, including Board Chair from 2019 to 2020. She also served on the college’s Presidential Search Advisory Committee, Social Equity Advisory Council, Guided Pathways Committee, and as an alternate Legislative Action Committee Representative to the Washington State Association of College Trustees.

“I know Jane touched the lives of many people at the college—including my own—and I know she will be missed,” wrote President Edwards in her email.

An email from the Board of Trustees the college community read in part: “Those who knew Jane will remember her warmth, her kindness, and her seemingly limitless capacity for positive energy. Jane would show up with fresh-baked shortbread cookies just because she was thinking of us. Whenever there was a college event, you could count on Jane to be in attendance, joyfully participating in any activity offered. Whenever we had the opportunity to engage with students, Jane was the first to congratulate them on their successes and let them know she believed in their capacity to build better futures for themselves.”

A public Celebration of Life is scheduled for June 15 at 11:00 a.m. in Esther Short Park. Confluence has also created a tribute page where people can share their memories of Jacobsen and have their condolences forwarded to the family. Survivors include her husband, Paul, her sons, Ben and Gabe, a daughter-in-law, Allison, and two grandsons, Henrik and Emmett Jacobsen. 

Clark College Trustee Jane Jacobsen, center, was a tireless cheerleader for the college who could be counted on to show up at college events, like this Sakura Ceremony.

Photos: Clark College/Jenny Shadley